Coffee provides more than just your morning “pick-up” – according to the University of Scranton (Pa) it’s the #1 source of antioxidants in the American Diet. Antioxidants, which naturally occur in many foods including fruits and vegetables, chocolate, and tea, help protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in almost all forms of the disease (heart disease, cancer, etc). Free radicals are waste molecules produced by cellular metabolism, so they are always present, but also can be formed in excess when you are exposed to toxins (pesticides/ herbicides, chemicals/pollutants, cigarette smoke, x-rays, etc).
Since coffee is your #1 source of antioxidants, which remove free radicals, you certainly don’t want it to also be the very delivery system for toxins (which increase free radicals, thus neutralizing the main healing effects of your beloved morning beverage. This is why today we explore a common question – must my coffee be organic?
The answer is a resounding YES! – for many reasons which we will explore below. To begin, our coffee-growing countries each have their own systems/allowances for the production of their beans, and most of them still use pesticides/herbicides that are now considered unsafe by both the European and American nations. The US Government does not have any regulations for testing imported beans, nor an established “MRL” (maximum residue limit) for the amount of chemicals present – most major roasters don’t even know themselves either – which means you are in the 95-100% chance the coffee in your cupboard is saturated with chemicals. Additionally, there are little to no studies reporting on the long-term effects of pesticide exposure/residue and their effect on the health of your body.
Do Pesticides/Herbicides Use In Growing End Up In Your Cup?
It’s initially assumed by the coffee industry that roasting of the green coffee beans at temperatures above 450 degrees will most likely burn off any residual chemicals. However, there hasn’t been any research to prove this is the case and there are several reports now emerging showing pesticides are present within the final roasted bean. In early 2019 a class-action lawsuit was filed against Starbucks after a toxic pesticide called Dichlorvos (2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate or ‘DDVP’), which is highly poisonous and completely unfit for use in the food industry, was found to be within its standard beans. Starbucks’ response was that their coffee isn’t organic and they follow the US regulations for the importation of there but as you just read, there are NO REGULATIONS!
Top Coffee Brands to Avoid Due To High Chemical Content
All “major” supplies of coffee will, unfortunately, fall into the “high pesticide” box, simply because they obtain their beans from the cheapest, non-organic supplies. This means the major brands including Folgers, Maxwell House, Nescafé, Costa Coffee, McCafe (McDonald’s), Tim Hortons, Gloria Jeans, Keurig, Dunkin Donuts (its Folgers in a private label), Starbucks and Seattle’s Best (Starbucks in a different label). Keep in mind there are thousands of “coffees” out there!
The Importance of Drinking Organic Coffee:
Going organic is 100% absolute when it comes to your coffee. The organic certification program is ONLY monitored and validated to ensure the following:
– No synthetic chemicals are used, only natural pesticide methods are used (pruning techniques, opportunistic insects, etc) .
– No synthetic fertilizers are used, instead, coffee pulp, animal manure and compost from coffee is used
– Coffee is shade-grown. Most conventional suppliers grow in the sun to increase yield but require chemicals to protect the fruit from spoiling. Shade-grown coffee does not require this.
– Higher antioxidant content – several studies have confirmed that organic coffee allows the beans to retain a higher level of antioxidants – which again is the main reason for drinking coffee in the first place (at least we hope that it’s your reason)
– Organic Food Production Act (1990) exists to regulate coffee after harvest and to limit the number of chemicals used in production. This only applies to organic coffee from certified organic growers.
Are A Few Dollars Saved Worth It?
It’s almost impossible today to blame higher prices as a reason to pass over organic beans vs traditional beans – especially with online shopping suppliers providing 1-2lbs bags for almost the same price as a most traditional coffee. One example is Purity Coffee (puritycoffee.com), which offers you additional online savings per bag of organic coffee that is also guaranteed to be free from acrylamide, mycotoxins (mold), yeast, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals found non-organic coffees. If you haven’t tried Purity Coffee, fair warning – you may never go back to your old coffee. When shopping use discount code “AskDrErnst” for additional savings and free shipping of their online discounts.