By Dr. Angela Karvounides
Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee each day. The average American adult ingests over 10 pounds of coffee per year. The magnitude of these figures illustrates that the coffee industry not only has a tremendous impact on our economy, but also on our health. While we all know that buying organic comes at an additional cost, we may not be cognizant of the fact that the alternative comes at an even greater expense. The price that we pay for sipping non-organic brews is one that significantly drains our health and negatively impacts the farmers making a conscious effort to support our environment and well-being through toxin-free, pesticide-free farming.
Coffee is one of the most chemically treated agricultural products on the planet. These chemicals create a toxic burden on our bodies that overload our liver, interfere with thyroid function and cell signaling which ultimately creates inflammation. Inflammation interferes with the way we feel, our energy, and ability to maintain a healthy weight and fight disease.
While I am not suggesting anyone start up a coffee habit, I am advising those that currently drink coffee to switch to an organic, fair trade blend and to enjoy a cup or two in moderation. Selecting fair trade coffee guarantees consumers that coffee farmers have been paid fairly for their harvest, work under safe conditions and obey internationally monitored environmental standards. Additionally, the premiums certified farms are paid are used to reinvest in conservation efforts benefiting our environment.
Use coffee time as an opportunity to relax, take a few deep breaths and enjoy a calm moment amidst a day full of bustle while giving gratitude for the opportunity to make a conscious choice about our health, environment and the livelihood of the farmers out their working hard to positively impact our health.
My newest favorite coffee is my most recent purchase from Trader Joe’s, an organic, fair trade Breakfast Blend. I like to drink it black to fully appreciate the taste and to avoid any excess sugar consumption. On days that I don’t drink coffee, I enjoy a nice, warm cup of organic green tea, which has a multitude of health benefits and tastes delicious!