Nature How to choose the best coffee for your health and for the planet?


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Coffee is one of the world's most popular drinks. The International Coffee Organization estimates that in 2019/20, coffee consumption worldwide exceeded 10 billions kg (169.34 million bags of 60 kg or 132 pounds). That's more than one kg per person, even including children, people who don't like coffee and people too poor to buy coffee. Over 10 million hectares of land are used to grow coffee worldwide and every year an additional 100,000 hectares is added (to get an idea, one hectare represents nearly two football fields). That is mostly land reclaimed from tropical forests. In other words, Coffee has a huge environmental impact. This is why it is important to ensure that plantations are sustainable and do not destroy tropical forests. Two labels ensure this: UTZ and Rainforest Alliance.

Is my coffee healthy?

Coffee has been proven to have substantial health benefits. But that is for proper coffee. The use of pesticides and glycophosphates (herbicides) is quite common in coffee plantations and will undo any health benefit. Pesticides and herbicides have been linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkison's, Alzheimer's and ALS, to cancer, diabetes, endocrine disruption (such as infertility), and immune system disorders, among others. Organic certification is vital if you don't want to poison your body.

Do I want coffee produced by slave labour and children?

Anybody is free to decide whether they condone the exploitation of workers in developing countries. Slavery has been part of human society for thousands of years because there has always been people who didn't have any scruples. Personally it annoys me to know that my coffee (or any other product) has been produced by people toiling in slave-like conditions. It's all the worse if these people are children. Ethical coffee is coffee from local producers who are decently paid and which does not exploit child labor. That's what fair trade is about.

You can read the rest of the article (including recommended brands) here:

How to choose the best coffee for your health and for the planet?

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