written by Kirrilee Heartman, an Academic Researcher
Why you should be drinking organic coffee? Isn’t all the same?
As early as the ninth century, humans were adding coffee beans to boiling water to make a drink. Today, coffee is the most popular beverage in the globally, with over 400 billion cups consumed each year around the world.
Behind oil, coffee is the second most valuable worldwide commodity which is exported by developing countries. Nearly 25 million farmers over in more than 50 countries depend on coffee growing for their livelihood, and it is a 60 billion dollar a year industry. In this industry, certified organic coffee beans make up only 6.6%. However, there are significant reasons to choose organic coffee and support organic coffee growers.
Non-organic coffee is treated with numerous pesticides and other chemicals. These chemicals contaminate local soils and, in some cases, contaminate local water supplies. Some of the chemicals used have been banned by countries such at the USA and Australia, yet are freely used in developing countries. Local farmers in many instances are not educated in proper handling and usage of these chemicals – one study reported that 78% of coffee farmers experienced negative health symptoms through improper handling of pesticides.
Organic coffee is grown on farms where the use of synthetic chemicals is severely restricted. Under organic farming standards, natural elements such as compost and mulch are used in place of chemicals, enriching the soil and enhancing the health benefits of coffee. Shade cloths, rainforest cover and local birdlife are other elements used to support natural pest control and to prevent further deforestation due to coffee farms.
Coffee bestows many health benefits: organic coffee is full of antioxidants and can help to reduce inflammation in the body. In non-organic coffee, these benefits are compromised by pesticide use, and in some cases, you may be consuming pesticide residues along with your coffee.
Coffee is an aromatic plant – it will absorb subtle flavors from the plants around it and from its immediate environment. Organic coffee is often grown in a natural rainforest environment, is grown in beautiful rich soil. The fact that organic coffee is chemical free means you won’t taste anything but pure coffee, as Mother Nature intended.
Coffee farmers must meet stringent criteria in order to gain organic certification. Generally, the yield per field of coffee is nearly a third less than non-organic coffee farms, add on to this, the ongoing costs to maintain certification. Thus, inevitably, these costs are passed on to the consumer. As the world becomes ever more aware of the realities of climate change and environmental destruction, consumers can make a real difference through how they spend their money. A choice to support organic coffee farmers is a choice for sustainability, for healthier farming practices and for a healthier earth, choices which filter down to the individual consumer as a healthier product with a great taste!
St. Ali’s FEEL GOOD Organic range of coffees fits the bill in more ways than one – this company works in close partnership with their coffee growers, ensuring a sustainable future for their partnered farmers. They understand that the best tasting coffee starts with a healthy soil and environment, paying close attention to all aspects and steps of the coffee growing and processing aspects.
You can find St. Ali coffee here.