It’s no argument that organic foods are more healthy for you.
But with coffee, organic beans are more than just good for you.
Organic coffee beans help preserve the fragile ecosystems where coffee is grown as well as provide a safer work environment for the farmers.
Not to mention, organic coffee tastes better!
In this blog, we’re going to be talking about the health benefits of organic coffee, the impact growing organic coffee has on rural communities, and what some of the downsides of organic coffee are.
By the end of this article, you’re going to be an organic coffee expert!
So let’s get into it.
What Does Organic Really Mean?
Organic has become a buzzword that’s thrown around for everything from food, to clothing, to cleaning supplies and everything in between.
But what does ‘Organic’ really mean?
For a food to be considered ‘Organic’ and labeled as such in the United States Of America, it needs to meet some specific criteria.
Firstly, food cannot be grown with harsh chemicals that are typically used in large-scale farming.
This means no pesticides to kill insects & mold that damage crops,
No herbicides to kill weeds within the crops,
No fungicide to kill harmful fungi that taint crops,
But this also means no synthetic fertilizer to give the plant a boost in size and a shorter journey from seed, to a ready-to-harvest final product.
Though animal manure is commonly used in place of fertilizer, human sewage is not allowed to be used to fertilize organic produce.
This may seem like common sense, but farmers can often receive subsidies to use human sewage to fertilize their crops!
Beyond all-natural fertilizers and abandoning harsh chemicals that seep into the Earth, organic produce is not allowed to be genetically modified.
Corn is one of the most commonly genetically modified crops.
Genetic modification can help make larger corn cobs and larger corn kernels.
But beyond just larger crops, genetic modification can also help make plants resistant to particularly deadly pesticides and herbicides as well as making that plant resistant to a lot of common diseases.
Genetic modification is also used to make crops that grow to fruition faster than normal plants, but none of this is allowed for organic produce.
Genetically modified plants may seem like a great idea but it is a hotly debated topic among scientists as there is very little long-term research into the effects of genetically modified produce on our bodies.
Because of the lack of this research, genetic modification is outlawed for organic goods & produce.
The last thing that must be avoided for a food to be considered organic is something called ionizing radiation.
Ionizing radiation is when producers blast plants & other food products with a condensed beam of gamma rays or x-rays.
This is done to do things like help kill harmful bacteria that are naturally present in meat.
For plants, ionizing radiation is used to expand the shelf-life of plant products like potatoes by preventing them from being able to sprout after harvest. But ionizing radiation is primarily used to kill bacteria and pathogens naturally present in the food we eat.
So when a coffee bean can be considered organic when it has been grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and synthetic fertilizers, while also being a coffee bean that’s not genetically modified or irradiated during the cleaning process.
Now that we know what organic coffee means, let’s get into the benefits organic coffee has on your body…
Why You Should Switch To Organic Coffee - The Health Benefits
Coffee in general is good for your heart, mind, and soul.
There’s a reason it’s the most consumed beverage on the planet, even more than water!
Coffee, organic or not, has been shown to help lessen the effects of depression by helping your brain produce more dopamine hours after you finish your morning cup of joe.
Coffee has also been shown to help protect your liver against cirrhosis and fatty liver disease.
But organic coffee has these health benefits and more!
Organic coffee contains potassium, magnesium B1, B2, B3, and B5, whereas normal coffee doesn’t contain ANY of these minerals & vitamins.
Potassium helps you regulate the amount of water stored inside your cells. Without ample amounts of potassium, sodium will pull water out of your cells leaving you dehydrated and feeling as drained as your cells are.
Beyond simple water retention, potassium is a key regulator for your circulatory system and helps reinforce muscle stability.
Surgeons have a little secret to get rid of nervous shakes, it’s a simple potassium pill!
Magnesium is one of the most commonly used elements in the chemical reactions that happen all over our bodies every second of the day.
Magnesium is a key ingredient in the creation of ATP. ATP is the energy molecule, literally!
All of our cells use ATP to help catalyze important chemical reactions.
Magnesium is also a key ingredient in the synaptic cleft.
The synaptic cleft is the space between our neurons, our neurons communicate by changing the chemical composition of the molecules in the synaptic cleft. Without magnesium, our neurons would not be able to properly communicate.
Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5 have a wide range of important functions around our bodies, similar to magnesium.
This collection of B vitamins helps keep our brains functioning in tip-top shape. B complex, a collection of different B vitamins, is a common ingredient in nootropics, supplements made specifically to increase brain function.
B complex also helps keeps your hair, nails, and skin strong, healthy, moisturized, and blemish-free.
All of these critically important vitamins and minerals are included in organic coffee, whereas NONE of these vitamins and minerals are in run-of-the-mill coffee.
Why You Should Switch To Organic Coffee - Better For The Planet
As we discussed above, organic coffee cannot be grown with harmful chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
This is hugely beneficial for the environment and the fine balance that the ecosystem coffee farms maintain.
Measuring out and distributing these harmful chemicals is not an exact science. These chemicals are usually dropped from a plane in liquid form, but this is not incredibly accurate.
The liquid being dropped turns into a mist and easily travels away from the farmer’s field.
Herbicides are created specifically to kill plant life that’s not the crop being sowed.
You can imagine the incredible damage that would cause to nearby ecosystems.
Let’s assume that all of the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides do stay contained to the farmer’s field though, the trouble doesn’t end.
Fields don’t exist in a vacuum, these harmful chemicals seep into the soil causing irreparable damage to the soil beneath the crops and the insect life that exists under these crops.
Over time and repeated exposure, these chemicals can eventually seep so deep into the soil that it begins to taint the groundwater supplies that exist underneath the soil.
Coffee is primarily grown in poor countries in rural villages, rural villages that rely on groundwater wells for their water supply.
Now you have men, women, and children drinking water tainted with harmful chemicals.
Drinking this tainted water has a myriad of negative effects on the human body that has been well documented with countless cases of illness and even death from this tainted water.
Switching to organic coffee beans allows farmers to maintain their livelihood without being forced to cause irreparable damage to their community and their environment.
So make a change that benefits far more than just your own life, switch to organic coffee today.
Why You Should Switch To Organic Coffee - The Impact On Rural Farmers
Above we discussed the horrible effects of harmful chemicals on the environment, but what about the farmers and workers that have to be surrounded by these chemicals 7 days a week?
When a coffee farm isn’t growing organic coffee, the workers are who feel the brunt of the negative effects of the harmful pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
These chemicals are notoriously hard to clean off of your hair, skin, and clothes.
That means that these farmers and workers are getting covered in these chemicals and then dragging them home with them to expose the rest of their families to these chemicals every single day.
These chemicals make their way into the workers’ beds, into the food they cook and eat, and the water they drink.
These are the long-term effects, but in the short-term, these farmers & workers are inhaling these chemicals every time they’re spread across the crops, wreaking havoc on the workers’ lungs.
There have been countless scientific studies showing the connection between cancer and long-term exposure to these harsh chemicals.
There was an international crisis and recall with a commonly used pesticide as it was linked so heavily to cancer and other destructive illnesses.
Over 87 pesticides are banned in the USA alone, there’s a reason for that.
These chemicals are dangerous and kill people, that’s the bottom line.
When you’re buying organic coffee, the quality of life of these farmworkers drastically increases as they’re no longer exposed to these pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides on a daily basis.
But let’s switch to a more lighthearted topic, organic coffee simply tastes better, below, we explain why…
Why You Should Switch To Organic Coffee - The Taste
When the coffee beans you make your coffee from aren’t constantly doused in harsh chemicals, the taste drastically improves.
Make a cup of run-of-the-mill coffee and a cup of organic coffee, drinking one right after the other, you can taste the difference.
It’s just common sense. Pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are notoriously hard to remove, so no matter how much cleaning and roasting normal coffee beans go through trace amounts of these harsh chemicals remain, which affect the taste of your coffee.
So ditch the chemicals and get coffee that tastes as good as the story behind it.
Drawbacks To Organic Coffee - Mold & Overall Quality
Let’s be realistic, organic coffee does bring a lot of positive to our own lives through health benefits and brings lots of positivity to other people’s lives through not exposing the Earth and the community to harsh chemicals, but are a few downsides to organic coffee.
First, just because coffee beans are organic, doesn’t mean that they’re high-quality beans.
Coffee beans are ranked on a totally different scale that doesn’t take into account whether the coffee beans are organic or not.
Grade 1 is the highest grade coffee, with Grade 5 being the lowest grade coffee.
Each grade allows for more and more defective beans in a 300g sample.
Just because coffee is organic doesn’t mean it’s a higher grade, a Grade 5 coffee is still the lowest quality coffee, whether it’s organic or not.
Keep this in mind when you’re shopping for your coffee! Don’t just look for the organic label, make sure that you’re still buying high-quality beans.
The second issue that organic coffee has is mold.
Fungicides are heavily used in the coffee industry for a reason, to prevent mold.
It doesn’t happen often, but the FDA allows a specific amount of mold in all coffee, more for lower quality coffee, less for higher quality coffee.
This is another reason why you need to be shopping for the highest grade quality coffee out there because not even the FDA cares if your coffee contains mold.
Mold on coffee beans typically looks like a white powdery substance over your beans. Your coffee will also take on a strong, dingey, musty smell, instead of its normal delicious aroma.
If you see this white powdery substance or your coffee beans smell off, throw them out.
There are a lot of health risks in drinking moldy coffee, but that’s a story for another blog.
Below you can find Grade 1, organic coffee that once you taste, you’ll never want to go back.
Shop Organic Mold-Free Coffee
Our Ascent Coffee comes straight from Guatemala before it’s roasted at our American facilities.
Unlike big name-brand coffee, you can count on one hand the steps our beans take from the farm to your cup.
Our coffee is certified organic and Grade 1 to ensure that you’re only getting the highest quality, best-tasting beans, every single time.
But we realize that as a company we have to lead by example, that’s why all of the coffee farms we’re partnered with in Guatemala are woman-run.
We believe in giving back to the community, and we do it by only working with the farms that are forward-thinking and provide workers with a living wage and a safe work environment.
Try your own bag of Ascent Coffee today, and you’ll never want to go back.