London Buses Now Run on Coffee Like Many Americans as Dunkin Claims
As the coffee chain so proudly proclaims: America runs on Dunkin. Indeed, many Americans do run on coffee. London buses recently began running on bio-diesel fuel crafted partially from coffee grounds. In recent years, coffee has brewed more than flavor as the debate grows heated.
Personally, I just want to clarify before I begin that where I stand in the midst of this raging debate is in the middle. I do not think everyone should eliminate coffee from their diet, but I also think there are people (like me) that benefit from avoiding it. Just like any debated issue, everyone should research coffee for themselves and weigh all the pros and cons in light of their own bodies. I hope this article provides the information to help you decide.
Certified Fairtrade coffee vs. Coffee retailers
When you purchase coffee that is labeled fair-trade it means that you are protecting and supporting the livelihoods of small farmers in 30 countries worldwide. Coffee that is organic and fair-trade is less than 3% of all coffee. This brings me to my next point of debate.
Organic vs. Non-organic
Coffee beans are one of the highest sprayed pesticide crops on the planet. Many people say that organic coffee tastes better, and I would have to agree. Organic coffee has a flavor that surpasses that of any coffee I have ever tasted, and plus you will be protecting your body from the potentially hazardous effects of pesticides.
Caffeine vs. Decaffeinated
Most decaf coffee has been decaffeinated by the Direct Process method. This method facilitates a chemical called Methyl Chloride which the National Cancer Institute has tagged as a possible carcinogen. Decaf coffee is required to have 97% of the caffeine removed in order to be labeled as such. A healthier alternative to commercial decaf would be to get decaf that has been naturally decaffeinated through the swiss water process.
Eco-friendly coffee vs. Environmental concerns
The debates on coffee range from ethical to health grounds. Yet another point of debate concerning coffee is whether or not it is good for the environment. Environmentalists argue that disposable K-cups, plastic coffee cups, and other types of coffee containers pose a considerable threat to landfills. I am concerned about the plastic we drink coffee from. Heat leaches the harmful endocrine-disrupting chemical, BPA, from plastics. Check what code you are drinking from before you use that thermos, disposable cup, or whatever else you are going to drink your coffee from on the run. Avoid resin identification codes 3 and 7 because some plastics marked with those codes may include BPA.
In London, England they are conducting an experiment that may partially redeem coffee in the eyes of environmentalists. A company called Bio-Bean has made a bio-diesel fuel partially from recycled coffee grounds with the purpose in mind of cutting emissions. Bio-Bean and Shell have partnered together in this venture and plan on producing 1,583 gallons of the fuel per year. Time will tell if their results are positive as the iconic red buses go green for London.
Ground Coffee vs. Coffee Beans
Dr. Joseph Mercola recommends that you buy your organic coffee beans and grind them yourself to achieve fresh results. When you grind your own coffee beans you can prevent rancidity. If the coffee beans do not have a strong, pleasant aroma they may be rancid.
Black Coffee vs. Coffee with cream
You can experience the most health benefits from coffee by drinking it black. Often what we put into our coffee is what makes it bad for us like processed creamers, hydrogenated fats, artificial sweeteners and flavors, and lots and lots of sugar. Some healthy alternatives to drinking sweet coffee would be to use stevia or honey for sweetener and organic cream or rice milk if you are dairy-free.
Bulletproof Coffee is a brand that loads coffee with Brain Octane oil and many healthy fats that contain high omega-3's. Many people swear by their bulletproof coffee for it's energy and metabolism boosting abilities.
My Coffee Story
I had to give up coffee due to the overwhelming levels of cortisol in my body at the onset of my autoimmune disease. Caffeine causes the stress hormone cortisol to spike. Believe me, giving up my coffee was one of the hardest dietary things I've done, but now my adrenals thank me every day. Before I gave up coffee, I was drinking organic, fair-trade certified coffee that I made in a drip coffee maker using non-bleached filters so as to avoid the potential contamination of dioxins from bleach. My Dad still drinks it this way every day, and I think that the majority of people can avoid the toxic chemical load by taking these precautions and still enjoy their favorite beverage every morning.
What are your thoughts on coffee? Please share by dropping me a comment. If you found this post helpful, please share it with friends and family. Kudos to you for being proactive about your health!