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Follow our journey as we build Puristics, a new brand of anti-aging skin care without harsh chemicals. For us, the past 3 years have been filled with "aha" moments as we educate consumers about label literacy - knowing the ingredients in your beauty products, since harsh chemicals can end up on your skin. We welcome you to learn from our experiences both as businesswomen and busy moms, and please share your own stories, too!

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Friday
May072010

How many chemicals are in your cup?

Coffee, yum.  I’ve loved it since I was a teenager and never greet a day without my 2 cups.  I’ve sorted through the “good for you” studies and the “bad for you" studies and ultimately decided that, like so many other things, coffee in moderation is a net positive in my life (an on-going 22 year long Harvard School of Public Health study agrees, “the overall balance of risks and benefits [of coffee consumption] are on the side of benefits").

Moderate coffee drinking wasn’t always my style though. Through particularly high intensity periods, my consumption averaged 8-12 cups a day (with no milk or sugar to dilute the caffeine)!  When coffee consumption is measured in gallons rather than cups, cost/cup and quantity takes priority over quality.  Now that proper eating and regular exercise have helped me cut back to 2 cups a day, I can focus on quality and be more conscious about what I put in my cup.

It seems oxymoronic to worry about the chemicals I’m consuming in my morning coffee cup when I’m choosing to brew a cup of stimulants.  Oxymoron or not, if I can make a better choice without compromising my morning ritual, then why not do it? According to eartheasy.com coffee is sprayed with more chemicals than any other product consumed by humans aside from tobacco.

Why worry about what’s in name brand coffee?  Like all agricultural crops, yield is important with coffee, and because coffee is a consumption staple in wealthier countries and a critical export for poorer countries, the pressure to keep yields high is intense.  Pesticides and fertilizer are an important part of that equation.  Some would argue that the processing of coffee beans and subsequent brewing dilutes any pesticide and fertilizer residue to such a degree that it is rendered harmless.  Perhaps, but why not reduce my exposure to potentially harmful chemicals if I can.  Of even greater importance, in my view, is coffee’s impact on the wildlife, the environment and the people engaged in coffee production.  Originally, coffee was grown in the shade, enabling existing bird habitat to remain in tact, soil quality to be maintained and CO2 consuming trees to remain.  Production pressures have led, however, to coffee being grown in full sun in monoculture, both of which require artificial means of support. This has led to the destruction of important habitat and the need for additional pesticides and herbicides.  Shade grown coffee can be produced organically, without pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, and without destruction of rain forest and migratory bird habitat.  Shade grown coffee yields a smaller coffee berry which some believe creates a more concentrated flavor in the bean. 

So, armed with this knowledge and bolstered by the savings from reducing my daily consumption back down to 2 cups a day, I’ve made yet another small, manageable change in my life for the better - - quality over quantity.  I now drink organic, shade grown coffee and am able to start my day with fewer chemicals and the knowledge that I’m making a difference for the earth while still supporting coffee growing economies.  While it can be tough to find shade grown coffee in most grocery chains, a few good sources are available online.  I get my coffee from Grounds for Change (http://www.groundsforchange.com).  For additional information and other online sources for organic, shade grown coffee, visit Earthy Easy, (http://www.eartheasy.com).  Join me in rethinking your morning ritual, and as always, let me know your thoughts.

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    Puristics® Pure Talk | Anti-Aging Skin Care and Feminine Protection Without Harmful Ingredients - Pure Talk Journal - How many chemicals are in your cup?
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    Puristics® Pure Talk | Anti-Aging Skin Care and Feminine Protection Without Harmful Ingredients - Pure Talk Journal - How many chemicals are in your cup?

Reader Comments (1)

This is great information, M'lou, and I'm enjoying your blog. I'm going to order some shade-grown coffee for my mother as a gift. (I'm a tea drinker.) I just hope it tastes as good as the chemical-laden coffee!

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

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