Friday, March 25, 2011

Coffee - Friend or Foe?

My one true vice, coffee. I have at least one cup a day and not much you or anyone else can say about it will stop that habit. Just so you know, this post is PRO coffee but I will talk about how to be a wise consumer when it comes to this black liquid gold.
The Battle of Corporate Coffee
I know many people out there, especially where I live are anti corporate coffee. I sit on the fence. Years ago in my undergraduate work I had a part-time job at Starbucks. After working for this company I have to say that when it comes to large corporations they do it right. They treated me fairly, provided health insurance (and with only working part time) and were flexible around my school schedule. Looking back I can also say that it was a fun job, we laughed a lot and connected with our customers. We were like a small village in the middle of the huge Orange County. So those are the positives.
Here are the negatives about large companies like Starbucks (but not Starbucks specifically, there are others too). They buy very large quantities of pesticide grown coffees from overseas. Although Starbucks has a commitment to fair trade practices you can be assured that not every company does and there might be some seedy practices going on. Coffee is in the top most pesticide laden crop, right before cotton. Bad for earth, bad for your health and bad for baby’s health while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Why green your entire life but continue to drink pesticides? So it is for this very simple fact that I try not to stop at Starbucks too often, they rarely have organic coffee choices and since 2007 they have not had organic milk.
It is easy to go organic with your coffee, almost every brand has an organic version. I have one of those fabulous Kuerig single serve machines, who is lovingly named Mo (as in mo’ coffee please!) even my machine has organic pod options.
Pros and Cons
Okay, so you go organic and fair trade on your coffee now here are the health positives and negatives about coffee consumption. Studies I have read over the years talk about how coffee jump starts your metabolism and keeps you regular. The common argument against coffee (especially for pregnant and nursing women) is connected to the caffeine. According to my resources they say that caffeine is okay in moderation and that its consumption did not show effects in fertility or pregnancy until levels reached 3-4 cups a day. Studies that have claimed there is a connection between pregnancy miscarriage or infertility due to caffeine consumption were showing a correlation not a causation. Here are the positives that The Fertility Diet says about coffee,
    “It is brimming with antioxidants and other biologically active substances, including caffeine. Several long-term studies have shown that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, gallstones and kidney stones, and possibly colon cancer.” - The Fertility Diet
Here are the negatives, “The main downsides of coffee drinking are caffeine addiction and the fats and calories that come with the sugar, cream, whipped cream, caramel and other toppings and flavorings now put in and on coffee.” - The Fertility Diet
So here is the deal with coffee, just like any food we indulge in do it in moderation. A cup of black coffee or coffee with milk in the morning will not hurt you, in fact it will help you. However, those ice blended monstrosities are not going to help you, those only hurt you! So in conclusion, here is my tribute to coffee. Dispelling all bad rumors and highlighting the good points. To a drink I love, thank you for loving me back.

Book Resources
Organic Baby, Simple Steps for Healthy Living by Kimberly Rider
The Fertility Diet by Jorge Chavarro MD, ScD and Walter Willett MD, DrPH


  1. new follower, found you on the etsy business team. I can be found at

    I am such a coffee addict, I admit it ;)

  2. New follower from teh blogging team on etsy! I love coffee and just cannot get enough! I love your informative post on all food topics--oh my spices--so much info! Love it!

  3. I love my coffee in the morning! There's nothing like a hot cup of joe to get me going.

  4. I agree :) There is something about a hot cup of coffee that makes me feel human!