Healthiest Organic Coffees
Healthiest Organic Coffees
A reader, Rachel, recently asked this question,
There are so many coffees – how do I know which is healthiest and who to buy from?
Rachel, thanks for your question. First of all the healthiest coffees are organically grown, processed, stored and transported. Let’s look at what constitutes organic coffee and why it is healthy for you.
Healthy organic coffee is free of the up to 133 impurities often found in regular coffee. A study by the Australian Food Standards Authority revealed that as many as 133 contaminants may be in a cup of commercially available coffee. These contaminants include metals such as aluminum and zinc, pesticide residues, ochratoxin A, acrylamide, furan, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are found to cause cancer. Furans have been associated with skin disorders, liver problems, certain kinds of cancers, impairment to the reproductive, endocrine, and immune system, as well as effects on embryonic development. Drink organic coffee grown by sustainable agricultural practices and avoid the intake of pesticide and herbicide residues with your morning brew.
And coffee itself is known to reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes as well as several types of cancer. Drink organic coffee for your health! But how do you find the healthiest organic coffees?
There are three sources of the healthiest organic coffees. Look for the seal of one of the following when you are looking for the healthiest organic coffees:
• USDA Certified Organic Coffee
• UTZ Certified Coffee
• Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee
USDA Certified Organic Coffee
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the following applies to USDA organic coffee as well as to all organic food production.
“Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.”
“Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.” USDA Certified organic coffee has a USDA seal on the bag.
UTZ Certified Coffee
The long term goals of UTZ are good agricultural practices, safe and healthy working conditions, abolishment of child labor, and environmental protection. However, a grower does not need to accomplish all that is required in the first year. This allows a grower to sign up to get his coffee UTZ certified, learn what is necessary, and grow into the long term requirements of the program. Because of the close tracking feature of all UTZ Certified products, consumers of healthy organic coffee produced by these growers can be assured of product quality as well as the farming practices that brought it to market. UTZ Certified organic coffee has the UTZ seal on the bag.
Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee
Rainforest Alliance certified coffee is part of a broader sustainable agriculture program of tropical crops, including coffee, bananas, cocoa, oranges, cut flowers, ferns, and tea. Certified coffee farms meet a strict set of environmental standards that include preservation of the ecosystem and reduction in use of synthetic chemicals of all sorts. In addition, strict health and safety requirements are part of getting Rainforest Alliance certified. The Rainforest Alliance works with the Sustainable Agriculture Network which is a group that includes conservation organizations in nine countries in Latin America. These organizations work to increase and maintain sustainable agricultural practices. On the other end of the coffee spectrum Rainforest Alliance works to convince consumers and to buy Rainforest certified products and works to have businesses buy from certified farmers and sell to the public. Rainforest Alliance organic coffee has the Rainforest Alliance seal on the bag.
We are partial to coffees that we can source directly from Colombia and Panama but many of the other healthiest organic coffees are available online and in various stores. If you are having problems locating a coffee that you would like to try, feel free to contact us by clicking the contact link at the top of the page.