The Almighty Cup o'Java,
Black Gold, Midnight Mud
Ahh! That first hit of black gold begins to coarse through
the body and life is good. Americans have a love affair with the almighty
bean that is worth $2 billion a year to the world economy. Coffeehouses
are flourishing across America as they evoke a sense of nostalgia, a connection
with the great thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment where coffeehouses first
began to evolve. Its infusion into 18th-century life helped create a nightlife
culture and provided a social context in which political dissidents gathered
to discuss the issues of the day.
The jury is still out on the potential health benefit or detriment that
coffee contributes to our lives. It has been theorized that coffee/caffeine
contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breast
disease, osteoporosis and birth defects. Yet for almost every study that
supports a link to these and other diseases, there is another which refutes
the findings. There are many life-style factors (i.e. stress management,
smoking, & fat consumption) that contribute to these diseases as well
and these are difficult to isolate in the studies. One thing seems certain,
caffeine is a drug and a highly addictive one at that.
Global and Personal Health
There are many things we can do to lessen the detrimental effects
of coffee. On a personal level simply cut down on the daily dose. Start
the day with a fresh brewed cup of organic coffee at home instead of a quick
fix from the corner, drive-through espresso bar. Relax, enjoy that rich
taste and make the most of this early morning ritual. Refrain from any more
mud much after noon and you'll probably sleep better, allowing you to rise
earlier and revel in the ritual of that first cuppa joe.
As in all of your food choices, seek out and buy organic whenever possible.
This personal choice has far-reaching, effects on our global community.
Buying organic reduces exposure to toxic chemicals for both grower and consumer.
Most organic producers are also smaller, family run farms, often part of
a producer cooperative. This supports a more sustainable, equitable economy
whereby the profits generated, benefit the grower instead of Wall Street
speculators - coffee is the second highest traded commodity on the planet,
right after oil.
Raising That Bean
Coffee grows best in a shaded environment - organic coffee
plantations increasingly grow the coffee in the shade of thinned existing
forests or in the shade of other crops like bananas. This existing shade
canopy is highly beneficial for migratory birds who, when traveling, need
places to rest and feed on insects. The coffee plants in turn benefit from
the natural pest predators reducing the need for chemical pesticides. On
this complex planet of ours, each link in the chain benefits through this
process - the earth, the winged ones, the growers and you, the consumer.
Equator Coffee, Café Mam and Custom Roasting provide us at Sundance
with top quality, fresh roasted organic beans. So if you're going to start
the day with a jolt, make it an organic kickstart. Your body will benefit
and so will the entire process right down to the earth from which it comes.
And remember, as with all pleasures in life, dosage is critical.
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