Researchers have shown that coffee plants are sprayed with more pesticides than any other commercial agriculture crop. These days, many consumers are demanding that the food they consume is organic. Yet many people don’t realize that the coffee they are drinking contains many harmful substances. Conventional coffee is routinely doused with pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. These chemicals work their way into the beans themselves and, ultimately into your body.
Luckily, these days the consumer has a choice between buying the conventional, pesticide-ridden coffee, or an organic alternative. Organic certifying organizations do a terrific job of ensuring that farmers meet strict guidelines when they grow coffee on their farms.
Consumers can buy a wide range of organic coffee products, including beans from over 40 different countries in the world to decaffeinated coffee, to flavored and instant coffees. Products that carry the USDA Organic seal need to contain at least 95% organic ingredients. Most of them are in fact 100%, since coffee is a complete, natural product. If you are purchasing an organic bottled coffee drink, everything in it must be certified organic, including the sugar, dairy products, etc.
Organic coffee is already thriving in the world. It is estimated that North America alone consumes 85% of the coffee produced throughout the world. In 2008, 81 million pounds of organic coffee was imported into the United States and Canada. This may sound like a lot, but it only accounts for 3% of the total coffee consumed in North America. The trend is on the rise though, as organic coffee is one of the fastest growing segments in the beverage industry. It has a phenomenal 35% growth rate, which far outpaces that of conventional coffee. This impressive growth has definitely caught the attention of coffee shops and supermarkets, where organic coffee is steadily pushing conventional coffee off the shelves.
Is organic coffee worth the extra cost?
The answer is definitely yes. Coffee prices are so deflated these days that it only costs a few pennies to make a cup of coffee at home. You can buy a pack of quality organic coffee for only one or two bucks more than regular coffee these days and that works out to about a cent increase per cup. Everybody wins when you purchase organic coffee. You get better coffee without the pesticides. The farmer gets a little more income to support his family, and the ground the coffee is grown on isn’t sprayed with toxic chemicals. Now that is definitely worth a penny more per cup.