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Better Choices

Why Organic Coffee is So Important

A girl I used to know in New York City was so fanatical about recycling that she would literally take empty bottles home from bars because she feared that they would be tossed in the garbage.

I’ll never forget the time when we were out one night and she started filling up her designer handbag with empty beer bottles, which weren’t even hers!  She was that committed to the environment.

Yet, when she drank her coffee each morning, organic coffee was never even a consideration.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this didn’t make much sense.  Why?

Because conventionally-grown coffee is incredibly unhealthy for people and the planet.

* In terms of chemicals, coffee is one of the most heavily treated crops of any agricultural commodity.

* In order to mass produce coffee, traditional growers often clear wide swaths of land, predominantly in the rainforest, where the crops receive direct sunlight all-day.  This all-day exposure to the sun weakens the immune system of the coffee crops and makes them more vulnerable to pests and insects.

Hence, it is one of the reasons that coffee requires such large amounts of pesticides and insecticides.  This also explains why shade is very important.

* Many of these pesticides and insecticides sprayed directly on the crops end up in the coffee that people drink on a daily basis and therefore harm our bodies.  These chemicals also cause damage to the soil and pollute the local water supply.

Furthermore, workers who have tremendous exposure to these chemicals suffer greatly.  Flower growers in Ecuador are a prime example of this.

* When the beans are harvested, they are washed with water.  This water, which now contains many different toxic chemicals, is released back into streams, rivers or whatever source it came from, possibly the soil.

* The clearing of fragile rainforests, where coffee is grown, represents an incredibly serious threat to global warming.  Read what Tom Friedman of the New York Times has to say about this.

Over the last forty years or so, approximately 2/3rds of the rainforest in Central America and Mexico has disappeared.

My apologies for all the bad news…..but here’s the good news.

* Organic farmers do not use harmful or super-toxic chemicals on their coffee crops.  The coffee that you drink is as “clean” as possible.  This means you are not putting dangerous pesticides or insecticides into your body each morning.

* The lack of pesticides do not destroy the soil, a critical factor in the nutritional value of all organic food.

* Most organic coffee is shade-grown and this directly impacts taste.  According to Silvia Covelli, CEO of True Origin Organics and a member of the Organic Coffee Collaboration, “the best tasting coffees are the ones that are shade-grown.  This is because coffee is a very aromatic plant and absorbs all the flavors and aromas from surrounding trees, such as plantains, cacao and fruits.  The exotic aromas come out when not exposed to chemicals.”

* Organic farmers nurture the environment and minimize soil erosion through re-forestation, the use of ecological methods to control pests, the recirculation of water whenever possible and the propagation of different species of native trees, which also provides important refuge for migratory birds.

* When you buy organic coffee, you are supporting farmers in many third world countries who are committed to the environment and are helping to promote biodiversity.

Just as recycling glass bottles is important, so is the choice you make each morning at the coffee counter. For you and the planet.

While there are many, many brands of organic coffee and each person is partial to a specific flavor profile, one excellent company is Equal Exchange.

Click HERE for their fair trade, certified organic, whole bean breakfast blend.

A message from E3Live

"My Everyday, Must-Have Green Organic Aquabotanical"

The best testimonial that I can give is that I drink this every single day, as it impacts my mood in an incredibly positive way.

E3Live + BrainON is certified organic, fresh-frozen AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) with a concentrated, aqueous, organic extract of Phenylethylamine and Phycocyanin.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Organic Kaffir Limes – WOW, These are Amazing!

A while ago I did a story on gold nugget mandarins and when I saw this unknown fruit above, I couldn’t help but think of them because of the similarity of the rind.

And just as I had never seen gold nugget mandarins before, the same was true with these organic kaffir limes.

When I started asking the woman at my local organic market about kaffir limes, she quickly asked “Do you want to try one?”

With a bit of reluctance, I said “Ok, I guess.” After all, eating limes isn’t something that I normally do.

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A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic – Decrease Pesticide Exposure by 90%

Here are a few things that we know.

1) In its pioneering testing several years ago, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) identified up to 493 chemicals in Americans of all ages, including 287 industrial chemical pollutants found in the cord blood of 10 babies born in 2004.

So, from the time we are in the womb of our mother, our body is flooded with synthetic toxins.

2) Even though this EWG data was collected a decade ago, not much has changed since then, in terms of our exposure to chemicals.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic – Conventional Meat Contains Twice as Many Superbugs

Aside from the fact that conventionally-raised animals can be pumped with synthetic growth hormones and can be fed genetically-modified grain that has been sprayed with super-toxic pesticides, there is now another scary reason to avoid conventional meat: superbugs.

In results from a just released study, Consumers Reports found that 18 percent of the ground beef samples from conventionally-raised cows contained dangerous superbugs resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics used to treat illness in humans. This is compared with just 9 percent of ground beef from samples that were sustainably produced.

Consumer Reports purchased 300 packages – 458 pounds – of conventionally and sustainably produced ground beef from grocery, big-box, and natural food stores in 26 cities across the country.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink