Is Organic Coffee Healthier?

cup of black coffee

QUESTION: My wife will only drink organic coffee because she says it’s healthier. Is she right? Is organic coffee healthier? — Evan K.

ANSWER: Yes, organic coffee is without a doubt healthier for you than conventional coffee. Let’s take a look at all the ways that organic coffee wins out when it comes to healthiness. 

The organic farming standards that organic coffee is held to require a limited use of synthetic chemicals and restricted use of herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers. Because the soil doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals, organic coffee is likely to contain more vitamins and nutrients than conventional coffee.

Coffee isn’t a good source of macronutrients, but it does contain some micronutrients that many people lack in their diets: potassium, niacin, and magnesium. In addition to these micronutrients, organic coffee also provides trace amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5. 

Coffee is naturally high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals; it strengthens the immune system and helps fend off disease. A study from the journal “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition” determined that the antioxidants coffee contains decrease the oxidative stress in your body, which reduces the risk of both cancer and inflammation. Another study from the “Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism” determined that coffee may prevent and treat diabetes by lowering your level of blood sugar after meals.

Conventional coffee may include residue from the pesticides and synthetic chemical fertilizers that were used on the fields. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the residues can cause cancer, disturbance to the nervous system, hormone imbalance, or skin and eye irritation. Organic coffee won’t contain these chemical residues and is therefore safer for you.

Organic coffee isn’t just healthier for you. It’s also healthier for the farmers who work on making your beverage possible and for the planet itself.

Because organic coffee is typically sold for more than conventional coffee, most of the time organic coffee farmers pay their workers more than conventional coffee farmers. And most organic coffee farmers work in compliance with fair trade standards,

Organic farming techniques result in consistent yields without the risk of leached nutrients or inhaled pesticides. Farmers and their workers are safer because they don’t have to handle pesticides or chemical treatments.

The farms themselves are safer because they’re grown without chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Not only does this affect the fields, it also affects the land next to the fields because of rain runoff. And most of the time, conventional coffee is grown in full sun, and forests will be cleared to make room for the fields of coffee trees. Organic coffee is usually grown in the forests under the shade, without need for clearing the trees.

Now you know all the ways that organic coffee is healthier. Not only is organic coffee healthier for the individual who drinks it, but it’s also healthier for the farm and the planet.

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