Today, there is an increasing demand for organic food items. Coffee is not left behind. Organic coffee is preferred by coffee lovers who are more conscious about their health. Essentially, organic coffee is any coffee grown according to certain organic techniques and standards.
Most notably, organic farming restricts the use of synthetic chemicals in coffee farming. As such, organic coffee farming standards do not allow the use of herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers. But is organic coffee good for you? Find out more in this guide.
The Basics of Organic Coffee Farming
Organic coffee farming entails coffee production that incorporates socially responsible activities like environmental protection, soil health, composting, and recycling. Today, many countries have certifications and specifications for coffee to be certified as organic.
In organic coffee farming, there is minimized dependence on artificial materials in the farms. For instance, natural fertilizers are used in place of chemical fertilizers. Mulch and compost are the most popularly used natural fertilizers in growing organic coffee. As a result, both the soil and coffee plants benefit.
Coffee grown organically benefits from chemical-free nutrients absorbed from the soil. Also, organic coffee farmers are closely associated with fair trade practices. Fair trade practices help coffee growers in developing nations to maintain a sustainable livelihood out of coffee farming.
Benefits of Organic Coffee
Organic coffee offers numerous benefits including:
1. Reduced Consumption of Chemicals
There is wide usage of synthetic chemicals in non-organic coffee farming including pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides. These chemicals are linked to several health concerns. When coffee is grown with the help of pesticides, these nasty chemicals can pass into coffee berries. Eventually, some percentage of the chemicals may find their way into your cup of coffee.
With organic coffee, you are assured that such nasty chemicals do not get into your favorite morning cup of coffee. Organic coffee producers are legally bound to adhere to strict organic growing methods. However, non-organic coffee producers are not legally bound to disclose the kind of inputs they put when growing coffee.
2. Better Coffee Growing Method for Farmers
Although organic coffee certification is expensive, organic coffee growers charge more for their produce due to its better quality. Thus, they are able to pay their workers better wages. Also, many organic coffee farmers are compliant with strict fair trade standards. The term fair trade means that a business aims to care for the environment, observe the well-being of individuals and the general community, and work towards income sustainability.
Although organic growing techniques may not give the highest coffee yield, a lot of attention and care is given to maintain soil fertility for consistent yields. While synthetic fertilizers boost the yield, they leach soil nutrients, thereby leaving the soil worse.
Since no pesticides are used in production, farmers do not face the danger of inhaling them. Thus, organic coffee farming keeps farmers safe from poisonous chemicals. When you buy organic coffee, you are sure that the beans were grown with the well-being of farmers taken into account.
3. Organic Coffee is Better for the Planet
Organic coffee is produced without using chemicals or synthetic fertilizers. That means it promotes cleaner coffee beans, land, air, and water.
When toxic chemicals are used to grow coffee, they not only affect the coffee plants but also the surrounding water, soil, and neighboring communities.
Growing coffee organically is more eco-friendly since there is reduced emission of carbon, which is a greenhouse gas. Organic farming employs methods such as composting that traps carbon gas on the soil. As a result, carbon breaks down in the soil before finding its way into the atmosphere.
Most conventional coffee farming methods entail growing coffee in full sun. Forests are often cleared to make fields for planting coffee trees. On the contrary, organic farming entails growing coffee naturally. For instance, organic farming entails growing coffee trees in the shade offered by lush forests. These forests are home to wild animals and indigenous plants. Also, forests offer sustenance for animals and people.
Is Organic Coffee Good for you?
Organic coffee is certified as having been grown, harvested, and processed without excessive use of chemicals. Consequently, your cup of coffee will have fewer toxic compounds than conventionally grown coffee. Although consuming organic coffee is a healthier alternative, its nutritional benefits are similar to those of conventionally grown coffee.