Isn’t it interesting to know that the coffee we consume on the run daily is processed & roasted seeds from a fruit which is called a coffee cherry? The origins & history of coffee dates back to the tenth century, possibly earlier. Harvesting the cherries can take up to three to four years to bear fruit depending on the variety. The coffee outer skin is called the exocarp; beneath that is the mesocarp, a thin layer of pulp, followed by a slimy layer called the parenchyma.
The beans itself are covered in paper, like an envelope. Inside the parchment lie two beans side by side, covered separately by yet another membrane. This seed skin is referred to in the coffee trade as the silver skin. In about five percent of the world’s coffee, there is only one bean inside the cherry, called a peaberry.
Coffee is grown in over 59 countries worldwide. The NCA market research showed that 64 percent of U.S consumers drink coffee daily every day. NCA also stated that 74 percent of consumers prepare their coffee at home and 24 percent of consumers order coffee weekly from an app.
If you drink coffee, you know that is has a natural and complex botanical profile, with at least 1000 natural compounds in the bean and another 300 created in the roasting process. A lot of compounds right?
Well, researchers have shown and stated that moderate coffee drinking could have positive effects on the body such as liver disease prevention, sharper memory, improved cognitive function in older adults, and increased athletic endurance with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Most of these benefits are associated with caffeine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in coffee beans. The type of bean & how its brewed also contributes to the benefits mentioned above.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle recently ruled that coffee shops must serve coffee with a cancer label. It was stated that "chains" like Starbucks and WholeFoods must post signs telling people about possible cancer-causing chemicals in their coffee. The chemical in this case, in particular, is called Acrylamide, and it is produced in the roasting process.
The lawsuit was filed under California’s Prop 65. It requires businesses to notify consumers of exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. The Judge ruled that there was not any evidence to suggest a significant amount of Acrylamide was not a risk.
The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by the Council For Education And Research On Toxics (CERT). This calls for fines as large as $2,500 per person affected by the exposure to chemicals since 2002 at the defendants’ shops in California. That can range up to 40 million people in the U.S.A. Since 1986 businesses have been required to post warnings about chemicals known to cause cancer or health risks. The Food And Drug Administration tests of Acrylamide levels ranged from 175 to 351 parts per billion (a measure of concentration for a containment.) In six brands of coffee tested the highest levels were in decaf coffee crystals.
This suit was brought against Starbucks & 90 other companies under a controversial law passed by California voters in 1896. Whether scientists haven’t rendered a verdict on whether coffee is good or bad or both, the judge has a ruling in effect. The safe drinking water and toxic enforcement act require warning labels for about 900 chemicals known to cause cancer or congenital disabilities. It allows private citizens, advocacy groups, and attorneys to sue on behalf of the state and collect a portion of civil penalties for failure to provide warnings. Coffee companies have said removing acrylamide product out of the coffee, will make the coffee unpleasant to drink, making it lose its flavor. However, some experts suggest you can remove the chemical while sustaining the coffee flavor.
People all over the globe love coffee. We take care harvesting and growing it, but we ought to look at the dark side of the coffee. It is safe to say too much of anything in excess can be harmful. In my opinion, coffee is not the issue at hand; it’s the way it’s processed. Researching safe ways to consume coffee could be the key to all the madness in a world of coffee beans.
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash