In addition to giving you a kick-start in the morning, drinking organic coffee may reduce your risk of chronic disease, extend your lifespan and improve the environment as well. Coffee labeled as organic comes from farms that meet strict standards set up and enforced by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. According to these requirements, organic coffee is free of chemical contaminants, and the farms that grow it use practices to minimize side effects to workers and the environment.

Organic Produce

Organic coffee comes farms certified by the USDA. The certification process requires that a farm use only organic farming techniques for a minimum three years before the farm can be certified organic. For growing coffee, this means no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers are allowed, and a USDA inspector must determine the farm is complying with the guidelines.

Health Benefits of Eating Organic

Due to the certification process, organic foods may cost slightly more, but a little extra in cost may bring huge health savings. Conventional, or non-organic, coffee may contain residue from synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. These residues may cause cancer, nervous system disturbances, hormone imbalance or irritation to skin and eyes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When you consume organic coffee, you won’t get any chemical residues or harmful health side effects.

Health Benefits of Coffee

Coffee itself — whether organically or conventionally grown — has potential health benefits due to its antioxidant content. A study published in the journal “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition” found the antioxidants in coffee decrease oxidative stress in the body and therefore reduce risk of diseases like cancer and reduce inflammation in the body. Another study, published in the “Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism,” found coffee may help to prevent and treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels after meals.

Environmental Benefits of Organics

In addition to improving your health, choosing organic coffee may have environmental benefits. According to the EPA, workers on organic farms are not exposed to potentially harmful chemicals. In addition, these farms are more environmentally friendly because they use fewer non-renewable resources, such as petroleum, than non-organic farms do. On organic farms, no chemicals leach into nearby soils or drinking water and none are carried in the air to nearby families or farms.

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About the Author
Erica Kannall is a registered dietitian and certified health/fitness specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine. She has worked in clinical nutrition, community health, fitness, health coaching, counseling and food service. She holds a Bachelor of Science in clinical dietetics and nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.

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