Made In The U.S.A.

Save the Universe: Drink Coffee

In Edibles on February 2, 2009 at 5:59 am

1.17.09: Treehugger says that you can Save the World if you stop drinking coffee. It can’t be!

Good. It turns out to not be. The premise is that by not consuming the natural resources it takes to grow harvest and deliver coffee to our cushy American palaces, those countries and the environment are better off. But the writer, in fact, then cites the benefits of Americans drinking imported coffee.

I understand that our coffee consumption benefits the economies of other countries. This article is written from the perspective of coffee drinkers such as myself, who don’t have enough of an income to justify spending $50 a month on the stuff, especially now when we need to focus on being more domestically productive and sustainable in the long term.

So, essentially, he’s saying it’s a luxury we don’t need and cutting it out is a good way to get healthy and save money. I probably can’t argue with that. But in the grand scheme of expensive things that are bad for us (booze, smokes, food) coffee is a tolerable luxury for me. Useful, even.

Then there was this article on about how Fair Trade coffee is in fact good for the world. (Perhaps a benefit that overrides the benefits of buying local, especially with a product that is practically impossible to buy locally.) It cites lots of reasons why coffee, particularly the Fair Trade variety, is beneficial to economies, people and the planet.

Maybe the growing push for saving the universe is why Starbucks plans to yet again double its purchases of certified Fair Trade coffee in 2009.

My head is spinning with all of this coffee concern. One thing’s for sure: I won’t save the world by giving up coffee. (Even if it could save the world, I’m still not so sure I’d give it up.) And there are a lot of external factors that change the dynamics about what kind of coffee is the best kind of coffee to buy. I’m still looking forward to the all-American Kona bean from Belleville. Fingers are crossed.


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