I started drinking coffee years ago, back when most of my family was drinking Maxwell House. I didn't know much about coffee, and never really wanted to find out. I just wanted to get my daily fix.
However, as I began my journey into nutrition, I began reading about the farming practices of coffee beans. The more I read and studied, the more horrified I was. Artificial flavors. Inhumane farming conditions. Pesticides, insecticides, and chlorine. I had no idea that my little caffeine addiction was really costing me in terms of my health.
Today, I purchase my coffee each week at my local farmer's market from a place called Mostly Myrtle's. Their coffee is organic and fair trade. There are a multitude of reasons why organic and fair trade coffees are better for you, ranging from taste to biodiversity to the way that the beans are pressed. Purchasing fair trade coffee ensures that you are supporting local farmers, and instead of the money from your purchase passing through the hands of many middle men, you are directly supporting the farmers who are growing your coffee. In addition, organically grown coffee beans are reducing the use of harmful agrochemicals, pesticides, and other chemical additives.
In a 2014 interview with Maxwell House plant manager Joe Waryold, he is quoted as saying, "Each and every employee knows exactly how the coffee must look, smell and taste. If it doesn’t measure up, we take immediate action to fix it." I would be curious as to what actions would be taken to "fix" the coffee so that it tastes like every other cup. The beauty of organically farmed coffee is that no two bags ever taste the same, however, every bag tastes like COFFEE, instead of like some chemically altered version of coffee.
I also really appreciate being able to speak directly to the good people of Mostly Myrtle's. They know each bag of coffee that they are selling intimately, from how it was farmed under the canopies of rain forests, to how the beans were pressed and processed, and how the families in the coffee bean communities use the income made from the farming of the beans.
Switching to organic coffee was the best move that I could have made. Recent studies show that 1-2 cups of coffee consumed daily have potential health benefits, such as reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Plus -- it really does taste better!