Organic Coffees

Written by Sarah Provost
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Organic coffees are those that have been certified by any of several international agencies as grown without the use of harmful substances such as chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Since coffee is a crop largely grown in poorer countries where workers are often uneducated and the profit margin is decidedly slim, the possibility of inappropriate use of petrochemicals is especially high. Growing organic coffees benefits both the producer and the consumer.

There has been a lot of controversy in the coffee community recently regarding the movement for "sustainable" growing practices. Producers of organic coffees feel that the movement is trying to co-opt the rising popularity of their product. Sustainable growing is not the same as organic growing, since it allows the use of chemicals.

Organic Coffees Are Available in All Varieties

You can purchases certified organic coffees at organic stores or over the Internet. These coffees are available in all the various roasts and from all the major coffee-producing areas. You can even get flavored beans, if you so desire, as well as decaffeinated beans.

There are many "cause coffees" on the market today, including Fair Trade, sustainable, bird-friendly and shade grown, but only coffee that is certified organic is guaranteed to be produced without chemical additives. Organic coffee is considered a "value-added" product, which means it costs a bit more than coffee that is not certified. However, when you consider the benefits, not only to your health but the health of the disadvantaged growers, it seems a small expense for a large result.

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