Friday, April 8, 2011
Did you know that coffee is the heaviest chemically treated food commodity in the world? All over the world corporate coffee companies, grubbing for money, use chemicals like DDT and Malathion which are common pesticides, but illegal to use on American soil. The most common chemical used in coffee production is synthetic petroleum based fertilizers which slowly destroy the soil's fertility, and seep into local water supplies, exposing coffee workers,and local townspeople to cancer and birth defects. Also, coffee companies account for a large portion of deforestation. Original coffee trees do not need sunlight, but grow underneath the canopy of a forest. Coffee corporations, in the name of progress, have created sunlight resistent coffee tree hybrids that do not need to be under a shaded canopy, and in order to create room for these hybrids they are cutting away forested areas all over the world at an alarming rate. The coffee industry also accounts for some of the worst working conditions in the world. The average worker harvesting coffee for wealthy landlords makes .25 cents an hour, and works 12 to 14 hours a day. Also, some of the small coffee farms around the world that do take time to make fine coffee are being cheated by middlemen known as "coyotes". These middlemen buy up small, quality coffee farms for big corporations for pennies on the dollar. So coffee corporations are getting rich, while the farmers and their families are starving. So what is the answer? Not all coffee is created equal. Pay attention to the brands you buy. See if they are instituting fair trade and sustainable agriculture. Care about the planet, because God does.