Every morning, my husband brings me coffee in bed. He tiptoes in and leaves a steaming mug on the nightstand. I catch the rich aroma first, then ease upright for a first warm sip. When I step out of bed I have a better outlook on life—and have gotten a healthy dose of anti-oxidants.
Coffee used to be a vice. Doctors warned it could stunt your growth… make you jittery… increase your cardiovascular risk. Now the tables have turned!
Did you know that…
- coffee is one of the main sources of anti-oxidants in the American diet
- coffee may lower the risk for stroke in women as well as prostate and endometrial cancers, and depression
- coffee is healthier (and tastier) if you grind it right before brewing because there is less surface area to oxidize beforehand
- filtered coffee may be heart healthier because the (hopefully unbleached) paper filters absorb some of the coffee oils that may be problematic for your cholesterol levels. (And an unbleached filter full of coffee grounds will compost nicely!)
Can it get any better?
Yes it can; coffee can become socially responsible too.
Recently I learned of a project sponsored by Equal Exchange (note that Mambo Sprouts supplied me with a lb of coffee for purposes of this review) that supports the Panzi Hospital in the Congo. The Congo is an African nation plagued by poverty, war and sexual violence. Equal Exchange donates $2 for every retail bag sold ($1 wholesale) to support the work of the Panzi Foundation. For more on this initiative, take a look at their website.
In addition to supporting this worthwhile effort, the coffee is fair trade certified (which means that workers get livable wages), USDA organic (which means that neither the workers, nor the planet are doused with toxic chemicals), and delicious, comparing favorably to the higher end organic coffees I usually drink!
So I am happy to say that this beverage that is near and dear to my taste buds can now be near and dear to my conscience—especially now. You see, I am a morning coffee lover year round but give me a good cup in winter and the winds can howl around me all night long.
And I feel even warmer if my coffee supports something more.
Good for you, good for humanity, good for the planet. Sweet.