I'M ABOUT TO DROP SOME REAL SCARY KNOWLEDGE ON THAT ASS.
The coffee industry is super fucked up. Coffee is one of the biggest agricultural commodities in the world, with something like 12 billion pounds of beans traded annually. Holy crap, right? The global thirst for coffee has turned what used to be a family-farm crop, mostly coming out of South America, into a globalized, corporatized money-mongering machine.
(Just like sugar. The sugar industry is also super fucked up... but that's a dismal tale for another time.)
This hyper greedfest for profit has dumped a shitton of chemicals into our coffee, just so the big names can squeeze as many big beans from as many big trees as (bigly) possible. Big. That's the theme here, in case you weren't paying attention. Big names, big operations, big yields, bigbatches, big profits. Chemical-induced bigness. (Big mess.)
Coffee is the heaviest chemically treated crop in the world. I shit you not.
FUCK THE CHEMICAL MAN.
Pretty much every non-organic coffee bean out there has been ambushed with synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides – the latter of which runs the gamut from insecticides, nematicides and rodenticides to fungicides and herbicides. That's too many 'cides, yo.
Fertilizers are clandestine knaves. In other words, they're sly motherfuckers. They're used to amp up the nutrient load of the soil, which sounds all good & awesome until you add in that critical time component (a variable humans love to overlook) and you get slow, but serious destruction of soil fertility and chemical-laden water supplies for the locals. Fertilizers also promote the growth of harmful aquatic organisms like algae, which can further fuck up ecosystems. Boo.
Pesticides are nasty assholes, too. They're used to repel and terminate undesirable pests (insects, weeds, plants, etc.) that either feed on the crop or compete for root space, nutrients and water. But a lot of these synthetic fuckers are nonselective (they just LOVE TO KILL), and kill the good/neutral guys along with the targeted "pests." Good guys like bees and ladybugs :/ Das fucked up, man.
IT ALL GOES DOWNHILL FROM HERE.
And it gets worse (Sorry, guys.) Coffee is usually grown at higher altitudes, either in mountainous or foothill regions. This means that all that crap they put in the soil and splooge on the trees not only ends up in the beans (gross), but is also washed away by rain and gravity into streams, creeks and rivers at the very top of the watershed. This means that nasty shit is being added to the rivers from the get-go. We have come to accept that river water will be a bit icky once it makes its way down to the sea (New York Harbor and Boston, now put your hands up). But this is a whole new way to pollute water: RIGHT AT THE FUCKING SOURCE.
So not only are the farmers and agricultural workers exposed to this nasty shit, but so is everyone who lives downstream. Then that swirling mess of chemical goo gets absorbed by the sea. It's just beyond fucked up.
IT'S A SHADEBALL WORLD, AFTER ALL.
K, so get ready for another layer of douchefuckery. (Don't say I didn't warn you. I told you this story was fucked up.) Coffee trees don't like direct sunlight. They like growing under the cool shade of dense forest. And this makes them pretty particular – wonderfully finicky little buggers. And this pisses off the big names. They want big operations, big yields and big profits, remember? So to put a firecracker under productivity, the coffee industry has developed sun-resistant coffee tree hybrids that now account for about 70% (!!!) of the world's coffee production. This means forests are being cleared at fucked-up rates to make room for these sun-resistant Frankenstein trees. (Sorry, that was a bit harsh. Frank was a great guy. Misunderstood, sure, but aren't we all?) All this forest fuckery fucks with the land's fertility (soil depletion), biodiversity (monoculture) and stability (erosion/pollution). This shit ain't sustainable, fool.
UGH, HOW DEPRESSING. SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
We can refuse to buy it.
Do what Nike said (Just do it), and then do what Missy Elliot said (flip it and reverse it). Aka, just don't. Never-ever. Commit to buying organic coffee only. Yeah, sure, it's more expensive. It's always more expensive for the good stuff. Just how things go, yo. But that's just short-term thinking. (Once again, another thing humans are flipping famous for.) You know how economics works. A plus in one column means a minus in the other. Or, if it's physics you fancy: Matter is neither created or destroyed. Any savings you reap from the purchase of non-organic coffee is literally being plucked from the sustainability of our land. And unsustainable land = fucked-up future for our children and grandchildren. (Like that dusty, barren world in Interstellar.)
I don't want to come off like some crazy left-wing lib-tard, but this is just the truth. It seems panicked and dramatic because it is. The future will pay BIG-time for our self-interested, short-sighted "savings."
SOME GOOD NEWS, MY LORD?
It's already working. Over the last five years, the number of new or existing coffee growers that are using partially organic or fully/certified organic farming practices has grown by a few hundred percent. This is solely due to demand. Due to people like you and me who insist on nothing less than the organic, good-for-the-world, sustainable-as-a-motherfucker stuff. Demand goes up, price down. Econ 101.
And then there's the taste factor: The organic beans are undeniably a hundred times better than the mass-produced, chemically stripped shit. Win-win, mon frère.
BEING GOOD IS EASY.
All you have to do is take a sip of some artisan-roasted, organic coffee – preferably the Great Fucking stuff – to taste/smell/see the difference. It's dramatic as fuck. Like a whole new world of decadence in your mouth/nose/throat/belly. I swear that organic coffee just feels better in my body. Biased opinion? Sure. But that doesn't mean it ain't true. Judge for yourself, my scrupulous brother or sister.
Make your next bag of coffee a big-ass bag of organic beans from us here at GreatFuckingCoffee.com – or from anyone else slingin' the good stuff. (Because any of the good stuff will do, in the grand scheme of things. Ours still rocks the most-est, though.)
Entire generations of this entire planet will be glad that you did. And so will your insides.
Love you all.
Cheers to sippin' on the good stuff.
Head Motherfucker In Charge