It’s coffee that has virtually all of the caffeine removed from it. Mostly the land fill! Where do old coffee grounds go when they worn out and used up? May Cause Heart Complications. As for which method is best, let’s take a look. A full-sun coffee farm in central Colombia Much of the recent shift away from shade is due to the growth of the coffee industries in Brazil and Vietnam, the first- and second-biggest producers in the world in 2010, according to the study. Seriously go weigh your posh coffee bag and see how much it weighs, I’ll wait! Looking at a few papers and articles online confirmed that process improvements are underway and much less toxic chemicals will be needed to extract the oils for bio diesel. Being proprietary processes the exact differences are unknown. Most coffee is produced in conventional coffee farms that are portions of clear cut forest. And is decaf coffee or tea bad for you? November, 2019. I’m not going to stop drinking my decaf for the simple reason that most studies look at industrial uses of very concentrated methylene chloride. This is a great option if you have a have a compost pile in your yard. Decaffeinated coffee may have a harmful effect on the heart by increasing the levels of a specific cholesterol in the blood, researchers say. Even local governments exploit poorer local workers as a means to sell coffee to the global market. Probably not, I didn’t either until I read an article in Roast Magazine March/April 2020  about the permitting process for coffee roasters. Coffee wars rage on despite consumption drop. Summertime and the selling's still not easy (but it's getting easier). A quick google search showed that an interesting company called Terracycle offers a coffee bag recycling program. We spoke with registered dietitian, ... And if you’re worried about the effect on the environment of chemical decaffeination, again Carbon says you can rest assured no major harm is being done. A novel company in the UK, Bio Bean, is working on generating bio-diesel and burnable coffee logs from spent coffee grounds. (n.d.). Decaf is short for decaffeinated coffee. If you made it this far, congratulations! As a gardener I want lots of birds coming around and eating the slugs out of my garden! Almost no coffee is processed by C02 or triglyceride currently. Focus on Food. Swiss water process. More tomatoes, peppers and greens for me! Once it finally reaches the roaster then it gets roasted using natural gas or electricity (which is probably generated from coal or natural gas) to create that tasty coffee with aroma of dried cherries and notes of lime. I'm a coffee aficionado tired of dirty sock water decaf. Coffee Bespoke Blend Creation Packing & Packaging. Reading the Handbook of Complex Environmental Remediation Problems, on biofilters (filters using microbes), it lists methylene chloride/dichlormethane as having good biodegradability. Pesticides, poor farming practices, deforestation, loss of habitat, global shipping, energy usage in roasting and more transporting to you the end consumer. Exploitative labor is not directly an environmental issue but it does lead to environmental issues. Organic Choice. You can read the Wikipedia article here. Looking further into the matter I discovered a study linked here that shows over a ten year period workers exposed to high contractions of methylene chloride versus non exposed workers showed no difference in their liver, cardiac or neurological health! Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Otherwise like most other people you just throw them out in the garbage, they are not recyclable generally. Retrieved August 02, 2020, from https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/methylenechloride/hazards.html, Ecological Benefits of Shade-grown Coffee. (n.d.). C02 is highly pressurized and then used to wash the beans in a special chamber under pressure. If that’s not bad for the environment I don’t know what is! The chemicals used on decaffeinated coffee used to be toxic, but there are newer techniques. Allegro Organic French Decaf. Finally the economics of coffee drives farming practices. According to an article on serious eats linked here, it’s about 11 pounds of C02 per pound of coffee! https://www.accessengineeringlibrary.com/content/book/9780070276895/chapter/chapter3, Ahindra Nag. If you want to read all the concerns of methylene chloride you can see this link from OSHA. What is a supercritical fluid? Specialty coffee has been the biggest challenger to these practices both working directly with producers but also funding projects to produce higher grades to make wages and profits higher and benefit the producers more directly. Is this polluting? The compostable paper bag would be best though probably the shortest shelf life and least protection for the coffee. Recyclable Packaging . Our People; Case Studies; Blog; Contact; Decaffeinated Coffee. The decaffeination process generally is of low risk of environmental harm. Supercritical C02 method is probably the most modern and sci-fi but really the same principle. You can probably recall some  company in the news for making a decision to pollute something because it was the lowest cost method (and technically legal), cough, Love Canal, cough! From what I have read online, Starbucks is very generous with giving you all the grounds you could want if you call ahead. In Mark Pendergrast’s book, Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World, there is story after story of the coffee farmers often not breaking even on their coffee production costs. In the end it just saves them money to be environmentally minded. We spoke with registered dietitian, ... And if you’re worried about the effect on the environment of chemical decaffeination, again Carbon says you can rest assured no major harm is being done. Unfortunately, the process of growing coffee plants can negatively effect the environment. I’m not sure that really gets us anywhere though cool and interesting. The next best option is to ask your favorite local coffee shop to consider using compostable bags or at least some level of recyclable coffee bags. For webmasters. According to Wikipedia it is not an ozone depleting chemical due to its short life in the atmosphere. Go grab a nice cup of coffee or hopefully you were drinking one while reading this article. The answer is a qualified yes. Are the pastic bags any better, Im not sure, but I can at least reuse them a few times myself. If you want a great read about all the benefits of bird friendly coffee visit the Smithsonian National Zoo here. The Environmental Agenda. On more than one occasion I also mixed the two for a nice morning cocktail. There are many studies on the value chain of coffee and very little of it goes to the farmer. Sorry coffee gardens no luck unless you live in Hawaii. Ever since the discovery of coffee, experimentation with it has been, and still is, ongoing. Cities in Transition. Most conventional crops today follow a similar pattern but the big difference is the amount of energy required to produce coffee to its final form. (use of carbon in processing Swiss Water brand), environmental problems with decaffeinated coffee processing. A lot of the coffee producing world has a very poor population. Coffee is probably in general one of the most environmentally damaging and exploitative crops in the whole world. Read on and learn. As a home roaster the good news is most green coffee is shipped in paper or simple plastic bags. Is Decaf Bad for the Environment? Yeah, they’re full of chemicals to make all the layers of foil plastic and complex one way valves needed to seal in that awesome decaf from that trendy local roaster. Retrieved August 02, 2020, from https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/ecological-benefits-shade-grown-coffee, KJ;, S. (n.d.). Well if you’re like me and you save random empty coffee bags then you would have learned it’s probably around ½ oz of material. Most modern decaf coffee processing facilities will have the latest and greatest technology to safely handle the residual methyl chloride whether with biofilters or other technology. If you enjoyed this please share it and read some of my other great articles like 42 Reasons to Drink Decaf here. COPYRIGHT 1991 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc. I intend to be much more selctive if I can about the type of bags I buy. Coffee farming and production has a storied history of environmental problems. February, 2019. Perhaps you might luck into some of the less robust ones packed in kraft paper style bags that are compostable. At times farmers have even burned entire crops of coffee because the sale price was so low due oversupplies. It gets packed up and shipped to the store or you. Not bad I suppose. If you are searching for the best instant decaf coffee … Many people enjoy drinking coffee, but they want to limit their caffeine intake for personal preferences or health reasons. Local Community Coffee Community For Our Environment . Decaf coffee is produced with a variety of methods, chemicals and processes each with different factors that could be bad for the environment. Imagine the hardships that would lead to and how the environment is probably last on that list to protect. Retrieved August 02, 2020, from http://www.qusac.com/pages/get-educated/faqs/, Wilson, A. Methylene chloride decaffeination: bad process: or bad press? Decaf coffee provides a number of health benefits, making it a smart choice for people who are looking to minimize the amount of caffeine they consume. Going down an internet rabbit hole, I came across a query asking if decaf was bad for the environment. For me I love my coffee and will continue to support the best roasters with the highest quality decaf. Decaf coffee has a few main processes to decaffeinate the coffee which are listed below. "These … Awesome Tips for Decaf Lovers! The swiss water process/mountain water processes are basically identical in the fact the solvent used is water and is then filtered to remove the caffeine. Wow I know my head hurts just thinking how much diesel was burned shipping one pound of roaster coffee to your door! Awesome Tips for Decaf Lovers! “Regular and decaf coffee are natural plant foods that contains polyphenols," says Samantha Cassetty, RD, co-author of Sugar Shock. Madison, C. (2020). No difference! link to Decaf Lover's Guide to the Perfect Grind! Meister, (2018, August 09). India Sturgis and Richard Kieswick gave their verdict on a selection of the best decaf coffees. (2020, April 17). That said I’m not a doctor and if its a concern for your health speak to a qualified professional not some guy on the internet! Green tea really is greener: the milk in a cup of white tea or coffee creates more CO2 than boiling the water. For the enviroment my biggest issue after writing this article the is waste from the coffee bags. Sadly this novel method has gained little market share due to the much higher cost. Feedback | Honestly, the question about whether or not decaffeinated coffee is good or bad didn't even cross my mind, initially. Studies show exposure to even small amounts of methylene chloride can slow down the central nervous system temporarily. (2019, July 12). Shutterstock. Swiss Water process offers marketing program. Did you know that coffee roasting can release volatile organic compounds, particulates and other nasties? The EPA has mandated pretty strict controls of roaster air leaving a roastery. Is Your Decaf Coffee Organic? Decaffeination processes that use methylene chloride have given decaf coffee a bad name. Next the coffee was flo from Guatemala or Sumantra to a warehouse in the US (or wherever you live), next shipped by truck to a decaffeination processor, then tricked again to a roaster, roasted again with most likely coal or natural gas generated electricity, then packed and shipped again by truck to your place of purchase. Where does that leave us coffee drinkers? The solvent can be recycled for further use.”. 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