My favorite way to start the morning is with a hot cup of delicious coffee. It gives me an instant boost, lifts me up and improves my mood in a second, and I know most of you feel the same about coffee. But what kind of coffee to you enjoy? To be honest, we mostly rely on coffee machines, which is a trend that has become increasingly popular as of late. Especially with all the variety of machines you can choose from, it’s a rare thing to see someone brewing coffee on their own. However, it seems that coffee brewing machines like Keurig, Nespresso, Dolce Gusto and the likes aren’t as safe for use as we believe. Studies have shown that these machines have a negative effect on the environment and on our health as well.
Coffee pods and their environmental safety
Coffee mods made of plastic, as they usually are, are not recyclable nor reusable, even the ones that are need to be processed to separate the different components. The most popular brands like Dolce Gusto, Keurig and Nespresso have been widely criticized for their environmental impact.
The Clean Water Action demanded from Keurig back in 2011 that they make their pods recyclable by the end of 2020 and they claim to be considering the option, but there is no such news up until now. Nespresso does give you an option to collect the used pods and recycle them but you need to purchase more for that. You could take them to a dedicated recycling plant but these are hard to find.
Why are these pods so complicated for recycling?
These coffee pods are made from plastic, aluminum, coffee grounds and paper filters, which should classify them as recyclable. But in order to do so, you need to separate the pod into the different components and this is not so easily accomplished. Moreover, experts claim that the small components in the pods are near to impossible to recycle as they usually fall through the cracks in the recycling machines.
The pods are made of extremely durable plastic which will not easily break down in waste grounds. Considering the growing popularity of these coffee pods it won’t be long before we’re on top of a huge mountain of Nespresso pods. You may think this is exaggerated, but there were so many coffee pods sold in 2013 alone, enough to go around our Earth 10 ½ times. And the sad truth is that the majority of the used pods end up in landfills, polluting our environment beyond repair.
These coffee machines are turning up to be connected to everything from infections to hormonal imbalances which is why they’ve been subject to scrutiny recently. One study took 30 stab tests conducted on the machines and it was discovered that there are more than 4 million bacteria and mold colonies in the water tanks alone. Among the bacteria they discovered were streptococcus, staphylococcus and pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Are the pods bad for our health as well?
The opinion on coffee pods is divided, some say they’re OK while others say they’re a health concern as well. The pods are made of plastic, which is commonly used in food preparation and production and the FDA has deemed it safe. However, the use of BPA in plastic is the major reason for concern, as it turned out that BPA is a chemical linked to hormonal imbalance and estrogen dominance.
Up until 2010 the FDA regarded BPA as safe for human use, but then they admitted that the chemical has been linked to brain damages and cancer in children, infants and even fetuses.
Most of the coffee pod producers, like Keurig, swear their pods are BPA free and made of high quality plastic which preserves the coffee flavor and aroma, but is this really so or not, we can never be sure. Studies have shown that plastic in general affect our estrogen levels negatively and can have a detrimental effect on our health when exposed to high temperature.
What about the Nespresso pods, they’re made of aluminum? They may not be plastic, but aluminum is just as dangerous if not even more. It has been linked to various health disorders and many experts advise against its use in food. Nothing is clear yet, but it seems that until more through research is done on the subject we can’t be sure in their safety.
And the coffee inside the pods?
Finally, we’ve got some got news and we can safely say that the espresso pods are nutritionally the same to filtered coffee. The lattes and cappuccinos contain a higher percent of fat and sugars which is bad for you on the long run. The flavored coffee pods are known to contain artificial colorings and flavorings, dipotassium phosphate, sodium caseinate and hydrogenated vegetable oil which are health detrimental.
If coffee pods are something you just can’t give up on, at least clean your coffee brewing machine more often and throw out the water after making your coffee. You can also find reusable coffee pods made of stainless steel which are environmentally safer, they’re available online.
Consider a different coffee machine like Aeropress, French press or Chemex, they make better, higher quality coffee and are safer for your health as well.
Article and image source: https://alternativehealthuniverse.com