Keurig cups or other single cup coffee makers are more popular than
ever. Even most hotel rooms now are equipped with one.
There are some important issues with K-Cups that you should be paying attention to, concerning your health, your wallet and the environment. Here are 6 reasons why you should stop using them!
By the way, I have stopped using them for the last 3 weeks and I can’t believe how much better old fashioned coffee grounds taste!
Coffee can be beneficial for your health when sourced properly, but it is damaging when not. As is the case with most food items. The source of Keurig cups and other single cup coffee machines are questionable at best.
In addition to generally having very low quality standards, excessively mass produced coffee in these single cup coffee pods is destructive for the countries it comes from. Coffee production on this scale usually takes over smaller family farms and leverages them to produce more coffee for less pay and poor working conditions.
There could be books of information regarding coffee farm ethics, but simply put – coffee production on this scale is typically more destructive than beneficial for the farms that produce it.
In Over 11 billion officially endorsed “K-Cup” brand cups (there are additional knock off brands) that were sold in 2015 alone. Just in one year that is enough to wrap around the equator 14.5 times. Keep in mind, there are still plenty of other single cup coffee makers that have the same exact problem.
The bad news is all of that plastic isn’t going anywhere. 95% of the plastic used in creation of these billions of cups per year is made from the same #7 plastic which is NOT recyclable. Certainly Keurig is trying to make them more recyclable but the mix of plastic, coffee grounds and filtering system mixed with the fact that they are so small, leave them not getting recycled anyway.
How many people do you know who use Keurig cups that dismantle them after each use and separate into their respective “trash” and “recycling” bins?
Too Many Additives…
I’ve noticed that many of the single use coffee cups, or “pods”, are flavored. Where do you think that flavor comes from? Undeniably some questionable ingredients. Here is just one sample of many things I would never want to put into my body.
The ingredient list contains:
Sugar, Creamer (Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Glucose Syrup, Sodium Caseinate (from Milk), Sodium Polyphosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate, Silicon Dioxide), Nonfat Dry Milk, Instant Tea, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Modified Food Starch, Salt, Sucralose.
If you don’t see a problem with any of those ingredients, you need to start back at square one. I would not say there is one thing in that entire paragraph of an ingredient list that I would recommend for human consumption on a daily basis.
Nothing reminds me of waking up on Sunday mornings like the smell of stale coffee having being plast through chemical laden cups. Although there are options to use Keurig cups that can be recycled, the vast majority of cups being sold are still of the plastic variant. What is alarming is that Keurig claims the composition of these cups are #7 plastic, which is an “unknown” proprietary composition.
Sure, some of the containers are “BPA free” but that is like saying grains that are “gluten free” are also healthy for you. Not the case. There are still many other problematic chemicals in plastics and glues that are leached out with heat and are very damaging to your health and hormones. No one’s body was designed to processed foreign chemicals. This daily chemical soup should be a huge no-no to pregnant women, those breast feeding or anyone with hormonal imbalances.
Relatively, the use of Keurig cups are alarmingly expensive. New York Times did an excellent piece on breaking down the cost of Keurig coffee in relation to other “coffee snob” type of brands. The result? Keurig cups and the coffee they contain typically come out to over $50/lb. $50/lb for old stale Folgers brand coffee that is in a tiny plastic cup?
The highest end craft coffee found at Blue Bottle, Stumptown, Kahvelogy, Sightglass, Ritual and other local SF roasters don’t even come close to that mark at around $24-32/lb. Less than half of the price for much, much better quality coffee seems like a no brainer to me.
The Coffee Isn’t Fresh…
Not only is the daily use of Keurig cups more expensive, the quality leaves much to be desired. Coffee is best kept in whole bean form, then ground and brewed roughly 48-72 hours after roasting.
Of course this is a best case scenario, but the worst case scenario? Old stale coffee ground in plastic cups. This is the same thing as a jug of Folgers, except it costs much more per cup of coffee. If I’m spending any money on drinking something other than water, it better be darn good.
Old stale coffee that is shot through tiny little plastic cups? NO THANK YOU!
Edited excerpt of an article by Dr. Anthony Gustin