Sweet coffee karma to kickstart your day

If you are like me, you don't really start thinking in the morning until after you've had your coffee. But there are some important social, eco and health considerations to keep in mind before you brew.

Choosing a kind coffee

Look for a coffee that is organic, fair trade and shade grown. Organic means that no pesticides were used, which means no toxic run off in the precious rainforest habitats where coffee is grown. Fair trade advocates paying coffee producers fairly so that workers in developing countries are not exploited and are treated fairly. Shade grown means that the coffee was produced in a traditional manner in which the canopy of the rainforest (home to many endangered species) shades the crop. New developments have led to sun-grown coffee, which produces higher yields, but requires more fertilizer and is destructive to the rainforest.

Who doesn't want to start each day by making a good ethically sound and eco-friendly decision? You can find organic, fair trade and shade grown coffee just about anywhere. It tastes better, too! And no complaints about organic being too expensive, we're all guilty of paying $5 a cup at Starbucks. Brewing organic at home pales in cost comparison. 

Cream and sugar?

Have you ever thought about the creamer you put in your coffee? Are you using non-dairy powder or flavored Coffeemate? Go ahead, have a look at the label. There's no cream in it at all! And you can't pronounce much of anything on the label. Opt for real half and half or milk. That little bit of creamer you put in your coffee each morning is not making you fat. So lay off that fake, fat-free frightening stuff and enjoy something more natural.

As for sugar, rather than using artificial sweeteners or refined granulated sugar, look natural, simple sugar options. When I'm at Starbucks, I use a small amount of Sugar in the Raw. At home, I opt for a little agave nectar. Using a more natural, simple sugar, makes it easier for our bodies to convert sugar into energy. How sweet is that?

Hopefully this makes you think a little more about one of your simple everyday routines. Something so small as a cup of coffee makes a big impact on your health and the rest of the world. Just making these easy and delicious changes can make a difference.

Health, FoodChel Rogersonfood