This is a problem.
In the year 2019, more than 9 billion pounds of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and other chemicals were used on crops across the globe. Equally striking and perhaps even more disappointing is that in just under 30 years, the quantity of agricultural chemical use nearly doubled - from 5 to 9 billion - from 1990 to 2019.
It's hard not to let the mind wander and consider what the next 30 years mean for industrial farming, human health, and our planet.
These chemicals have proven to be extremely harmful to humans who are exposed to them, which can be from handling the crops, exposure to polluted air and water, or consuming foods covered in residual chemicals.
Speaking in relation to effects on humans, it's the worst of the worst. Several studies have linked high exposure to pesticides with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and aggressive cancers.
Coffee happens to be one of the most chemically treated crops in the world, and regulations for the maximum residual levels of chemicals on imported crops are, at best, loose. While residual chemicals are likely reduced through the roasting process, studies have shown at least some residual chemical presence in roasted coffee.
The good new is, when you buy organically grown coffee, you know there were no synthetic fertilizers or chemicals used to grow that coffee. Choosing to buy organic coffee is a vote for your health, and a vote for cleaner air, land, and water.