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Growing Organic Coffee Means A Cleaner And More Efficient Environment

Aug 18, 2007
Not all coffee beans are grown in environments that consist of huge commercial coffee plantations that are located in remote places in far off southern Latin American countries and it is also another common assumption that growing coffee requires plenty of sunshine as well.

There are however different kinds of coffee crops that grow under different conditions and which use different procedures of harvesting. Thus one can think of two different types of coffee that include the shade grown or organic coffee and the traditional coffee that is grown in direct sunlight.

Two Types Of Coffee

These two types of coffees are diametrically opposite as far as their production is concerned. There was a time when coffee was only grown in the shade and it was much like the present day organic coffee that we drink today. It is not usual for most kinds of coffee to grow properly under direct sunlight and grow at their best when under shade.

Thus shade grown coffee or organic coffee are used to benefiting from the falling of leaves that are instrumental in mulching the soil and helping in retaining moisture. Also, such type of coffee, when grown beneath trees means that the trees provide a home to birds and thus are a way of controlling pests.

Till about thirty years ago there was not much fertilizer or pesticides used and thus organic coffee was synonymous with healthy production. Then, in the seventies a number of new varieties of coffee began to appear and new methods of producing coffee became known which meant production of more Coffee beans, slower rate of harvesting and also use of direct sunlight to grow the crops.

Thus, the coming of non-organic coffee meant that farmers began to cut down on trees so that they could make plantation rows and in the United States alone it meant almost two million acres of land being dedicated to both organic as well as non-organic coffee growth. Only those farmers that were too poor to use fertilizers as well as pesticides continued producing organic coffee.

There is little doubt that organic coffee does cost a bit more, but the transition from organic to the sun coffee has also meant that the environment is being sacrificed. With erosion of soil and the depletion of nutrients, more chemical fertilizers are being sprayed into the ground and there has also been the removal of rainforest land just so that non-organic coffee can be grown.

This has led to just a few countries remaining that are still producing organic coffee and these countries include Ethiopia, Panama, El Salvador and Mexico. The bigger producers of coffee such as Costa Rica and Brazil are now producing sun coffee.

In the end, organic coffee does mean a better and cleaner environment that does produce a better coffee as far as health and a clean environment are concerned.
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