People should drink less coffee to combat climate change, study says

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People should drink less coffee to combat climate change, study says

Canadian researchers analyzed coffee’s “contribution to climate change” in a piece published in early January and suggested people moderate their consumption of the popular drink as a part of the solution.

Researchers Luciano Rodrigues Viana, Charles Marty, Jean-François Boucher and Pierre-Luc Dessureault wrote in an analysis published in The Conversation that pollution from preparing coffee was “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“Limiting your contribution to climate change requires an adapted diet, and coffee is no exception. Choosing a mode of coffee preparation that emits less GHGs (greenhouse gases) and moderating your consumption are part of the solution,” the researchers at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi wrote. 

The study also found that using coffee pods to brew coffee contributed less to the carbon footprint than brewing coffee with a traditional filter. 

“Our analysis clearly showed that traditional filter coffee has the highest carbon footprint, mainly because a greater quantity of coffee powder is used to produce the amount of coffee. This process also consumes more electricity to heat the water and keep it warm,” the researchers wrote. 

The researchers compared brewing with coffee pods, brewing coffee the traditional way in a coffee maker, brewing coffee with a French press and using instant coffee.

Coffee
A Canadian study says the people should reduce their coffee intake to combat climate change.
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“Our analysis clearly showed that traditional filter coffee has the highest carbon footprint, mainly because a greater quantity of coffee powder is used to produce the amount of coffee. This process also consumes more electricity to heat the water and keep it warm,” the researchers wrote. 

They found that instant coffee was the most environmentally sound. 

Coffee production contributed more to total emissions than coffee preparation, according to the analysis. 

“This mechanization, irrigation and use of nitrous oxide-emitting fertilizers — the production of which requires large quantities of natural gas — greatly contribute to coffee’s carbon footprint,” the researchers said. 

The researchers also added that the convenience of coffee pods might lead people to double their coffee consumption and in turn make the environmental advantage “redundant.”

Studies released last year found that drinking one to two cups of coffee a day may benefit heart health. 

The American College of Cardiology found in a study released in March 2022 that coffee was associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and dangerous heart rhythms. 

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