In the search to find the best K-Cup® coffee, a common question is, "Are Organic K-Cup® pods available?" We are happy to say yes; organic K-Cup® coffee does exist, made by two very reputable roasters; Green Mountain and Newman's Own. I will admit the sheer lack of choice is a bit disheartening, however, when the choices are superior, maybe it is all we need!
Before we get too far, I would like to define exactly organic means. Organic certification is issued by the USDA, according to their website to receive their approval; the food product must:
"Integrate cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity."This is achieved using these key factors:
- The item and its ingredients must be 95% free of synthetic additives such as pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes.
- The product must not be produced using industrial solvents, irradiation (exposure to radiation), or genetic engineering.
- Livestock must have access to the outdoors and must be served organic feed. Also, the animals may not be treated with antibiotics, given growth hormones or fed animal byproducts.
- The soil that the item is grown in must have been treated organically for at least three years prior to certification.
- There must be a buffer between an organic farm and any neighboring conventional farms.
- There must be a crop rotation plan in place.
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All sounds pretty good, doesn't it? The benefits of this holistic sort of farming are nearly countless for both the consumer and the environment including:
- Organics are usually fresher as they are generally grown locally (this, of course, does not apply to coffee, unfortunately).
- It has been argued that organic foods contain more vitamins and nutrients.
- Organic farming uses far less water than conventional methods.
- Soils eroded less rapidly.
- There is a substantial reduction in the use of pesticides and existence of pesticide residue on our foods.
- Less energy is used in the production of organic foods.
- Surrounding residents experience an increased level of health.
- There is a decrease in the production of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
- Animals that are raised organically experience a healthier, happier life.
- Less pollution enters the atmosphere.
- Soils maintain and in fact increase fertility.
- There is a decreased chance of mad cow disease.
- Biodiversity is maintained.
Organic coffee is subject to all of the above scrutiny and benefits plus it is subject to the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 which extends further stipulations to the handling of the beans after they are grown and harvested. Nearly 75% of organic coffee comes from Latin America but, other growers are scattered around the globe.
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One of my long time favorites hails from Sumatra and bears its name (meaning it is a single origin coffee), Green Mountain Sumatran Reserve is a top pick when it comes to organic K-Cup® pods. This dark roast is a long time best seller.
Our second choice in organic K-Cup® coffee, Newman's Special Blend, and Special Blend Decaf is a coffee very near and dear to my heart. I adore the Newman's brand and their mission to donate 100% of proceeds to charity. Special Blend is labeled a medium roast but, it borders on the edge of darkness.
Both of these amazing organic K-Cup® coffees take it one step further and are Fair Trade certified. To read more about the benefits of Fair Trade coffees, click here. Fair Trade helps to negate the increased cost of growing organically. Surprisingly, in the case of organic K-Cup® pods, this cost has not been passed on to the consumer. The only way to thank these farmers is for coffee wholesalers to abide by a Fair Trade certification, so farmers are not tempted to succumb to cheaper conventional methods.
Moreover, we can support their efforts quite easily, in fact, it takes only three words...buy their product.
- Keurig® K-Cup® tasting review: Newman's Special Blend
- Keurig® K-Cup® tasting review: Green Mountain Sumatran Reserve
Thank you the following sources: