Who doesn’t feel instantly energized by the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning? Sometimes we just need that little pick-me-up before getting the kids out of bed, or facing into an early morning meeting.
Since we’re all strapped for time, and live in a culture of convenience, it’s no surprise that so many of us rely on our single-cup coffee brewing machines for our caffeine hit. In fact, the National Coffee Association of the USA found that, in 2015, 27% of Americans use a single-cup brewing system, up from a mere 7% just four years ago!
However, this rising trend may be a cause for concern – particularly if you take into account the environmental impact of all these coffee pods, along with the health concerns surrounding the cleanliness of the machines and use of plastics in the pods.
Let’s take a look at some of the main concerns surrounding these machines.
In general, these plastic and metal capsules aren’t recyclable, or at the very least require additional processing to separate the components before recycling.
Some of the biggest companies – like Nespresso, Keurig and Nescafe’s Dolce Gusto (which lead the way in Europe) – don’t offer easily recyclable pods.
Keurig has long been criticized for the difficulty in recycling its coffee pods, known as K-Cups. In 2011, they were condemned by Clean Water Action, prompting the American manufacturer to pledge that all K-Cups would be recyclable by 2020. Similarly, Nescafe state they are ‘exploring a number of possible options’ for recycling their pods, but have given no definite date for when this will happen.
From concerns about hormones to bacteria, the single-serve coffee maker has come under scrutiny again and again in the online realm.
How Clean is Your Machine?
According to a swab test conducted of 28 coffee machines recently by a Pittsburg station, over 4 million colonies of harmful bacteria and mold was found in the water tanks, pod compartment, spout and tray of more than half of the machines. Strains of bacteria like E.coli, staphylococcus, streptococcus and pseudomonas aeruginosa were found.
NSF International, the public health and safety organization, conducted a study to find the ‘germiest room in the home’. It was, of course, the kitchen, with the coffee maker reservoir showing higher germ counts than bathroom sinks and even your Labrador’s slobbery chew toy!
What About the Coffee Grounds?
Coffee is a low calorie drink, and can have several health benefits when enjoyed in moderation. The good news for the calorie conscious is that standard espresso pods have the same nutritional value as regular filtered coffee.
However, specialty coffee pods, such as Cappuccinos or lattes, do not. A Cappuccino pod can have around 80 calories, including 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of the dreaded sugar. Flavored pods also contain a lot of additives like Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Sodium Caseinate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide, artificial colors and flavorings and lots more.
That’s a far cry from the two natural ingredients – coffee beans and water – that are meant to make up your morning brew!
Read more: https://www.naturallivingideas.com/heres-why-you-should-stop-using-your-single-cup-coffee-maker-right-now/