Brown Stuff

illustration by John W. Tomac

illustration by John W. Tomac

Your Coffee Pods' Dirty Secret | Mother Jones.

I enjoyed this article for the information provided. I’m also alarmed, because I’m normal. It was some time ago that I read this, but Disqus plopped something down in my inbox last night linking back to it and I just happened to find myself perusing the comments again. Then I re-read the article. I tossed in a few extra comments just because. And I said something funny, unintentionally, which I’ll share with you. Hopefully you’re enjoying a cup of coffee while you read this and I’ve been able to give you a bit of a smile, if not a chuckle, before you head out into the monstrous machinery of corporatocracy and get chewed up before returning home for the day to fuel up, rest up and do it all again tomorrow. An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Maddie Oatman follows:

Another reason to look beyond plastic is a concern with what could leach out of the material when heated. Yusen confirmed that the #7 plastic used in K-Cups is BPA-free, safe, and “meets or exceeds applicable FDA standards.” But new evidence suggests that even non-BPA plastics can test positive for estrogenic activity. (Our “Frightening Field Guide to Common Plastics” contains more information about this.)

“No. 7 plastic means ‘other,'” says the NRDC’s Hoover. “You don’t know what it is.” One concern with this plastic mix is the presence of polystyrene, containing the chemical styrene, which Hoover warns is especially worrisome for workers. A possible carcinogen, styrene can wreak havoc on the nervous systems of those handling it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The chemical also shows up in tobacco smoke and home copy machines, and in the Styrofoam used in food containers.
The New York Times determined that single-brew coffee ends up costing more than $50 a pound, even for Folgers.

Keurig would not tell me what types of plastic go into its #7 blend, saying the information was proprietary, nor would it confirm or deny the presence of polystyrene in the mix.

Keurig does make a plastic and mesh reusable coffee filter. But why use a filter that necessitates cleaning—and also requires a fancy-schmancy brewing system—over the traditional method? As Hoover points out, “you’re essentially giving up the convenience of the little teeny tiny cup.”

One of my online comments in response to the above linked-to article follows, in image format:


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