Is Coffee Vegan?

Is Coffee Vegan?

In today’s world many people who do not eat or use animal products may be asking the question “is coffee vegan?” if they consume on a regular basis is vegan or not.

The answer to this question is yes, all coffee starts out as being vegan but. Depending on where the coffee is produced in the world and what’s added to it some coffees may stop being vegan and could potentially be harmful to your health if you consume those coffee products too often.

How To Find Out If Your Coffee Is Vegan

To find out if your coffee is vegan you should find out where it was produced. You can do this by researching your favorite coffee brand online or by looking for a Rain Forest Alliance Seal on your can of coffee when you purchase it at your local store.

You should also examine if your coffee is shade grown or sun grown.

Coffee naturally flourishes underneath shady canopies of trees at high elevations in tropical and subtropical areas.

Hence, the reason we can (or used to) refer to coffee as a “shade-grown plant”.

However, many coffee plantations now harvest their beans in sunnier conditions, to speed up production and increase revenue.

Although this method might be more lucrative, sun-grown coffee leads to deforestation and a loss of biodiversity.

Why Sun-Grown Coffee Is Not Vegan-Friendly

While shade-grown coffee trees can last for 30 years or more, sun-grown must be replaced every 15 years or less.

Also, sun-grown coffee requires much more chemical input (such as chemical fertilizers, agricultural chemicals, and fungicides) and depletes the nutritional content of the soil.

Because the soil becomes nutrient deficient, this land is unusable for future sun-grown coffee plantations, forcing farmers to clear out entirely new landscapes altogether!

You can only imagine the chaos and destruction this process produces for the many species that rely on the trees and plants as shelter.

In contrast, shade-grown coffee prevents soil erosion, provides a safe-haven for countless animals and doesn’t produce toxic water runoff (from chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, etc.) that injures or kills wildlife.

USDA Organic Coffee Vs. Conventional Coffee

When you see a package of coffee that boasts this label, it means the farmers harvesting this coffee did not use most synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers for at least three years.

Coffee that is not processed by organic standards exposes farmers, animals, and the surrounding wildlife to these poisonous substances.

This process isn’t very vegan-friendly because it is harmful to animals, plants, and humans.

Organic coffee treatment, on the other hand, involves much less harmful contamination in the environment and fewer toxic chemical spills.

Not only do some believe that organic coffee tastes fuller and richer, but you can also rest easy (or wake more easily) knowing that your coffee didn’t put farmers or the environment under toxic chemical stress.

Be Careful When Using Coffee Ad On’s

Vegan or not, just about ever coffee drinker enjoys adding something to their coffees including milk, syrups and a wide variety of other “yummy’ things to make our coffees tasty.

Most vegans would never dream of pouring milk or cream into a cup of coffee, but when you are grabbing a pre-made coffee drink, you might not realize that it contains dairy. Some companies, like 11th Street Coffee, know that a lot of fancy gourmet coffee drinks end up drizzled with chocolate syrup that contains dairy even if the rest of the drink is vegan. Before ordering a fancy premade coffee at a shop, try to learn about each individual ingredient.

Examine Your Mixers Carefully

If you hate drinking your coffee black, you might be tempted to grab one of the many exotically-flavored non-dairy creamer options. Though these products do not contain dairy, you should still be careful. Many of them contain stabilizers and preservatives made from animal products. Always read the label and research unknown ingredients before trying a non-dairy creamer.

Pick Vegan Sweeteners

Unfortunately, many sweeteners secretly contain non-vegan materials. Of course honey is not vegan, but some commercial simple syrups may be also be preserved with animal products. Some types of refined sugars are even processed with animal bone charcoal filters during refinement procedures. As always, it is important to thoroughly research products and their companies before supporting them.

By practicing just a little bit of caution, it is easy to weed out non-vegan coffee products. You can still make many delicious drinks with soy milk, agave syrup, and other vegan options, so dedicated caffeine addicts do not need to give up their favorite treat when they go vegan. Vegan options continue to expand, so you can even find many vegan coffee shops and companies that produce vegan coffee products.

What’s Your Favorite Vegan Coffee?

Do you have a favorite vegan coffee? Leave us a comment below!

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