For a quick and easy pick-me-up, many in the West turn to coffee. Yes, that brown liquid that comes from roasted coffee beans. With around 100 mg of caffeine per cup, it delivers a powerful energy boost when you need it. However, drinking coffee has its downsides. Thankfully, there are more ethical and healthier alternatives to coffee like yerba mate.
Let’s take a look at the ethical and environmental problems with coffee.
For one thing, it takes a massive 140 liters/37 gallons of water to grow enough coffee beans needed to produce a single cup of coffee. That is a massive amount of water! A study published a few years appearing in BioScience found that most of the coffee farms in the world are causing massive destruction to the environments in which they are being grown. Specifically, the main issue is that most coffee shrubs are now being grown in direct sunlight instead of their natural shaded habitat.
This sort of cultivation is essentially monoculture farming like you see with corn and soybeans. The destructive nature of monoculture is well-known at this point, and coffee shouldn’t get a pass if we want to truly ensure our environment is a vibrant and healthy one.
Coffee farming is very resource-intensive and is driving tropical deforestation at a blazing rate. The environmental destruction of coffee growing goes on even further. Coffee wet milling destroys the ability for streams to provide drinking water for people in developing nations where coffee is grown. The polluted processing water gets into the local waterways and kills all life it comes into contact with, be it plants, animals, and even humans.
Also, slave-like conditions are commonplace in the coffee harvesting industry, especially the large coffee producers. Ther are also the major issues of debt slavery, the use of child labor, wage theft, and the highly unsafe use of toxic industrial-grade pesticides. Child slavery is rampant in the coffee industry, particularly in Guatemala and Columbia.
Enter: Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate is a plant popular in South American countries like Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina. In fact, it is far more popular than coffee in those nations. It provides a clean energy boost and contains less caffeine than coffee.
The energy you get from drinking a cup of yerba mate is more gradual and sustained than the quick and jittery jolt you get from coffee. The caffeine gets released differently, allowing your body to absorb it in a slower and more soothing way. That means you get the energy boost you can from coffee, but in a way that lacks the negative side effects of drinking coffee.
There is a reason why yerba mate has been called the “drink of the gods” for centuries. It comes loaded with powerful antioxidants. In fact, it’s even loaded with more antioxidants than green tea! It also contains an astonishing 24 vitamins and minerals, as well as 15 amino acids. It’s no wonder it is also called a “liquid vegetable” due to all of the powerful nutrients it contains.
Yerba mate is also much better for your digestive tract than coffee. It can take on parasites and clean out your digestive tract with ease. Not only that, but yerba mate has also been found to deactivate E. coli bacteria! Coffee is highly acidic, which can lead to developing ulcers, gastritis, acid reflux, and Crohn’s disease. Yerba mate not only doesn’t lead to any of those, but it supports a healthy digestive system.
With all of the great benefits yerba mate has to offer, and all of the downsides to coffee, the conscious choice for an external substance providing an energy boost is definitely yerba mate. Enjoy this crash-free energy raiser that is more ethical and healthier than coffee.
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