Coffee Rant: Politics

Ugh, politics.

I can’t stand politics. Leaves such a nasty taste in my mouth.

Defined as the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power, politics has a way of beating my soul down to the point of hopelessness, leaving me feeling unheard, abused, and just generally disappointed in the human race. Politics is so easily influenced by egoism and misinformation, that it very rarely achieves what is healthy and good for the population and is mostly just a waste of time and resources.

And poor coffee. This week, politics has been very cruel to coffee.

It all started in California.

Now I try not to be prejudiced against California, but I am deeply prejudiced against California. Blame my long tenure in Colorado and Texas for my bias (residents of both states have a lot of pride in their home), but with all the news about its high costs of living, natural disasters, and celebrity drama, I really don’t understand why anyone would willingly choose to live there. My lack of understanding has only increased with its most recent stunt.


CNBC provides a good breakdown of events, but the shortened version of the issue is that coffee sellers in the state are now required to post cancer warnings at the point-of-sale because the chemical acrylamide, which can cause cancer and nerve damage at high doses, is present in coffee after roasting.

Y’all, acrylamide is not present at high enough levels in coffee to cause cancer and nerve damage. In fact, studies have shown that coffee is, in moderation, a beverage that is beneficial to health and may actually help lower the risk of certain kinds of cancer. Add to that the fact that acrylamide is also present in baked goods and other household products that are used safely every single day, and it becomes clear that this new requirement is a total overreaction and absolutely absurd.

And as if that’s not bad enough, failure to post the cancer warning can cost a seller $2,500 per case of “exposure.”

My God, California, chill.

Also following in that example of unnecessary and illogical action, the United States is officially withdrawing from the International Coffee Agreement. The agreement, which is supported by a majority of coffee producing and consuming countries, was created to help provide stability to the coffee market, but in a move to “Make America Great Again,” it has been decided that the U.S. will no longer take part of the agreement.

Why? I don’t know.

Considering the U.S. is a major coffee consumer with only one coffee producing state, pulling out of an international agreement that was created to provide stability to the market seems, I don’t know, kind of idiotic to me. Call me crazy, but it seems that, if we want to ensure constant supply and eliminate volatile pricing, we might just have to work with other countries and, gosh, I don’t know, maybe treat them with some respect?

What a concept.

Anyway, coffee is an amazing beverage and commodity. It has brought people and communities, both domestic and international, together. It has provided inspiration and been a source of innovation. It has supported growth intellectually, physically, and emotionally for individuals and countries as a whole. The political actions of this past week have only served to stifle those positive attributes, and they ironically enough punish the citizens of this country.

It’s a sad political climate when the real carcinogenic and oppressive threat is actually our own representatives. While I do not have any solutions for this terrible situation, I do hope that these ridiculous actions will inspire competent, knowledgable individuals – individuals who understand that government positions are meant for serving, not ruling – to run for office. It is only then that we will see America become great again.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep drinking my cup o’ cancer.


The one and the only Pookachino

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