If you’re currently reaching for your first, second, or third cup of coffee of the day, you might want to rethink that caffeinated pick-me-up.
A judge in California will soon decide if coffee products should come with a warning about the harmful carcinogen acrylamide, which is produced during the roasting process. This comes following a lawsuit against Starbucks and multiple other coffee-selling companies who have failed to include warnings about the dangerous chemical on their products.
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment recently added new regulations requiring businesses to include more specific warnings about the risks posed to customers if their product contains the cancer-causing chemicals. Officials in California say that the warning is not intended to scare people, but rather, help people make better-informed decisions. It’s not yet clear how big of a hit the coffee industry would take if this rule is to be implemented.
Aside from its jittery usefulness and the social appeal of “meeting for coffee,” it was originally thought that your morning cup of java came with a side of health benefits like a decreased risk in Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as an overall longer lifespan. In fact, the National Institute of Health found that after a decade-long study on eating and drinking habits, those who regularly drank coffee actually had a 20% less chance of developing skin cancer than those who didn’t.
These conflicting bits of information might sway the judge’s decisions, but that might be easier to do than dissuade the die-hard coffee fan. The British Coffee Association reports that coffee is the most popular drink in the world, at about 2 billion cups consumed per day across the globe.
But, if knowing that coffee could be harmful to your health makes you want to ditch the daily espresso, there are other ways to get your caffeine fill. Certain tea like oolong, green, and black blends also contain high amounts of caffeine, so this unfortunate news about our beloved coffee doesn’t make you want to go right back to bed.
Will you be dissing your morning pick-me-up for your health’s sake?