Whenever I publish anything about the health benefits of drinking coffee, I get pushback from health-nuts like "it's too acidic..." or "it unbalances your chakras..." 

Now, I doubt if the people who write these things are amenable to facts but, for the record, here's what the most recent scientific report on dietary guidelines from the USDA has to say on the subject:

"Currently, strong evidence shows that consumption of coffee within the moderate range (3 to 5 cups per day or up to 400 mg/d caffeine) is not associated with increased long-term health risks among healthy individuals. In fact, consistent evidence indicates that coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults. Moreover, moderate evidence shows a protective association between caffeine intake and risk of Parkinson's disease. Therefore, moderate coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern, along with other healthful behaviors."

So it's official. Coffee is good for you.

Unfortunately, there are so many anti-science nut-cases running around (especially in California, apparently) that now some crackpot California judge recently ruled that coffee sold in California must be labeled as a carcinogen because it contains trace amounts of a chemical that, in huge doses, is connected with cancer in mice.

The science behind this silly ruling is so horrible that I suspect it's from the same hare-brains who brought us the anti-VAX movement and the prejudice against GMO food.

Now, you may think that the judge's ruling will only be an inconvenience to coffee vendors like Starbucks. After all, how much will it cost to add some signage in the California outlets. If only.

According to People magazine, the Calfornia coffee cancer case is proceeding to the civil penalty phase, where "coffee shops could wind up paying up to $2,500 for every coffee drinker each day since the lawsuit was filed in 2010."

Let me give a sense of the scope of how devastating that might be to Starbucks and its many competitors.

According to my back-of-the-envelope calculations, Starbucks has served roughly 3 trillion cups of coffee worldwide from 2010 to today. Assuming conservatively that California represents  5% of Starbuck's business, that's 145 billion cups.

Therefore, if the court rules that Starbucks must pay $2,500 per cup of coffee sold, Starbucks will immediately owe those customers $363 billion, which is about 17 times the company's annual revenue. Other vendors would owe similar amounts.

Needless to say, such a fine would put Starbucks out of business. The only way it could survive would be to raise the price of every cup of it sells. If the additional money needed to be raised in a single year, that would mean an average Starbucks cup of coffee would cost around $68.

Will somebody please tell California to stop with the BS already?

But enough for now... I'm going to brew myself another mug. Salut!

Published on: Apr 10, 2018