COFFEE! Could kill you.
Every day the world consumes 300 tonnes of caffeine, enough for one cup of coffee for every man, women, and child. The #1 buyer in the world is the U.S.A, and they have to import almost all of it because the coffee trees that caffeine is harvested from can only grow at commercial levels in-between the Tropic Of Cancer and the Tropic Of Capricorn. That place is called the coffee belt. The only state in the coffee belt is Hawaii. That is also where the U.S.A gets its other coffee that it doesn’t have to import. But the U.S.A is only the largest buyer because it is so populous. The most enthusiastic coffee drinkers per capita are, in increasing order, The Netherlands, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and the world champion, Finland. In Finland they drink three times more coffee as the average American. But all of these countries have to import 100% of their caffeine supply. To get this caffeine first the bees have to pollenate the coffee trees' flowers, and these flowers turn into bright, red berries. Unlike more cooperative domestic plants, the coffee tree does not ripen all its berries at the same time, so they need to be hand picked and sorted.
When the coffee bean is picked, the bean is removed from inside the berry. Then the bean is dried, heated, ground, and then submerged into boiling water to get out the caffeine. It takes about 40 coffee beans to make one shot of espresso. But why is caffeine in the coffee beans in the first place? It is not like the coffee trees want to have people cutting bits off of them and committing a holocaust of their offspring. The trees don’t want or feel anything, and originally made caffeine for their own benefit. Caffeine is an insecticide that effectively paralyzes or kills bugs chomping down on the tree. Wether or not these insects go out experiencing the greatest caffeine high ever is not known.
While caffeine is technically lethal, its adapted for one gram bugs, not monkeys 100,000 times more massive. So you would really have to try to win this Darwin award. But if you must, to calculate the amount of caffeine you would have to ingest to have a 50% chance of dying is your mass in kilos. So if you weighed 50 kilos you would have to drink 50 cups of coffee to have a 50% chance of dying. That is a lot of coffee, so it isn’t surprising that there are no recorded deaths of healthy adults from this method. Also it might not even be possible. Because while you are busy getting coffee in, your body is busy getting it out one way or another. The rare recorded deaths of caffeine are from diet pills, pep pills, or crazy people who eat the drug in its real form. But you do still develop an addiction to it. But it is a real physiological addiction not a wimpy psychological addiction. But caffeine isn’t heroine, and rapid withdrawal won’t kill you. But it might make you cranky and give you a wicked headache. But since caffeine releases dopamine to make you happy and it gets rid of headaches there is really no reason to stop using it. Caffeine is the worlds most used psychoactive drug. For one reason, Its pure awesome! It increases concentration, decreases fatigue, and gives you better memory. This isn’t a placebo these are real effects replicable in a lab. But, contrary to popular belief, drinking coffee isn’t a faustian bargain where the devil gives you the ability to work faster, but in exchange makes your life shorter.
For normal healthy humans there are no medical concerns. Coffee and the caffeine inside it may even have medical benefits! Such as, protection from Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Parkinson’s. Do you know what else you can thank caffeine for? A little thing called the enlightenment. In the 1600s people drank more beer and gin than water. But with the introduction of coffee and tea, people switched from a depressant to a stimulant. Its not surprising then that this time was an intellectual boon compared to earlier centuries. Ben Franklin and Edward Lloyd loved their coffee for the same reason that modern students and workers do. Its valuable for staying awake and concentrating during tests and classes. Coffee is the fuel of the modern world, so go grab a cup guilt free and keep working smarter and faster.
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Posted by Ethan on 11/06 at 11:44 AM