K-Cups and Their Link to Metabolism, Reproductive Health, and Cancer

This is not news, but so often people don’t stop to think about how things are made before putting them into or onto their body. Whenever the combination of heat, moisture and plastic are involved, leaching of chemicals from the plastic occurs. It is best to brew coffee in the traditional makers, made of glass or stainless steel. As far as drinking it, ceramic or glass is best. Even most of those paper cups that delicatessens provide for their takeout hot liquids, has a coating of a thin plastic inside.

Some links for those who would like more info than what is provided in the original article below (these are about chemicals in plastic in general):

Plastics and Human Health

Environmental Heath Prospectives

The Mommy Illuminati

Brew for a steaming fresh cup of plastic

Author: Dr. Cora Rivard, Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) and owner of Seasons Natural Healthcare, LLC in Derry, NH. Dr. Rivard has been practicing naturopathic family healthcare since 2006, serving patients who travel from all over New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Visit her website at http://www.seasonsnatural.com.

This subject has been a big ol’ bee in my bonnet for a long time, especially since the Keurig style coffee systems are now ubiquitous. Much focus in recent years has revolved around the studies of potential dangers of BPA, or bisphenol A, but what about the myriad of other chemicals commonly used in plastics, demonstrated to also have damaging effects in the body because of estrogen-mimicking chemicals?

The short story is this- plastics are very much a part of our lives, and some have been designated better for use in food packaging. Their safety profile has…

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About Raising Natural Kids

A mother of three looking to raise awareness about the everyday issues that parents face, focusing on raising children holistically.
This entry was posted in Food, Toxic Chemicals Around Children and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to K-Cups and Their Link to Metabolism, Reproductive Health, and Cancer

  1. Loralee says:

    I understand the danger here, but how is this different than the plastic that the entire coffee maker is made of. Is there something different about the plastic used?

    • Both not good, but the plastic of k-kups is a softer plastic, and leaches quicker.

      • Scott McCain says:

        Can you cite any studies that says “softer” plastic leaches quicker? Or is that just something you feel is intuitive? Hard plastic contains BPA, soft plastic does not. I think, rather than hating all plastic, you should reevaluate. You would be hard pressed to remove all plastic and plastic derived products from your life. Do some research. Just because it’s plastic doesn’t make it bad. It’s what they put in the plastic to get the look and feel that the consumer wants (like the hard, clear plastic used in soft drink bottles and water bottles). Ever noticed how baby formula bottles are soft and cloudy? That’s for a reason – less BPA.

      • Actually, BPA is being replaced in baby bottles, but instead makers are using something that still disrupts hormones – EA (estrogenic activity). I do not use plastic baby bottles at all. I nurse, but for rare occasion that I pump, I use glass bottles to avoid any chemicals leaching. Obviously we cannot avoid all plastic. I am not suggesting that at all. What I am suggesting is that we can minimize exposure where it counts, like what comes into contact with things that we and our children consume. As far as softer plastics – in order to soften the plastics, phthalates are used – read more about them here: http://www.earthresource.org/campaigns/capp/capp-health.html
        Here are some other links: http://chriskresser.com/how-plastic-food-containers-could-be-making-you-fat-infertile-and-sick

  2. Tiffany says:

    What if you use the reusable filter for the Keurig, where you add your own coffee. Is that any better than the plastic k-cups, or is it no different?

  3. jordin says:

    Glass french press!!!

  4. Alice Pft says:

    I have a stainless steel french press, it rocks.

  5. Melanie says:

    It is extremely simple to make coffe-for-one (deliciously) by boiling water in a stainless steel kettle and pouring into a glass/stainless French Press. No waste. I’m a single mom with a long commute and I only takes a couple of minutes. It’s finished before I’m dressed every day. You can add cocoa or cinnamon to the press as well if you want a change, or loose tea.

  6. Brandi says:

    You say the k-cups are softer and leach quicker. Since these are one time use cups is that really an issue? Is “quicker” the 45 seconds it takes to brew a cup of coffee?

  7. i don’t know what these are. can anyone fill me in please? 🙂 thanks

  8. kmkcb13@aol.com says:

    You really know how to bust my bubble. lol Besides spending time with my kids and grandkids it is the only pleasure I still have. Did you know there is an organic k-cup that is 97% bio-degradable and cheaper than all the rest. Check out RogersFamilyCo.com

  9. Cheryl says:

    I use these 97% biodegradable ONE cups. http://www.sanfranciscobaycoffee.com/index.php/bio-degradable-onecup-launches/
    From their site: made from renewable plant based film derived from renewable resources such as pulp, paper and wood. The OneCup™ ring is not made from petroleum, like other brands. We choose to use a renewable plant based material. These sources of the material can include vegetable oil, various plant starches, and by-products from trees. Currently the OneCup™ mesh filter is made from food-grade polyester that provides maximum flavor extraction during the brewing process. We are working on a biodegradable alternative to the current filter for the near future.
    The inner bag containing the OneCup™ pods is made from wood pulp, typically sourced from hard wood species such as eucalyptus. The wood pulp is sourced from suppliers who only operate sustainable forestry management principles.


  10. Tom Robbins says:

    I hope children aren’t drinking coffee

  11. Heidi says:

    What about the plastic receptacle that hold the paper filter in a traditional style coffee maker? Is that just as dangerous?

    • Not just as dangerous – again, certain makers do not have any plastic, like stainless steel or french press. As far as the plastic you are talking of, it’s still not great, but it’s a harder plastic, so doesn’t leach as easily.

  12. Digger says:

    “K-Cup® and Vue® packs do not contain BPA and are constructed using FDA-approved food safe materials. We also use FDA-approved food safe materials in our K-Cup® and Vue® brewing systems, and neither system contains BPA within its water paths (as of January 1, 2010 for our K-Cup® system).”

    Yeah they are just telling us lies..

  13. g-man says:

    The dose makes the poison, so the question is – has anyone tested K-Cup coffee for plastic compounds and if so, what contamination was found?
    That said, I never understood why someone would buy an expensive machine to make bad coffee while paying more per pound for their coffee than the finest gourmet kona stuff in the store!

  14. karinmoreland says:

    I have been wondering about an article I read a few years ago about paper filters and LDL Cholesterol. It alone is making me rethink my K-Cups not to mention this. I have attached an article about the paper filter- cholesterol correlation. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070614162223.htm

  15. Anonymous says:

    Is it really that much different than water bottle plastic?

    • yes and no – the fact that these get heated make it worse, so if a water bottle is left in the sun and gets hot and you drink the water from it,it’s the same thing – chemicals in plastic leach more when heated.

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