“It’s amazing how the world begins to change through the eyes of a cup of coffee.”

Donna A. Favors

This post is sponsored by Clean Label Project, but all opinions are my own.

I remember googling “Can I drink coffee while trying to conceive?” “Can I drink coffee while pregnant?” and “Can I drink coffee while breastfeeding?”.  I think every mom and soon to be mom has wondered this.  

The answer is no one really knows if coffee and caffeine consumption while pregnant is safe.  

“It’s difficult to get good and accurate studies on pregnant women. It isn’t ethical to give 1,000 pregnant women an unknown substance and see how many have complications.”

David Elmer, M.D., an OB-GYN at Nantucket Cottage Hospital in Nantucket, Massachusetts. 

The messages everywhere are mixed. The truth is, you should talk to your doctor and make this personal decision for yourself.  I would definitely err on the side of less and strive for moderation. Decaffeinated coffee is one option many women choose to go, but recent studies are scary. A recent independent study by Clean Label Project found that several leading decaffeinated coffee brands contain methylene chloride—a solvent that has been linked to cancer, asphyxiation, and cognitive impairment. We definitely don’t want this in our body or our children’s bodies.  

People who choose decaffeinated coffee typically do so for health related reasons, so this is especially imperative that we get the word out.  Pregnant women, elderly, heart patients and so many more groups are actively trying to make healthy choices when it comes to caffeine. So this chemical solvent in coffee is even more terrible.  

Why is methylene chloride in decaffeinated coffee in the first place? Isn’t coffee just bean water? 

I had these same questions.  Thankfully the Clean Label Project had some research and links for me to study.  Removing caffeine from coffee generally involves one of two processes: water based vs. solvent (chemical) based.  Water based is what we want.  Solvent based is cheaper and many brands are using this method to save pennies. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll spend a few extra pennies to keep paint thinner out of my coffee.

You guys, I have more bad news.  The FDA currently allows methylene chloride to be used in the coffee decaffeination process and brands are not required to disclose which decaffeination process they use on their labels.  

I’m very happy to share that the Clean Label Project took up the challenge and tested 25 brands, and I mean popular brands found in major retailers.   They tested for the presence of methylene chloride because they believe we need to know what we are putting in our bodies. Ten brands tested positive. Ten everyday brands that we know and love are putting paint thinner in your coffee.  

2020 is the year of change, we are advocating for positive change everywhere.  Well it starts first thing in the morning when you have your first cup of coffee.  We need to advocate for healthier decaf! 

So what is the point of this post?  To depress you?  To talk smack about brands?  

Not even in the slightest. I’m an optimist. I’m choosing to believe that these brands are unaware of the danger and that as soon as we make it known – they will change their ways. Let’s make it known. I’m including phone numbers.  I never use my phone as a phone, it’s a text machine.  But this means something to me, so I’m going to dial the digits and ask to speak with a human about this problem. 

And until these brands make big changes, stay safe and stay away from the brands with solvents.  I promise to update y’all on any changes and news that I hear.  

I’m pretty much an open book with my followers and I love full disclosure with sponsorships. 2020 was my year to become a positive mom influencer, then covid hit and life went wild. I’m so very appreciative to the Clean Label Project for this partnership.  

The Clean Label Project™ is a national non-profit with the mission to bring truth and transparency to food and consumer product labeling.  We need transparency in the food industry.   They study more than just decaffeinated coffee, check out their baby section next friends!