What are Xenoestrogens?

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For most of us, coffee is a staple of life. Making it at home is always cheaper (and often better), but the plastic countertop machines that we use can leach harmful toxins called xenoestrogens into our warm cup of Joe.


What are Xenoestrogens?

Every time you hear about a new type of plastic that has been banned from food containers (BPA, for example), it’s a xenoestrogen. The term “xeno” refers to man-made, and “estrogen” refers to the hormone. So essentially, xenoestrogens are man-made estrogen-like compounds that get into our food supply and cause massive hormonal imbalances. These imbalances can lead to cancer, irregular cycles in women, and prostate problems in men. They can also affect the health of babies developing in the womb.

According to the renouned Real Foods advocate, Dr. Mercola:


This leaching of DEHP [a type of xenoestrogen from some plastics] into humans via the solution with which it is in contact increases the risk of certain adverse health outcomes. Animal studies show that exposure to DEHP can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system, particularly the developing testes of prenatal and neonatal males.


Pretty nasty stuff. And certainly not anything you want in your coffee. Even if your plastic drip coffee-maker is supposedly safe, who’s to say what research 5 years down the line will say? Not a chance I’m willing to take.


Enter Pour Over Coffee

If you can make tea, you can make pour over coffee. You essentially just boil water in a kettle and then slowly pour it over the coffee grounds. The water will seep through the grounds, become coffee, and then drip into the bottom of your device (or right into your cup in some models).

Be sure to use an all-glass device with all-natural, unbleached filters. Kristin and I use the CHEMEX Coffee Maker (affiliate link). We got it from Whole Foods right after we got married and were amazed at how simple it was to use. The coffee was also delicious.