Dogs and coffee are two of my all-time favorite things.
So to discover a kind of coffee that actually supports dogs is nothing short of a miracle. Hugo Coffee, a coffee brand founded by "reformed lawyer" Claudia McMullin, does just that. It donates 10% of all proceeds to mission-based organizations that support the health and welfare of dogs.
For example, they donate to Paws for Life, which is an organization that works to end euthanasia by finding homes for shelter pets. "We are so grateful to Claudia McMullin and Hugo Coffee Roasters, not only for their AMAZING coffee but for their compassion, advocacy, and support to Paws for Life Utah and the homeless pets in our community," said the organization.
"Each week, they sponsor 'An Adoptable Moment' on KPCW radio where our adoptable cats and dogs are featured. Many times these pets are adopted days after being featured on the program, to which we are truly grateful!"
They also send donations to Nuzzles & Co, which has a mission to protect animals by educating people on humane treatment of animals and on finding loving homes for each of them. Nuzzles & Co has always been tied up in the Hugo Coffee mission. Before she bought a coffee shop and started a coffee company, McMullin was the executive of Nuzzles & Co, which primarily takes care of the pets of abuse survivors. While there, McMullin launched the Purple Paw Program for domestic violence survivors and their pets.
Sometimes, people in abusive relationships are afraid to leave their partners for fear that they won't be able to take their pets, or because they are afraid their partners might retaliate against their pet. The Purple Paw Program offers free care for pets of abuse survivors, offering rehabilitation in case the pet has been abused as well, which is unfortunately often the case.
Pet abuse and domestic violence are intrinsically connected and often occur concurrently with child abuse in family situations. According to Sheriff.org, 71% of people entering domestic violence shelters report that the batterer had threatened, injured, or killed family pets. In addition, according to AWIonline.org, between 18 and 48% of battered women avoid leaving a dangerous situation out of fear for their pets' safety.
In addition to their services for domestic abuse survivors, Nuzzles & Co runs a huge variety of programs dedicated to helping people and their pets. Another one of their programs is the Nuzzles & Co Rez Rescue, which works on the Ute Native American Reservation in Utah, helping to set up spay/neuter programs, vaccinations, and homeless pet rehabilitation.
McMullin took her experiences with Nuzzles & Co to blend her passion for helping pets with her coffee business, which she also runs through a humanitarian lens. Hugo Coffee is only brewed in partnership with small family farms or coffee co-ops. They heat their beans with a combination of natural gas and infrared heat, using less energy than most coffee roasters typically do.
Hugo Coffee street teems can often be seen at dog adoption fairs and adoption events, fueling the energy and keeping the adoptions happening all day long. As of today, Hugo Coffee has donated over $32,000 to animal welfare organizations and has facilitated the adoptions of 505 dogs.
Dogs, coffee, and a mission-based goal: What could be better? (Of course, be careful: Dogs shouldn't drink coffee, because the beans are poisonous to them).
The company hasn't stopped with dogs — they also produce Fluffy Cow Coffee, which focuses on the humane treatment of cows. It's likely this brand won't stop until every animal has a caffeinated beverage dedicated to their welfare.
Drink Coffee and Save Animals with Claudia McMullin www.youtube.com
We love coffee. Does it love you?
In New York City, the Health Department makes restaurants display cleanliness and safety grades in their windows; anything less than an "A" is usually mounted behind a potted fern or hung near ground level. Visiting San Francisco last March, I noticed something similar when I bought my afternoon latte at a Starbucks. Tucked behind the half 'n' half jug and napkin dispensers was a 4x6 inch notification that acrylamide, a chemical byproduct of the roasting process, may cause cancer.
This assertion isn't new. A number of years ago, my husband pushed his morning cup away after a bout of insomnia led him to watch anti-coffee crusader and New Age nutritionist Gary Null preach it's evils on the 2 am segment of a PBS fund drive. While I scoffed at the notion that a drink consumed by millions over centuries was essentially poison, this latest alert, ordered by a judge in California, a state which tends to be on the cutting edge of of regulating toxins, made me wonder.
The warning labels on coffee stem from Prop 65, an 1986 law that that requires companies to inform consumers if their products contain potentially hazardous chemicals. Since California's economy is so far-reaching, the law has had a positive impact on people across the country. It's pushed manufacturers to remove substances like lead and formaldehyde from their formulas. But, according to Nathan A. Schachtman, a product liability defense lawyer and a Columbia Law School lecturer, it's also created "a cottage industry of lawyers roaming around looking for violators."
Recently, California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recommended that coffee be exempt from the law because the health risks have been overblown. While acrylamide does cause an increase in tumors in rodents who are fed high doses, the agency says that the minuscule amount found in a cup of coffee poses no health risks to humans and that the antioxidants and micro-nutrients in coffee may even be good for you. (FYI: According the the FDA, acrylamide is also found in higher levels in french fries, prunes, some cereals and breads, toasted nuts, and canned olives). A public hearing on the issue was held on Thursday, August 16. Sixty-four percent of American adults drink coffee every morning—can we all breathe a collective sigh of relief?
According to the American Cancer Society, "Coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of dying from all causes of death." They add the caveat that an international study investigating the link between coffee and cancer said the results were "unclear." However, the same researchers found that drinking coffee was "not a cause of female breast, pancreas, and prostate cancers, [and] may reduce the risk of uterine endometrium and liver cancers." They also noted that drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. In 2016, the World Health Organization took coffee off it's list of possible carcinogens.
The real risk in drinking coffee is overdoing the caffeine. People with anxiety disorders and those who take certain medications may be advised against drinking coffee by their physicians. Teenagers and pregnant women shouldn't drink more than one cup a day. More than 400 mg of caffeine a day, the amount in four average cups of brewed coffee, can cause stomach aches, irritability, insomnia, tremors, headaches, and other unpleasant side effects. For the rest of us who aren't guzzling buckets of cold brew or making hourly forays to the office percolator, it's fine to continue drinking coffee.