Thoughts on My In-Room Cup of Coffee

Staying in hotels over the past several days, we have had to give up some of our standards. Normally we buy the purest, most organic foods we can find, but that first cup of coffee from the in-room coffee maker comes with only one choice of “whitener”, and it isn’t half & half from cows raised without hormones and antibiotics. We drink our coffee with “non-dairy creamer”.

I am reminded of watching a Swedish scientist, Björn Gillberg, make a name for himself on television by washing stains out of his white shirt using a non-dairy creamer. That was many years ago, and Sweden was a small, close-knit market; the product disappeared almost overnight.

I started thinking about what chemicals I might be drinking. A quick search provided me with an interesting list: Corn syrup, trans-fats, milk protein (yet it’s called non-dairy), phosphoric acid (found in Coca-Cola, pesticides and fertilizer), mono- and diglycerides, sodium aluminosilicate (also known as feldspar, a ceramic glaze; it is explosive in powdered form) and proprietary artificial flavors.

I decided to also use the Internet to find out more about the shirt washing television show. By some strange coincidence, the July 21 issue of Svenska Dagbladet, one of Stockholm´s leading morning papers, had an article on the topic. It turns out that right now, 37 years after Björn Gillberg´s shirt washing spectacle, the non-dairy creamer debate is raging again in Sweden because many coffee and cappuccino machines in Swedish work places use the artificial stuff, and people are starting to complain. Eleven blogs have already linked to that article.

Why even use the non-dairy creamer? To cut the terrible taste of the coffee! At least the coffee had real caffeine in it!                  

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