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June 2006 - A Short Note From The Desk of Dan. . .


Has anyone ever heard of acrylamide? I'm guessing that's not a word most of you are familiar with (including me). Apparently, it's a substance that has been studied for years, but has managed to remain somewhat hidden from the mainstream. Quoting from the article below, "Acrylamide is produced during cooking, particularly high-temperature processes such as frying and roasting. Some of the highest levels are found in chips, crisps, biscuits and bread, but it has now emerged that roasting coffee beans also produces significant amounts." Ok, so what's the big deal? Well, acrylamide is a prominent cancer-causing chemical. It's rather prevelant in some of the foods we consume, especially coffee.

I'm not suggesting that it's time to panic and dig a bomb shelter, because there's many common environmental factors that contribute to diseases such as cancer. Natural sunlight, for example, is on the US Department of Health's list of "known carcinogens". However, I don't see everyone who ventures outside developing skin cancer. Cancer is not a black and white science. There are many things in our environment that attack our bodies every day; but, over the millenia humans have developed natural defense against such invasions. Additionally, genetics plays a large role in determining disease.

Here at Aviva, we've always preached that moderation is important in many of life's activities. If you currently drink a lot of coffee, it might be wise to cut back a little bit. I can't think of a better substitute than yerba mate! Yerba mate is much healthier than coffee, and recent in-vitro studies have shown a strong anti-cancer effect in the lab.

excerpt from Cancer chemical found in coffee by Jon Ungoed-Thomas and Tom Baird
January 15, 2006 — COFFEE is responsible for as much as a third of daily consumption of the cancer-causing chemical acrylamide, research by the United Nations has found.

The study reveals that coffee may give those who drink it anything from 13% to 39% of the acrylamide they consume — only chips and crisps are responsible for greater quantities on average.

Acrylamide is produced during cooking, particularly high-temperature processes such as frying and roasting. Some of the highest levels are found in chips, crisps, biscuits and bread, but it has now emerged that roasting coffee beans also produces significant amounts.

“The original concern with acrylamide was related to french fries, chips and crisps. Continued analysis of other food products has shown that they contribute to overall exposure as well,” said Dr Angelika Tritscher, a scientist with the committee that conducted the study.

Acrylamide has been used in industrial applications such as production of water purifying chemicals since the 1950s. In 2002 Swedish researchers found high levels in some foods. Experiments on laboratory animals have shown acrylamide in large amounts can cause cancer and reproductive problems....[read more]

Source: The Sunday Times - Britain (1/15/2006)

Additional Information:

Acrylamide Infonet
Acrylamide - Wikipedia

As we mentioned a couple weeks ago, due to higher than normal demand (on both wholesale and retail fronts) we have worked ourselves into a position of low inventory on our loose Wild Harvest Yerba Mate. This situation, combined with a delay of our container of wild harvest yerba from Paraguay, has required us to discontinue our loose offerings until approximately the second week of June. (on a positive note, the container is still on schedule to reach us during this week)

Because of this situation, we are running a special on our 25-count tea boxes. All of our traditional and flavored blends are marked 20% off and will remain that way until we have the new product inhouse— 10,000 kilos currently en route. Our storefront is a great place to start!

25-ct Tea Boxes
Regular Flavor Mate $4.75 $3.80!
Spearmint Mate $5.25 $4.20!
Chai Mate $5.25 $4.20!
Ginger Peach Summer Blend $5.25 $4.20!
Passion Berry Summer Blend $5.25 $4.20!

I know this may be inconvenient for some folks. For those customers who are used to making loose mate in a French Press or a traditional 10 or 12 cup coffee maker, I have suggestions. For hot mate, I tear 4 tea bags open and use this in my brewer. I know it is not the best solution, but it works. Keep in mind the tea bag cut is a finer cut and may not work as well in a French Press. For iced yerba mate, use six tea bags in a traditional coffee brewer, allow to cool, and serve with ice and flavor of choice.

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and invite you try one of our tea bag offerings or our new Argentine Organic loose product.

1lb Wild Harvest Tea Bags
(~207 - 214 bags)
Aviva Argentine Organic
$34.00 $27.00!


Dan Garcia
Founder, Aviva Ltd.

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