Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Coffee is Not Essential for Life

Switzerland is a country that stays prepared for potential shortages in case of wars, natural disasters and/or epidemics. 

This system of emergency reserves established between WW1 and WW2 has government officials stockpiling essential staples such as sugar, rice, coffee, edible oils and animal feed. 

But last week, they decided to take coffee out of their national pantry and the government is saying – and I quote – "coffee is not essential for life". 

The Federal Office for National Economic Supply claims “Coffee has almost no calories and subsequently does not contribute, from the physiological perspective, to safeguarding nutrition”. 

Switzerland’s mandatory coffee reserves are spread between 15 companies, including Nestlé, the maker of instant coffee Nescafé – and amount to about 15,300 tonnes, enough for three months of domestic consumption. 

Therefore, these establishments will be free to draw down what they have in their warehouses, once coffee stockpiling obligations expire by the end of 2022. 

And if you don’t know, Switzerland’s 8.5 million residents consume around 9kg (20lb) of coffee per person annually, eclipsing UK ’s 3.3kg average and double the 4.5kg consumed in the United States, according to the International Coffee Organization. 

Anyway, a final decision on scrapping coffee stockpiles is only expected in November this year.

I am sure coffee lovers are bound to disagree. In fact, I expect them to loudly protest.

On Sunday, Liverpool held onto their No. 1 position in the EPL table with a magnificent 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Anfield. 

It was a nervy first half in which both sides had chances – but nothing came of it. Still, Liverpool emerged from the break with added focus and purpose and took the lead via Sadio Mane's header in the fifty-first minute. 

A huge sense of relief was felt inside the ground and on telly screens around the world – I watched the game from my hotel room in Medan, Indonesia – but that quickly became a deafening roar when Mohamed Salah smashed a left-footed angled drive into the top right corner from 25 yards for his nineteenth Premier League goal of the season barely two minutes later. 

And Jurgen Klopp whooped with joy and punched the air – savoring this triumph that was his 200th game in charge. 

Coming on the day the club marked the 30th anniversary of Hillsborough – this win gave home fans a huge lift on an emotional afternoon. 

The victory was the Reds' 26th in the league in 2018-19, equalling their record from the ill-fated 2013-14 season. They last won more matches in a top-flight season during their title-winning 1978-79 campaign (30 wins) – a tally that, with four games remaining, they could yet match.

Certainly, the coveted Premier League title race is going down to the wire.

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