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5 healthy alternatives to coffee: Postum back on the shelves

Published: Thursday, Jan. 10 2013 5:10 p.m. MST

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Deseret News

With its basic ingredients including cocoa powder, sugar and milk, a sweeter alternative to coffee is hot chocolate.


Hot chocolate can also provide health benefits; a 2003 Cornell University study concluded that the antioxidant concentration in cocoa on a per-serve basis is two to three times stronger than that of green tea and four to five times more than black tea.


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cjb
Bountiful, UT

Its about time, a wonderful drink. Where?

Bebyebe
UUU, UT

It's served hot. doesn't that violate the WOW.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

But we don't need an alternative to coffee. It's good on its' own.

washcomom
Beaverton, OR

Love Pero in my hot chocolate.

Admiring Gentile
Salt Lake City, UT

Can someone set this non-Mormon straight, because I've asked different Mormons I know, and I always get a vague (and often contradictory) answer. What is it about coffee that the Word of Wisdom prohibits?

Some say caffeine, some say hot drinks.

If caffeine is the culprit, how come Mormons can eat/drink chocolate? (I believe Marie Osmond called chocolate the Mormon narcotic.)

If hotness is the culprit, how come Mormons can drink hot herbal teas, soups, Postum, etc.?

We Jews have a similar confusion. We're not allowed to eat beef and milk products together because "you shall not cook a calf in its mother's milk" (this is considered great cruelty)--and how do you know the milk you'd be using isn't the calf's mother's?

Yet, it's perfectly okay under Jewish law to eat chicken and eggs together. Huh???

Maybe that's why I'm a "spiritually but not religious" vegetarian.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any input regarding my question.

SL
Rexburg, ID

Admiring: There isn't really a logical explanation. Your reference to Kosher laws is right on. Even though some Kosher rules make sense from a health standpoint, mostly its just a sign of being a practicing Jew. There was a time when the Word of Wisdom was more of a guideline, but around the 1920s it became a litmus test for faithfulness to get into the temple. Since then, the focus has been on the obedience rather than the health benefits. Health arguments for the WOW don't hold up that well since, as you point out, there are a lot worse things that Mormons consume than tea and coffee. Health wise, a can of beer every day would be better for you than a daily can of soda pop filled with corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors. Yet Mormons will happily imbibe the latter while viewing the former as a breach of Orthodoxy. So, in short, it's a symbol of orthodoxy just like being kosher.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

@Admiring Gentile - I'm not LDS either and have puzzled over this too. I checked out the official LDS Encyclopedia that you can find online which provides a rationale too long to reprint here. At the end of the day, not everything prohibited by religious law in the LDS or other faiths has a clear secular reason behind it.

teleste
Austin, TX

"The Brethren" have interpreted "Hot Drinks" to mean Tea and Coffee--and so Mormons have to live it.

I agree, the WOW can't reasonably be explained. Better to think of it in terms of the spiritual blessings one gets for being obedient because preaching the physical side of it just won't hold up.

BTW: A long time ago, in a country far far away, in my mission we were told to teach that the only kind of 'prohibited' tea was "Black Tea" and that Yerba Tea and/or Green Tea were acceptable.

Since my mission I have been told Green Tea and Yerba tea are not acceptable...so even within "The Brethren's" interpretation there is still confusion.

Admiring Gentile
Salt Lake City, UT

Thanks, everyone, for your input. To SL, I especially appreciate your detailed response. And it confirms for me why I decide these things for myself.

I think both the WOW and Jewish Kosher laws need desperately to be revised if their purpose is truly to be keeping their adherents healthy. In the Mormon case, dishes like Funeral Potatoes (so aptly named: a fat bomb) should be discouraged; and in the Jewish case dishes like those overstuffed deli sandwiches (another fat bomb).

And in both cases, anything that has ingredients like partially hydrogenated fats in it.

On the other hand
Riverdale, MD

Not having grown up drinking coffee, I don't feel like I need an alternative. My favorite beverage is water.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

I LOVE Postum! The problem is, I have read in a few places that the new version is made by a different company which has bought the rights to use the name, but doesn't have the original recipe. It may not taste the same. Anyone out there tried it yet?

Lasvegaspam
Henderson, NV

Teleste: Perhaps when the Word of Wisdom was received, early church members were familiar only with black tea, it being the tea known and used most widely in Great Britain, the ancestral home of many of them.

A quick search of Wikipedia today on the topic of tea informs us that black, green, white and oolong teas all come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. Joseph Smith most likely did not know this, but today we do.

We also know that all herbal and fruit teas are for our consumption and enjoyment.

Lasvegaspam
Henderson, NV

Admiring Gentile: Thanks for your interest. We LDS do not yet know what it is about coffee that causes the Word of Wisdom to prohibit its use, but then again it was also not known at the time the WOW was given what it was about tobacco (smoking or chewing it) that was bad for human consumption.

A 25-year-long study by Enstrom & Breslow that followed actively-practicing Church members in CA starting in 1979 shows a much longer life expectancy among LDS versus the general population; for males, 84 years, and for females, 86 years. That’s more than 5 years of additional life for women and nearly 10 years of life for men than the national average.

We don’t consider this “confusion”, but rather a great blessing of knowledge given to us by a loving Father in Heaven who created our bodies.

Old49erfan
West Jordan, UT

Admiring Gentile: You are a breath of fresh air. I hold to my beliefs although I do not know all of the answers. Your approach is refreshingly honest in your inquiry. Rather than make fun or ridicule, you respectfully make your points. I hope to have the same attitude when I have questions of any idea or opinion or belief that differs from mine. Thank you.

MommyDance
Owosso, MI

I grew up as a third generation LDS Postum drinker and my children were the fourth before it was removed from the market. Out chef/daughter was taught in culinary school in 2009 that Postum was removed due to the Acrylamide levels in grains roasted at high heats. Postum has 22.3 grams of Arylamide per serving verses 1.9 grams for coffee. With that said, our family line has only one known cancer related death in the last 3 generations in spite of Postum being part of our sometimes daily routine. Due to FDA, new recipe will have had to pass the FDA rules of roasting at a lower temp which likely is a different taste. Haven't found it on shelves in Michigan yet but looking. Google "Roasted grain beverage" and "FDA acrylamide per portion".

PapaLinusAZ
Gilbert, AZ

We just bought 3 jars of Postum online for $46.00 plus tax! Robbery. I'm looking to have my brother buy from Reams or Harman's (I don't live in Utah) and ship to me. Should be over $5.00, so to pay almost $18/jar including tax shows you how anxious we were to start up again.

Postum is made with wheat and molasses, per the bottle, so not exactly a health food by the time you add some sugar and milk to it, but if you love it and have always loved it, there's nothing like it.

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