There's a war that's brewing and you may not be aware of it. It's right under our noses but it has been kept out of the mainstream media due to a growing web of deniers and obfuscaters who regard misinformation and doubt as allies. Like many insurrections it has been funded quietly but it's effects can be devastating to people in the war zones, like the line that stretches out the door at Tully's.

That war, my friends, is the War On Coffee.

Coffee is good. Coffee is good for you. Science has proved this on numerous occasions yet time and again I see sources in the mainstream media trying to establish doubt about the total awesomeness of coffee.

I saw yet another hit piece on coffee today, this one titled Researchers Discover How Coffee Raises Cholesterol. Where did they get that idea?

But I am a fair person, I want to know if my health is at risk, so I took a random sample of 928 articles on coffee, none of which were found to express doubt in its total awesomeness. That is a consensus, people.

Yet the deniers will not accept it. The issue, they say now, is Cafestol, a diterpene molecule found in coffee. Well, diterpene molecules are our friends, since that's how we get Retinol, the animal form of vitamin A and an important antioxidant. Unless you like having lousy vision and brittle bones. Why are they blaming Cafestol? Who is behind this? The only answers I found came from one source, not surprisingly the exact same source behind the recent study saying coffee is bad: Baylor University. The folks at Baylor wrote a similar hit piece in 2005.

So off to Baylor I went, to the Department of Molecular&Cellular Biology. But they were on to me. When I arrived, the place was cleared out. Mostly. I did find this.

The first clue

I also found a folder hidden partially under a desk. It must have slipped out in their haste to evacuate. There was a cute picture of two mice and a stack of documents outlining the case they wanted to create against coffee. See, the relationship between cafestol and cholesterol is somewhat clouded - that's all deniers need. They said it was the culprit in that tenuous "correlation is causation" way scientists sometimes do, yet they couldn't figure out how because it didn't have any effect in the liver. How did they finally make the connection? In this case they found a new gene, fibroblast growth factor 15. You see how they do this? If the old genes don't give them the data they want, they simply come up with new ones. Coffee deniers are crafty.

Cafestol, the story now goes, activates FXR and induces FGF15, which reduces the effects of three liver genes that do regulate cholesterol levels.

WHAT???? Cafestol doesn't even reach the liver but it raises cholesterol? Next you'll be telling me that Chinese cars don't cause global warming but American cars do.

I hopped a plane back home so I could do some research and plan my next move. The media had to be alerted but first I needed proof. A noise outside in the yard woke me early. It was three girls in strange outfits singing in a foreign language.

"There are three girls in strange outfits singing in a foreign language," I say. "They sound like that guy on the Muppets."

"Fine," Lady Scientist mumbles, "Just don't wake me." She thought I was asking for sex. She is so cute when she is groggy.

I took a quick pic and ran for the door.

When I got there, the girls were gone but there was a picture on my welcome mat. It was the two mice I had seen in the folder. There was evil afoot. Clearly the coffee deniers didn't like the roasting I was giving them and wanted to send me a message.

Well, you don't kill mice in my neighborhood. We're Republicans. We have guns. But first I had to do some science. Off to do the library I went.

The evidence I found in favor of coffee was overwhelming but coffee deniers had always been around trying to discredit it. They attempted to damage the reputation of the sweet nectar with articles like Temperature Of Coffee Expected To Rise Nine Degrees By End Of 21st Century and Coffee power doubted but if hotter coffee because of global warming and the Irish Whisky industry defending their turf was the best they could do, coffee would be okay.

Still, I am a thorough guy and I needed to get some data of my own so just in case you ever run across a coffee denier I have compiled this handy checklist of important facts, backed by leading researchers.

Coffee is healthy:

Coffee Makes Us Want To Be Worthy Of It:

Vietnam coffee short of world standards, admits industry

Coffee Makes Us Love Each Other:

Coffee Improves Race Relations:

Coffee: Strong and dark is better?

Coffee Protects Us:

Coffee could provide shield from radiation

Coffee Is Good For The Global Economy:

  • Trademarking Coffee: Starbucks cuts Ethiopia deal
  • McDonald's serves ethically sourced coffee
  • Buy Cat Poop Coffee For $420 per pound
  • And there are a whole lot more but, because I wrote this while I was driving the Cashillac, I literally ran across a coffee denier, though I didn't know that until later. I hit the brakes just before I saw him but he still hit the pavement with a sickening thud. I ran to him and checked for a pulse. It was there but he was unconscious.

    "I think you'd better give him mouth-to-mouth," Lady Scientist said. Like I was falling for that trick again.

    I pulled out his wallet while Lady Scientist dialed 911. Thomas Lipton, his drivers license said. He was well dressed. Cool moustache. His hat was a little out-of-date but that's coming from a guy still wearing square-toed shoes. I don't throw out Bruno Magli's on a whim so I can't blame him for sticking with the hat.

    "He kind of looks like that old guy on our tea box," Lady Scientist said.

    I looked at her. She looked at me. We both realized in the same instant the conspiracy was bigger than we ever dreamed.