Area Woman Claims Coffee Can Kill You

North San Juan, CA — We all love our morning cup of coffee, but Merrilee Longshoes has some real concerns.

“Did you know that coffee contains over 1,000 chemical compounds?” she queried from her North San Juan home. “And that fewer than 30 of those have been subjected to scientific scrutiny to examine possible deleterious health effects?”

Ms. Longshoes proceeded to hand me a sheet of paper titled “Chemical Compounds Found in Coffee” with a long list of strange-sounding names, including anhydrides, esters, lactones, phenols, furans, pyrnas, thiophenes, pyrroles, oxazoles, thiazoles, and nitrogenous compounds, to name just a few.

“It gets worse,” Ms. Longshoes continued. “Rarely are we as consumers warned about the most abundant of this chemical compound. One that is so plentiful that it makes up over 50% of each cup we drink,” she exclaimed, her eyes widening.  “This compound comprises only two elements: Hydrogen and oxygen.”

She explained further that hydrogen is an explosive gas used to inflate the Hindenburg dirigible when it exploded in 1937, killing all on board. Oxygen, although it is necessary for life in its pure form, readily forms the deadly gas hydrogen monoxide when combined with hydrogen gas in the air we breathe.

Dr. Brian Pedersen answers coffee queries.

“Do you really want to consume a beverage containing two deadly gases? I sure don’t!” she declared.

I visited Dr. Brian Pedersen at his Smartsville clinic for a medical perspective.

“Sure, coffee has some potentially dangerous chemicals in it, but it has proved to be generally safe for most people,” he opined. When asked about the hydrogen/oxygen compound that concerned Ms. Longshoes, he scoffed, “Don’t be stupid! You’re kidding me, right?”

Harry Balserhaught
Harry Balserhaught
Harry Balserhaught joins Gish Gallop from a prosperous career in Industrial Landscape painting and design. He also moonlights as a writer for several investigative publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, The Nation and Cat Fancy. Mr. Balserhaught is semi-retired and a neighbor of Nevada County Gish Gallop President and fellow North San Juan resident Louis “Lou” LaPlante, however he has no interest in alpacas. Despite this, Mr. LaPlante asked Mr. Balserhaught to join Gish Gallop staff due to his uncanny ability to “get along” with other North San Juan citizens. Mr. Balserhaught is married to his second wife Faye, after his first died in a suspicious laundromat accident in Berkeley, CA. He has 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 3 mouthy children who never call.

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