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One Gross Thing That's in Your Cup of Coffee, Warns Top Doctor

According to one of TikTok's most popular doctors, your coffee may also contain ground cockroaches.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

Dr. Karan Rajan, MRCS, MBBS, BSc, is a London-based surgeon and lecturer who has made a name for himself in the UK as one of Britain's most popular TikTok stars, largely known for posting videos about "crazy medical facts" to his 3 million followers. He surged to prominence during the pandemic when he instructed people in April of last year that they shouldn't be wearing rubber gloves when shopping in the grocery store. "Your glove is now more full of germs than your hand would have been," he said. "Spread knowledge, not the virus." The video got more than a million views.

In one recent post that's started to really make the rounds, Rajan has revealed one particularly disturbing "crazy fact" that pertains to your daily pick-me-up.

@dr.karanrCoffee & cockroaches #coffee #bug #learnontiktok #schoolwithdrkaran #sciencefacts♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

"Just so you know: if you drink coffee, you're also consuming cockroaches," he explains in the video that has gone viral.  "Pre-ground coffee, like you get in most stores, contains ground-up cockroaches."

He explains further: "A certain percentage of coffee beans becomes infected with cockroaches and other insects. Usually they can't be processed out completely. So they just get roasted and ground up with the coffee beans. Most food authorities allow a certain percentage of bug parts in our food… If you're allergic to cockroaches, I'd stay away from pre-ground coffee."

Dr. Rajan isn't the first person to sound the alarm on this secret addition to your cup of Joe. In 2009, Douglas Emlen, Ph.D., an entomologist and biology professor at the University of Montana, revealed to NPR in a now-famous interview that cockroaches are commonly found in ground coffee. Like, Dr. Rajan, Emlen also describes how beans can get so infested with cockroaches that it's simply impossible to get them out. What's more, the FDA does allow bugs in food products, just so long as there aren't too many of them.

According to the site GoPests, there is no particular one bean they're interested in. "They'll find their way to a dark or medium roast all the same. Roaches will eat almost anything to get the energy and nutrients that they need to survive." In fact, the site even goes as far as to describe how you can use your coffee to MacGuyver a makeshift home roach trap.

So what should you do about it? For starters, if you're not allergic to cockroaches and you don't seem to care, you don't need to do anything. But if this all totally grosses you out—and we imagine that it does—you can simply buy whole bean coffee and grind it home yourself. That way, you're guaranteed to have a roach-free blend.

As for Rajan, he's since been offering some more coffee advice to his followers. If you''re curious to know when you should be drinking your coffee, he would advise you to avoid guzzling it first thing when you wake up.

@dr.karanrDon't do this! #OurHouse2021 #coffee #sleep #schoolwithdrkaran #learnontiktok♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

"When you wake up, your cortisol levels are at their peak," he says. "Your body is actually already caffeinating itself. If you consume caffeine when your cortisol levels are already high, you're not getting the full benefits of coffee…. It can throw off your body clock, affecting sleep, energy, and mood."

So when should you drink your coffee? He has an answer for that, as well, in a follow-up video.

@dr.karanrPart 2. Perfect coffee time #OurHouse2021 #coffee #sleep #schoolwithdrkaran #learnontiktok♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

"Ten am to 12pm, and 2pm to 5pm," he says are the best times. And whether you're grinding your beans at home yourself or you're buying ground coffee that may contain insect parts, make sure that you're avoiding one type of coffee maker, which is The Most Dangerous Way to Drink Your Coffee, According to a New Study.

William Mayle
William Mayle is a UK-based writer who specializes in science, health, fitness, and other lifestyle topics. Read more
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