A pre-World War II rule requiring coffee stockpiles may be ended.

By Mike Pomranz
April 11, 2019

Just because something is technically true doesn’t mean it’s true in a practical sense. Case in point: I’ll admit that, technically, you don’t need coffee to live. The widely-consumed beverage contains zero calories which means you couldn’t survive off it if you tried — though you would be wide awake for your own starvation. But let’s be honest: Practically speaking, if it weren’t for coffee, I wouldn’t be writing this, plenty of you wouldn’t be reading it, the internet probably never would have been invented in the first place, and we’d all just be in bed.

Apparently, this distinction is something the Swiss government can’t quite wrap its head around because, yesterday, the European nation moved forward with removing coffee from its required national stockpiles, meaning if there ever was a major emergency in Switzerland, there’d be no guarantee citizen would have any coffee to get through it.

Da Ye Kim / EyeEm/Getty Images

According to USA Today, the Swiss Federal Council stated that coffee “is not essential for life according to today's criteria,” potentially ending coffee stockpiles after the Federal Office for National Economic Supply proposed axing the item in an amendment to the “Ordinance on the Compulsory Storage of Foodstuff and Animal Feed.” The stockpiling system was reportedly set up between World War I and World War II to assure that there would be at least three months of essential supplies in the country at all times.

“Coffee contains almost no calories and therefore does not make any contribution to food security from a nutritional point of view,” the Council apparently wrote, before also suggesting that though “psychological reasons” exist, they are “no longer justified.”

To be fair, as Reuters explains, the burden of stockpiling coffee falls on the companies that import it, so ending the excess supply could be seen as making life easier for these businesses. However, the news organization also reports that 12 of the 15 companies currently stockpiling coffee wanted to continue the system.

Regardless, the proposal will next be opened for public comment before final approval. If it does go through, the stockpile requirement will end in 2022. So if, heaven forbid, World War III breaks out after that, we’ll know which country is the sleepiest!

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