Humans may eat coffee beans, and there are health claims in eating them unroasted. The beans were first eaten by slaves before coffee became an accepted brewed beverage. Birds and animals, such as goats, have also been noted to eat the cherry bean.
Coffee is the seed of a cherry fruit and is a natural product. In Australia, it is believed that eating the raw green coffee bean aids in weight loss. Research indicates that the naturally produced chemical chlorogenic acid assists in the burning of stored fat. This chemical breaks down when roasted. There is no real hard factual evidence to prove this claim.