Vanilla Iced

“The rusty machete he holds isn’t for cutting down vines or chopping away stubborn branches – it is a defense against thieves. Lots of other men – farmers like him – are out in the rain, patrolling the forest. For the past three months, they have left their homes every night and made the long journey into the plantations to protect their crop. But this is not an illegal coca plantation, or anything like it. In fact, these farmers are growing a crop whose name is a byword for something boring.” BBC: Fighting the vanilla thieves of Madagascar. (Less than 1% of the world’s vanilla flavor comes from real beans.)

+ “If cattlemen lost 50 percent of their cows, you know people would do something and react. But since it’s bees and everyone thinks we can just breed more, nothing’s done. No one appreciates the stress we’re under.” NYT Mag: The Super Bowl of Beekeeping.

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