Thursday, November 01, 2001

first, let me thank all of you who stopped by for the more than 11,000 hits in october! i enjoyed having you visit. . .

when the calendar turns to november, that's when fall hits home for me. and cold weather means hot drinks: hot chocolate (that's tomorrow!) and more coffee. most of us drink a little coffee every day, mostly without thinking too much about it. or perhaps we bother to concern ourselves with the best way to make good coffee (french press or vac pot), the kind of roast on the bean (light or dark), the origin of the coffee (kenya or indonesia).

i'm not one for losing my sense of humor and getting all preachy -- much -- but let's take today to be a little mindful of the entire coffee process. it's a commodity -- the most traded on the planet after oil -- and it's often grown by the poorest farmers in the poorer countries. the superior varieties we coffee lovers seek out for their taste and quality, the "specialty" coffees, are for the most part not grown by large corporate farms, but by small enterprises or individual families on tiny plots of land.

i was forcefully reminded of this when reading an article on how the tragic events of the world trade center have affected the coffee world, because a significant portion of the world's coffee was traded in the world trade center complex. but the article goes on to discuss how the current world economy and depressed coffee prices are literally pressing the individual coffee farmers into desperate straits. so desperate that many may turn to ripping up their coffee trees -- some quite old and of rarer varieties -- to begin growing illegal drugs. of course, this would be undesirable; we would lose sources of good coffee and also face the problems created by a greater world drug economy.

therefore i'm thinking, in this already crazy time, that i should write my senators to encourage increased agricultural assistance to coffee farmers, to help them save rarer varieties or transition to legal and more profitable legal crops. silly i know. but the whole situation is food for thought, don't you agree? it's a funny reminder of the interconnection that exists between us nowadays. . .

posted by fortune | 11:35 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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