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Vanilla Tremor

Touch the Soil News #817 (Feature photo – Vanilla Cultivation – Bras Panon – public domain) In 2017, America has become too familiar with hurricane damage. However, around the other side of the world, the island nation of Madagascar was hit with a powerful cyclone in March. The trouble stems from the fact that 80 percent of the world’s vanilla comes from Madagascar, where 30 percent of the vanilla crop was destroyed. The vanilla shortage has caused prices around the world to surge – in some cases over six times the price last year. Vanilla prices have surged from $89 per pound to over $500 per pound. Unlike other crops,…

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Spooky Chickens

Touch the Soil News #314 The world of food and agriculture is confusing. One day we can hear about the new generation of urban farmers trying to develop a better food chain. The next day we might hear some real disturbing news – like what I’m going to tell you right now. So, before you decide that responsibly-produced chicken meat is too expensive, consider the mainstream option. Recently the Baltimore Sun (2/7/16) published a story about poultry processing. Now, before you think this topic has little to do with you consider that during Super Bowl Sunday, Americans consumed 1.3 billion chicken wings. So how do these wings get from chickens…

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