Bird Friendly Coffee

Bird & Wild coffee

I had no idea this was a thing. Apparently, even our daily cup or two (or several) a day of coffee is helping to screw up the planet. Mass-produced coffee is produced in nice, highly productive rows of coffee plants, which sadly gives a habitat for a quarter of the number of species of birds as when coffee is grown in the shade of mature trees. So we need a bird-friendly coffee.

According to the RSPB:

Shade-grown means that the coffee grows more slowly, requires less water and the need to use any invasive fertilizers or pesticides. This in turn supports greater biodiversity and ensures that the forest in which it’s grown sustains a healthy ecosystem.

And according to Cornell University:

“Over recent decades, most of the shade coffee in Latin America has been converted to intensively managed row monocultures devoid of trees or other vegetation,” Amanda Rodewald, a co-author of the study who is the Garvin Professor and senior director of the Center for Avian Population Studies at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, said in a statement. “As a result, many birds cannot find suitable habitats and are left with poor prospects of surviving migration and successfully breeding.”

Today, most coffee sold is sun-grown under little or no shade because sun makes coffee bushes grow faster and produce more coffee. This loss of tropical forest biodiversity to a row monoculture harms resident rainforest birds along with their migratory cousins so they all are disappearing along with their rainforest homes. This simple connection between habitat loss, pesticides and fertilizer pollution to intensive coffee farming methods was the impetus for Smithsonian conservation scientists to create the strictest agricultural certification criteria for coffee: their Bird-Friendly certification requires that coffee is organic and that it meets strict requirements for both mature canopy cover and the type of forest in which the coffee is grown. Bird-Friendly coffees are guaranteed to support bird habitat, in addition to fair and stable prices for coffee producers, healthy environments for local communities, and equal access to markets for Bird-Friendly coffee producers.

So there you have it. By having that supermarket, mass produced coffee, you’re helping destroy the planet. Good work! I’ve just bought 1.2kg of their coffee. Sorry, Tesco.

RSPB: https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/rspb-news/news/stories/bird-friendly-coffee-wins-ethical-award-top-spot/

Bird and wild coffee: https://birdandwild.co.uk/collections/all-products

Sun-grown vs. shade-grown coffee.

Homoeopathy

Homeoepathy[1] is one of the banes of my life on Quora. There’s a fair chunk of people, mostly in India but not limited to, who think that sugar pills or water cure diseases or cancer. So much wrong. Let’s examine the evidence. I’ve also blogge about it before.

From Wikipedia: Homeopathy or homœopathy is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like (similia similibus curentur), a claim that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people. Once you’ve diluted it so there’s nothing of the original left and bashed it against a leather-bound book on each dilution of course.

Remember, this was from an era when a placebo was better than seeing a doctor. You stood more chance of surviving by having a drink of water. The ludicrousness of Homoeopathy was illustrated by the group of people who all took an overdose, obviously with no ill effects. In the UK, the NHS is trying hard to phase out its use. Sadly, the future king of the UK is still a sucker.

That’s not to say Homoeopathy can’t be dangerous. A chap ended up damaging his liver when his “remedy” turned out to contain alcohol. Quackwatch is always worth a read on the subject. I’ve previously pointed out the Smithsonian article that 1800 studies that say it doesn’t work.

The final entertainment is the occasional attempted rebuttal by a homoeopath. Apparently, I’m in the pay of Big Pharma (I wish) or I believe everything I read on the internet.

[1] And now I can spell it right! Thanks Grammarly!

Homeopaths lose legal challenge against NHS England

 

homeopathy pills
homeopathy pills

Homeopathy is one of my bugbears. It’s water.  1800 scientific studies say it doesn’t work.

I fight a constant battle on Quora against homeopathy. It’s mostly Indians who seem confused between medicine proven by science and water.

Now:

“A legal challenge brought by the British Homeopathic Association against NHS England’s decision to remove homeopathic treatments from routine primary care has been dismissed on all points by the High Court.”

Sometimes the news is good. Now we can get on with important stuff like curing cancer.