On fast paleo I saw a recipie calling for coconut palm sugar and was outraged. While "experts" are touting this as a much better alternative to cane sugar it absolutley decimates the trees we rely on for our wonderful coconut oils/butters/milks/ect. These are they same people that say high fructose agave syrup (aka nectar) is also a health food, but my real problem here is what it is doing to the coconut farms. Read about that here:
Also, there are slave grown tomatos:
My question is what else should we be avoiding because of its impact on the planet? Someone has to know about more stories like this one.
If you can, eat locally produced food where you can actually get to know the producers. If they are decent people who actually care about what they produce it will generally work out OK.
For the rest of produce, there is a world of guilt you can lay on your own shoulders, or that of other people. I don't trust the ads telling us the food is naturally produced, or the news telling me the food is destructively produced and I should hang my head in shame. The best response is to focus on the positives of what you can change you can practically and realistically make. You'll make more difference than all the people out there crying out 'stop the madness'.
I'm sorry, but you can practically say this about anything. You living is killing the rest of the world. Vegans are so into only eating non-animal products, but do you know how many animals farmers kill to keep out of their crops? The wildlife that is cut down/destroyed to make room for the farms?
It's just something you have to deal with. Don't like it? Go plant a palm tree.
I think that a lot of people make choices regarding their food based, to some extent, on moral issues. If eating something is going to make you feel guilty, then absolutely don't eat it -- where I think I diverge from some applications of this principle, though, is that I believe that, while we may choose to INFORM others of the reasons that we eat -this-, but prefer not to eat -that-, it is RUDE to force our moral issues onto others' plates by demanding things like "legislation", etc., to force others to our brand of "food-think".
I have used coconut syrup, produced by a company that uses 1/3 of their trees to produce syrup and 2/3 to produce other coconut products. The trees that are being used for syrupare also being used to produce coconuts ON THE SAME TREE, using 6 month alternating production, despite the above-referenced article that says that it isn't possible or isn't being done.
That being said, I personally don't believe that coconut syrup is a solution to over-consumption of sugar for my body. I think the only way to truly heal from over-consumption of sugar is to spend time without eating sugar, including coconut sugar. However, coconut syrup has been a great boon for special treats like Yule Logs, birthday cakes, and wedding/anniversary cakes in our household. We'd already figured out how to make these kinds of things without refined flour -- so this was a natural "next step" for us.
How about any food (for example, coconuts, not just coconut sugar) that's grown half-way around the world? Think of the the waste, the pollution all so we can slurp down coconut products to feed our silly diet addiction… Unless of course, you already live in the tropics, but I'd wager you don't.
Or anything you buy at the grocery store? Raping the earth by monoculture farming practices.
Isn't it just safer to assume everything you do is destroying the planet and enslaving folks?
If this is truly unsustainable, there must be price manipulation somewhere- with some government being the most likely perpetrator. Think about poppies in Afghanistan; why is the price so high? The crop is illegal, which jacks the price up, and creates the conditions where a farmer has an incentive to grow it. Legalize it, drop the price, and the acreage covered in poppies would fall.
Some jurisdiction probably has a high tariff on other sources of sugar, which gives the coconut sugar farmers an incentive.
Much (most?) of the chocolate produced in Africa is produced by slave labor. Not minimum wage, I mean proper (!) and true slave labor. http://www1.american.edu/ted/chocolate-slave.htm I only eat American (not US) chocolate as a result.
As I understand it:
The farmers have determined they can make more money by producing coconut sugar than coconuts. Will that cause a shortage of coconuts? Sure, but...so what? All that means is that the price of coconuts will go up (because the demand is now higher than the supply); which will result in more coconut trees being planted to meet the demand; which will result in the price of coconuts falling.
If we let things play out, what we'll end up with in the long run is enough coconut trees to meet the demand for both coconut sugar and coconuts. And, the coconut farmers will be better off, because they will have an additional market for their product that they didn't have before.
I don't see the moral problem here. It's just the free market at work.
I saw a recipe calling for coconut oil and was outraged. While "experts" are touting this as a much better alternative to vegetable oil, it absolutely decimates the trees we rely on for our wonderful coconut palm sugar.
Team Oberg, you fail to understand how free markets work. If there are fewer trees to make coconut oil, the price for coconut oil will go up, and the farmers will greedily plant more coconut trees. This makes for more jobs and more wealth for the folks in Thailand and the Philippines and other tropical countries. Or were you wanting to keep all of the wealth for us already rich folks in the temperate zones?
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