La Minita Coffee – It’s in the Green BeansWritten by Jim Cameron
La Minita; Spanish for “The Little Gold Mine” says it all. La Minita is arguably best coffee in world and is sipped by who’s who in specialty coffee industry as well as by those of us who have access to it in our businesses. Similar to wine industry, best coffees are not always most expensive. There are many factors involved in determining final price of a coffee, unfortunately quality of bean is only one of them.
La Minita comes from Tarrazu region of Costa Rica in Central America. This region has long been known for it’s quality coffee and remains one of finest growing regions in world. The La Minita Estate is located at pinnacle of this region on a spur between two rivers 5700 feet above sea level. The farm actually has several “Micro Climates” within farm which effect crop in different ways. The meticulous way in which coffee is grown, pruned, fertilized, shaded, and weeded all add to final product. Long before “Organic” was popular, this farm was using machetes to cut back weeds rather than chemicals. Long before “fair trade” was popular this farm was treating it’s employees with respect, providing dental and medical resources right on farm, paying above local scale, providing household items at below cost prices, and encouraged a coffee workers association to promote fair, safe and equitable conditions.
When “new crop” is in, samples are taken from each of micro growing regions on farm and cupped to determine years mix. The pickers start at daybreak and finish picking about noon. The days harvest is measured from each picker then at a central pick up point and again at mill. Every La Minita coffee bean arrives at mill same day it is picked which is essential in producing world’s best coffee. The milling process is more meticulous than other mills and beans are watched at each stage of preparation. When they have reached point where most beans would be bagged up and exported, LaMinita enters its final stage. Every bean is looked at by trained coffee sorters who go over and over beans removing any bean that may taint final cup.
Pesticides, Can we avoid them? Written by Anna Maria Volpi
Why, unfortunately, just washing vegetables is not enough to ensure produce clean enough for consumption
We all ingest lots of chemicals, one way or another. We breathe them, we drink them, and we eat them. The most troublesome are pesticides in produce. It makes me uncomfortable to think that while we are eating fruits and vegetables in reality we are also ingesting poisons that can accumulate in our bodies and make us very sick. This is food that supposes to be healthy and good for us!
Even if most toxic chemicals have already been banned for use in agriculture, pesticides in general are poisons designed to kill insects, weed, small rodents and other pests. The long time effects of these poisons on people are not completely known. Even minimal risk with these pollutants is too much, when we think we may expose children. We should try to do every effort to minimize our intake of these adverse chemicals.
Education is key. Knowing which produce contain more pollutants can help us make right choices, avoiding most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating least polluted, or buy organic instead. In simulation of consumers eating habits has been demonstrated that changing a little bit eating practices can lower considerably ingestion of pesticides.
The results of an investigation on pesticides in produce by USDA Pesticide Data Program (*), show that fruits topped list of consistently most contaminated produce, with eight of 12 most polluted foods. The dirty dozen are: Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Cherries, Imported Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Red Raspberries, Spinach, and Strawberries.
You don’t like broccoli? Too bad because they are among those least contaminated. In fact 12 least polluted produce are: Asparagus, Avocados, Bananas, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn, Kiwi, Mangos, Onions, Papaya, Pineapples, and Sweet Peas.