Are your Skittles destroying the rainforest? Part 1

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Today, I've decided to start a series on palm oil and palm ingredients - and alternatives to them.  I'm in the process of building a website on the same subject ( http://www.nomorepalm.com ), but that will take a bit of time, and time is not something worth wasting in this context.

A specific type of vegetable oil may not sound like a particularly interesting subject, but palm oil is no ordinary vegetable oil.  It is one of the more destructive forces on our planet today.  Or maybe I should say that the machine of people and corporations in place to grow and distribute palm oil is one of the more destructive forces on our planet.  Either way, consuming this ingredient - which is in an unbelievable amount of foods and cosmetics and other things - is something which makes one responsible for encouraging the ds

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Wine - Seeing the World Through the Bottom of a Glass

Cross-posted from

What can wine tell us about the world? Plenty, it turns out.  It is one of civilization's oldest products.  At one time it was a necessity, when food was served rotten and water was where you washed and evacuated.  Now it is enjoying a resurgence.  It is an agricultural product, and a unique one.  You see, vineyards have kept records of temperature, yield, and ripeness-dates for centuries, giving us incredibly precise records that tell us reams about the global environment. It is also a luxury item, particularly at the top end.  As such, its sale and purchase can tell us volumes about the global economy.

Today, we travel to Hong Kong for a look at the world's economy, through the bottom of a glass.

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