In 1650, St. Michael’s Alley, London’s first coffee shop, placed an ad in a newspaper. That ad — archived in the British Museum, and Internet-ed by the Vintage Ads LiveJournal — extolled the many Vertues of the newly discovered beverage. Which “groweth upon little Trees, only in the Deserts of Arabia,” and which is — despite and ostensibly because of its Vertues — “a simple innocent thing.”
What’s amazing about the ad — besides, obviously, its crazy claim that coffee can prevent Mif-carryings in Child-bearing Women — is how flagrantly its copyrighters flung the Vertues they extol. Per these 17th-century Mad Men, coffee could be used to aid and/or prevent: indigestion, headaches, lethargy, drowsiness, arthritis, sore eyes, cough, consumption, “spleen,” dropsy, gout, scurvy, and — my personal favorite — hypochondria. And they back up their claims by pointing out that Turkish people, those noted coffee imbibers, don’t have scurvy, but do have nice skin. QED!
What’s amazing as well, for better or for worse, is how familiar the ad feels. Sure, today we regulate our marketing claims; Starbucks wouldn’t get very far were it to announce the miscarriage-prevention properties of the half-caf soy latte. But we’re also, still, entirely familiar with ads that ramble on about the health benefits of particular products with a hilarious if occasionally dangerous disregard for reality — particularly on the modern-day pamphlet that is the Internet. (With Product X, you’ll be slimmer/bulkier/hairier/smoother/perkier/calmer … in just one week!). The main difference is that the caveat of 1650 — Made and Sold in St. Michaels Alley in Cornhill, by Pasqua Rosse, at the Signe of his own Head — has been replaced by a caveat that is all too recognizable in its modernity: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Continue reading
By the end of 2012, a water resource allocation plan for 25 rivers that flow through more than one province will be put into use, limiting the amount of water that can be taken from the rivers by each of the provinces.
“We are doing our best to accelerate the process,” said Chen Ming, deputy head of the Water Resources Department at the Ministry of Water Resources. “Hopefully, the plan will come out by August.”
Water plan to take effect by 2012
The water resource allocation plan is one of the moves the ministry has taken to promote the implementation of the most stringent regulations in Chinese water resource management.
Announced in January by the State Council, the regulation set four “must-complete” targets by 2030, including limiting the country’s annual total water consumption to less than 700 billion cubic meters. Continue reading
Even as coffee consumption grows in Thailand each year, the country remains a net coffee importer. Several coffee growers have shifted to other lucrative plants such as rubber and oil palm because of their higher market prices.
Varri Sodprasert, president of the Thai Coffee Association, said Thailand’s coffee production has dropped continuously the last five to six years, with production this year estimated at only 41,000 tonnes.
Coffee has been grown in Thailand for over 100 years. The country officially became a coffee exporter in 1976, selling 850 tonnes of robusta coffee. Helped by strong world market prices in the 1980s, exports thrived, culminating in a peak in 1991-92 of almost 60,000 tonnes.
The collapse of the “International Coffee Agreement” in July 1989 and the following slump in world coffee prices hit farmers hard. Facing an oversupply, the Thai government initiated a five-year plan starting in 1992 to encourage coffee farmers to switch crops, reducing the coffee plantation area from almost 500,000 rai.
Coffee plantation is estimated at 300,000 rai this year, with about 260,000 rai for robusta beans and 39,000 rai for arabica, said Peyanoot Naka, senior research officer at the Agriculture Department.
Robusta coffee growers are mostly in the South, where plantation area is expected to drop from 287,000 rai as more farmers shift to rubber and oil palm.
But arabica strains, grown mostly in the North, are expected to increase plantation given relatively high prices.
The ex-farm price of arabica is now at 150 baht per kilogramme, while the related price of robusta is 72 baht per kg.
Domestic consumption is estimated at 70,000 tonnes a year. Thailand imports at least 5,000 tonnes to supply instant coffee makers. Continue reading
State Energy Officials Convene in Annapolis to Tackle Green Jobs, Energy Efficiency and Other Stimulus-Related Issues – Zoi, Rogers of U.S. Department of Energy Address National Association of State Energy Officials –
ANNAPOLIS, Md., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ — The largest-ever meeting of State Energy Officials convened in Annapolis, Md. today to discuss state and federal efforts to create green jobs, increase the nation’s energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, and tackle other issues related to the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Over 200 participants are attending the three-day Annual Meeting of the National Association of State Energy Officials, whose members typically are designated by governors to run their state and territory energy offices.
by Dan Vallada – FoodBizDaily.com Sao Paulo
The macadamia nut has been cultivated in Brazil for four decades. Researchers are trying to increase its productivity and resistance.
The commercial cultivation of macadamia nuts in Brazil is recent, started only 40 years ago and productivity is still low. The country, the seventh in world production (2,400 tonnes in 7 thousand hectares), has about 250 producers, 160 of them in the State of Sao Paulo. The biggest Brazilian harvest happened in 2006, with 3,500 tons. Therefore, technicians and researchers are joining forces to study its varieties, nutrition, genetic improvement and phytosanitary control.
Agricultural groups fear state layoffs will backlog shipments
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 08, 2009
Agricultural industry executives worry that Hawaii businesses will wither on the vine and incoming food will rot on the docks if the state goes through with massive layoffs of agriculture inspectors.
Plans call for laying off 50 of the state’s 78 agriculture inspectors, 64 percent of that specialized work force.
Diminished inspection capacity could also cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year if additional invasive species get established, industry officials say.
State inspectors both certify products to be exported out of Hawaii and inspect food and plants being imported into the state.
WAILUKU – Three years after it banned using water from the Hamakuapoko Wells for human consumption, the Maui County Council is considering tapping the wells for emergencies.
The wells are contaminated with pesticides, but county water and state health officials have said treatment removes the chemicals to undetectable levels and makes the water safe to drink. Water Director Jeff Eng said Tuesday that if the council allowed the wells to be used as a backup during times of drought or other emergencies, it would allow the county to issue several hundred water meters from the Pookela Wells to residents who have been waiting for water Upcountry.
State land use panel rejects plan for 12,000 homes on Ewa farms
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 29, 2009
In a rare move, the state Land Use Commission rejected yesterday a developer’s push to urbanize 1,500 acres of prime agricultural land in Ewa to create a new community of nearly 12,000 homes.
The commission voted 5-3 to declare the petition by D.R. Horton-Schuler Division "deficient," saying the developer had not followed the rules by spelling out an incremental development plan for its Ho’opili project. But it said Horton could fix its petition and try again.
"Hallelujah!" Kioni Dudley, president of Friends of Makakilo and leader of the opposition, declared after the vote. "It’s a great victory. It’s a victory for the aina. I hope the setback to the developer is permanent."
Dudley had some powerful support at yesterday’s hearing, including the state Office of Planning, which argued forcefully against the project, and the heads of the state Transportation and Agriculture departments. The commissioners also heard hours of testimony from members of the public, most of them pleading to keep the land growing fruits and vegetables for local consumption.
In Georgia, golf course managers have emerged as go-to gurus on water conservation for both industries and nonprofit groups.
…“Look, if you want to learn how to irrigate, these are the guys to ask,” said Garith Grinnell, who recently retired from the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
Such accolades are a turnabout for a business that is often faulted for harming the environment through excess use of water and pesticides.
In Georgia, the shift in perspective came about largely because of a crippling drought that peaked in 2007. By that year, 97 percent of the clubs that belonged to the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association had voluntarily adopted what are viewed as best-management practices for water use, reducing consumption, they estimated, by 25 percent in just three years.
Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Crop Weather (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending September 30, 2007.
Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
Light showers and some sunny periods benefited orchards in the windward areas of the Big Island. Soil moisture was ample and harvesting was active. Oahu orchards were in fair to good condition. Leeward and central Oahu fields were in good condition with heavy to moderate supplies for the market. Heavy irrigation continued as fields remained dry. Windward Oahu fields were in fair to good condition with light to moderate supplies. Overall harvesting on Oahu was expected to be at moderate to heavy levels as the shorter day length and slightly cooler temperatures have slowed ripening. Orchards were in fair to good condition on Kauai. Supplies are expected to be light to moderate, but steady, for on island sales. Spraying for insect infestation was on a regular schedule.
Good growing conditions benefited orchard development in the lower Puna areas of the Big Island. Frequent passing showers kept soil moisture adequate. Growers were spraying to try to keep weeds under control. Harvesting in the Opihikao, Pohoiki, and Kapoho areas remained active. Fallowed fields in the Kapoho area were cleared and planting has started. Overall harvesting on Oahu was at moderate levels with some orchards being re-worked for future harvest after being damaged by a wildfire. In other areas, fruit development and ripening were fair to good with the relief from the high temperatures favoring crop progress. Orchards on Kauai continued to make good to fair progress during the week. Pickings were at moderate levels from several fields in harvest with some new fields boosting available supplies.
The crop in the Waimea area of Hawaii Island was in fair to good condition. Medium-sized heads were being harvested. Insect and disease damages were generally light. Heavy irrigation was required in the Waimea fields. Growing conditions improved slightly in the Volcano area. Maui?s crop continued to show good progress. However, most fields showed slightly slowed growth and development which was expected for this time of the year. Insect pressure was relatively low, but could increase over the next couple of weeks. Producers were able to control damage and keep losses to a minimum. Plantings have been steady, but the continued shortening of the day length has slowed the rate of growth and development. Overall quality of the crop was good. On Oahu, pressure from Insect infestation was very light.
Harvesting from Oahu fields was expected to be at heavy levels as several fields were in active harvest. Pressure from insect infestation was light to moderate.
The Big Island crop was in fair to good condition. Soil moisture was adequate and production will be mainly for on-island consumption. Windward and central Oahu fields continued to make good progress due to sunny skies and heavy irrigation. Areas affected by water use restrictions have cut back on planting activities and have experienced decreased yields.
Maui?s younger fields showed good progress under cooler growing conditions. There were reports of increased insect pressure throughout the growing area which could affect production for older developing fields. Producers were trying to control insect pressure, but it has been challenging. Harvesting has been light. Overall, the dry onion crop was in fair condition. Other Crops
Coffee orchards in the upper areas of Kona were in fair to good condition. Soil moisture was adequate. Cherry harvest was in progress. Most of the coffee trees in the Ka?u district have branches full of still green cherries. Harvesting is expected to begin soon. Orchards on Kauai were in good condition with active harvesting anticipated to continue. Sunny days and moderate trade winds kept fields in good condition for harvesting. Beneficial rains in the upper elevations increased the water levels of reservoirs used for irrigation.