I’m Lovin’ the Irony

May 24. In El Salvador, this is the day McDonald’s donates a certain percentage of their Big Mac sales to a local charity that helps give surgeries to children with heart problems. The organization is called Sana Mi Corazón, which translates to Cure My Heart (or My Healthy Heart, but I’m pretty sure it’s the…

Nanoparticles in Your Food Supply?

Nanoparticles are microscopic  substances that act the same as their larger counterparts, and have been used on some level since the 9th Century (according to archaeological records) by pottery artisans. They are essentially the same as the larger units, however, the physical and optical properties of the nanoparticles can change. For example, nanoparticles can have…

What does your cup of coffee really cost?

An inside look behind your morning cup of joe in El Salvador. A bag of coffee beans costs anywhere between 5 and 20 dollars, depending on the quality and the  brand. A regular cup of coffee bought at a coffee shop, around 2 dollars (we’re talking no-frills, just the coffee in a mug, hot and…

Rusting Away

Coffee Leaf Rust, a plague affecting coffee plants worldwide, appears to worsen when coffee is grown in full sun, according to recent research published by the University of Michigan (conducting their research in Mexico). Shade-grown coffee has been making  a small comeback for the more environmentally conscious caffeine consumer. Shade-grown coffee means more habitat for…

Saving Traditions

The majority of people around the world are familiar with growing food from seeds; of course, the number is less in developing countries, and less still in urban areas, but overall most people have witnessed the transition from seed to harvested vegetable (or fruit). Fewer people have then saved seeds from that plant they grew…

Homegrown Antigua

Just on the outskirts of Antigua, Guatemala sits an oasis of edible goodness! Coaba Farm produces organic salad greens and lettuce, spinach, broccoli, Bok Choi, sprouts, squash, tomatoes, eggplant, peas, radicchio, fennel, edible flowers, corn, herbs, bananas, avocados, citrus fruits, berries, chicken, and rabbit – not all of these all the time, but on a…

Freshly Cooked School Lunches (at public schools in El Salvador)

In 2010, the Ministry of Education in El Salvador undertook a project – Provision of Local Food, Education and Health – to start providing freshly cooked school lunches at public schools around the country. The goal of the project is to help women set up small businesses that provide school lunches, which then feed children…

A Look at El Salvador on World Food Day

Around the world, countries celebrated World Food Day this past Tuesday, October 16th. It was a day to look at food security around the world and, this year, to see how agricultural cooperatives can help feed our planet’s growing population. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) promoted cooperatives, particularly women’s cooperatives, as a way…

Coffee Leaf Rust Plagues El Salvador

  Coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix) is a fungus that is widely feared among coffee growers. Its full life cycle is not completely understood, but direct contact must be made by the fungus, or the fungi spores, with the leaf to infect it. Scientists also know that the presence of free water is required, and…

Livestock in El Salvador

The cattle industry in El Salvador is a small one. It is composed of thousands of small farmers, many of whom raise cattle for their own family’s consumption, or perhaps to sell to their neighbors. The breed of cattle commonly raised are called “criollo” locally, but is actually a variation of Brahman cattle, which is…

Eyes on the Big Box Store Prize

Farming in El Salvador. Not the number one way to get rich quick…in fact, it’s likely well below number one hundred. Nevertheless, there are farmers out there, working tirelessly to feed us. There are many more farmers working tirelessly just to feed their families. And there are a few farmers hoping to “make it big”…

Cattle Rustlers Rounded Up in San Miguel

Theft of cattle near San Miguel had been on the rise since the beginning of the year. By June, the number of cattle thefts was double the number of the previous year. Ranchers were becoming frustrated and disillusioned with the local police, whom they felt were not trying to solve the cases, and thus the…