1. Cocoa: From Native producers in its Native Land

    Cocoa: From Native producers in its Native Land

    In our last blog, Lourdes Páez explained the history of cocoa in Ecuador, and the challenges and opportunities in its production today.  Here, we introduce you to some native Amazonian cocoa producers, and to the hope that proper cocoa production holds for them, as well as for the futures of chocolate and conservation.

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  2. From chocolate lover to chocolate expert: a personal story

    From chocolate lover to chocolate expert: a personal story

    Canopy Bridge recently had a chance to sit down with Lourdes Páez, an outstanding social entrepreneur working to enhance appreciation for Ecuador’s excellent cocoa and create more value for farmers of the country’s fine flavor beans. Lourdes heads the Academia del Chocolate, an organization dedicated to training and research to improve the quality, recognition and benefits of fine cocoa, and she recently launched a beautiful book dedicated to Ecuador´s rich cocoa heritage, Ecuador tierra del cacao.36" height="111" />

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  3. Innovating Brazil nuts: a business with roots in the rainforest

    Innovating Brazil nuts: a business with roots in the rainforest

    This Article was originally published on news.mongabay.com. Sofía Rubio was eight years old when she decided she wanted to be a biologist. "I would skip school to go to the woods with my father or mother," who did research in what is now the Tambopata National Reserve in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon, she says. Today, dressed in a white lab coat, her ponytail caught up under a green hair net, Rubio hovers over a table, weighing Brazil nuts. But she's not cloning them

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  4. Feast in the Forest: Shiwi and its Brazil Nuts

    Feast in the Forest: Shiwi and its Brazil Nuts

    I was in the Amazon rainforest of Peru to see how Brazil nuts make the long journey from forest to nut mix. I wasn’t expecting a gourmet treat, but they tend to show up in unexpected places. Harvesting Brazil nuts is hard manual work, in remote areas, deep in the jungle. Harvesters spend long weeks in the forest gathering the cannonball-like fruit from the forest floor, shelling them on site and then hauling them in heavy loads miles through the forest. The harvest is intimately

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  5. Rescuing Ancient Superfoods – Changing lives in the process

    Rescuing Ancient Superfoods – Changing lives in the process

    Ojoche, Ojite, Ojushte, Ujushte, Capomo, Manchinga, Pisba waihka, Huje, Mojo, Ax, Ramon Nut, Breadnut… a partial list of many names for the same seed. Where I live, Ecuador, it’s called Sande but I had no idea it existed until I heard about the Maya Nut Institute a couple of months ago. Since 2001 Maya Nut Institute has improved livelihoods by empowering women and supporting nutritional health through this amazing seed, which they named “Maya Nut.” Maya Nut Institute

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  6. The Flavor of Memory – Mishky Huarmy’s Black Agave

    The Flavor of Memory – Mishky Huarmy’s Black Agave

    I’ve always been amazed at how my Ecuadorian grandmother managed to attend to her nine children, a husband, and many daily guests without the many tools and resources available today. My grandmother managed not only to make sure they were all fed, but she managed to keep them and herself happy in the process. She made things from scratch that we usually buy, like butter, yogurt, and flours, and even jello, which is harder to imagine coming from any place

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