"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Monday, March 31, 2008

Is Your Coffee Killing Songbirds?

No, it's not the caffeine, but it may be those out-of-season strawberries you like to have with it.

Organic coffee is bird-friendly, according to Bridget Stutchbury, author of Silence of the Songbirds. As is any organic produce.

Since the 1980s, pesticide use has increased fivefold in Latin America as countries have expanded their production of nontraditional crops to fuel the demand for fresh produce during winter in North America and Europe. Rice farmers in the region use monocrotophos, methamidophos and carbofuran, all agricultural chemicals that are rated Class I toxins by the World Health Organization, are highly toxic to birds, and are either restricted or banned in the United States.

At the New York Times. Not only are birds being poisoned in their wintering grounds in Latin America, but produce covered in poisons is making its way to us. Due to the pesticides used, "tests by the Centers for Disease Control show that most Americans carry traces of pesticides in their blood."

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