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Third World shouldn’t grow Berkeley’s coffee

Thursday May 02, 2002

To the Editor: 

The current proposal to ban non-organic coffee in Berkeley (as reported on Wednesday) may be well-intended, but organic or not, importing food from far-away places undermines the natural order of the universe and threatens the health and well-being of all people on this planet. 

Foods grown in tropical places, whether they be mangoes, bananas or coffee are not normally consumed, on a regular basis, in our temperate climate. They create an unbalanced condition quite quickly. As human beings, it has always been our history (until most recently) to consume foods that are grown locally; and for good reason. Our personal health depends on us understanding and establishing a close relationship to the land we are a part of.  

Additionally, the lands used to grow these foods for export would be better used to grow grains and vegetables to feed the struggling people who inhabit those lands. 

Trade, free or not, has more to do with concern for profit, not concern for people. Why else would indigenous people give up so much of their native land to grow so much exported food? If we in Berkeley are serious about doing what is right in restoring the natural order, we would boycott all imported foods, including coffee. 

The fact that we are addicted is no excuse. 

– Michael Bauce