Archive for the ‘ Green Living ’ Category

Weasel Coffee

We just back from Vietnam where I may or may not have eaten dog.  There were some mysterious meats in a couple dishes, but they were so delicious I thought it might be better to let the mystery be.

As I mentioned in my post “Why is This Disgusting?”  I am not that guy who can make himself eat anything.  I wish I was that guy so people would see me eating a spider or plateful for maggots and say, “Wow!  Look at that guy!”  But I have never been that guy and probably never will be that guy.  More often than not, my dietary adventures are limited to vertebrates and if not familiar flavors, at least familiar food sources.

All that being said I did have a opportunity to try a potentially disgusting coffee while in Hanoi.  We found a shop selling “Weasel Coffee” and went inside to investigate.  The owners told us that weasel coffee is a very special variety of bean that is first eaten by a type of weasel and then pooped out still in its original shape.  Collectors then find the weasel poop and sift through it to find the beans.  They wash and roast them to make weasel coffee.

Does that sound believable?  Does it sound disgusting?  They made each of us a small cup of the stuff, and I have to say it was the best few mouthfuls of coffee I have ever had!  I had to buy some of various qualities to take home and share with friends!

When I got to a computer I looked up the story to see if they were pulling my leg.  I found out they were telling the truth and read up on the health and safety of it all.  There are conflicting reports on whether the beans are puked up or pooped out by the weasel but it is from beans that have been in a weasel stomach!   Kopi Luwak coffee or “Weasel” coffee as it is known in Vietnam, is the most expensive coffee in the world, costing between 100 and 600 dollars a pound for the pure stuff.

As amazing as it is, I have to wonder who was the first person who thought of trying it.  Just like in my last blog about who invented smoking, I wonder how anybody in their right mind could be looking through weasel poop (or vomit) one day find the coffee beans and think, “hmmmmmmm…….maybe this would be good to drink!”  Doesn’t it make you wonder how many other things people have tried without such good fortune?

Anyway, for some reason I am not disgusted at all by the weasel coffee.  I still don’t think I am “that guy”, but maybe I am one step closer!

Living Green

Raise your hand if you believe in living green!  Green living is a hot topic these days, so hurry up and jump on this bandwagon powered by a hybrid motor and solar energy.  We have green cars for greener travel, green stores with green products, green weddings, green fabrics for green fashion, green light bulbs, and even a greener mining practices.

With spring just around the corner, my favorite form of green living is about to wake up from its winter slumber.  As the days grow longer, and the weather heats up, suburban homes around the country will begin to surround themselves with green.  It is time to blow out the sprinkler systems, buy a few bags of fertilizer, and fire up the gas powered lawn mowers to see who can be the greenest in the neighborhood!

We Americans love our lawns.  A thick healthy carpet of green surrounding our houses is certainly a status symbol, but let’s look at how far we go to stay green, and ask ourselves just how green we are really living.

Think of lawns as crops and the people growing them as urban farmers.  First the farmer digs up the old yard and buries plastic tubes, valves, and sprinklers.  Then he replaces the grass and introduces chemicals (some greener than others) that will help it grow, more chemicals that will keep away unwanted insects, and still more chemicals that will ensure only the grass he planted will grow and not allow other plants, grasses, dandelions, or clover, to grow along side his selected variety.  The farmer then proceeds to dump thousands of gallons of water on his crop so it will grow as fast and as thick as possible,  Why?   So he can harvest it every week and throw it away.

This is a fairly extreme form of green living considering that the land and water could have been used to grow fruits or vegetables.  What would our friends in developing countries, where food is scarce, do with these kinds of land and water resources?  I am not saying that we should all dig up our yards and plant gardens.  I like a good yard as much as the next guy.  I am just wondering how green we are living by living so green?