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Raw Seafood-Borne Infection Spreads Throughout New York

Raw Seafood-Borne Infection Spreads Throughout New York

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Wear gloves to you local Chinatown fish market to avoid this infection.

Reports keep coming in of a rare and serious skin infection borne from handling raw seafood that’s spreading throughout New York City’s Chinese and other Asian-American neighborhoods. Infected victims have either handled the raw food with open sores on their hands, or have cut their hands on the shells of shellfish. The resulting infection presents itself as serious red welts, which Dr. Danny Fong, a hand surgeon and president of the Chinese American Medical Society, told The Daily Meal, can take three months of antibiotics and in serious cases, surgery, to recover from. Making matters worse is that doctors and seafood experts still have no clue what’s going on.

“This infection is so rare that I haven’t kept track of it before,” Dr. Fong told The Daily Meal. “Eating it is not the issue, touching it isn’t a problem; it’s the fact that there are spines, and if you’re not careful you can get poked. The question is: are we seeing this at its peak or are there more.”

Right now The New York Times is reporting that there have been 30 recent cases of this infection caused by the Mycobacterium marinum, a bacteria that often infects fish and sea creatures in aquariums, but rarely affects humans. Right now the infection seems to mainly be affecting elderly Asians, and cases have only been seen in New York City.

Raw Seafood-Borne Infection Spreads Throughout New York - Recipes

Being depressed can negatively affect your appetite and what you eat, but can bad eating habits bring your mood down? Our latest study, a systematic review of the best available evidence, found a clear link between the quality of a person’s diet and their risk of depression. And it goes beyond the effect of diet on body size or other aspects of health that can affect mental health.

We took extra care in including only studies that took age, sex, income, body size, general health, smoking and physical activity into account in their analyses. That way we could be sure that the associations between diet and the risk of depression are independent of these factors.

We aggregated the results of several studies and found a clear pattern that following a healthier, plant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet can help prevent depression. Of the 41 studies in our review, four specifically looked at the link between a traditional Mediterranean diet and depression over time on 36,556 adults. We found that people with a more Mediterranean-like diet had a 33% lower risk of developing depression than people whose diet least resembled a Mediterranean diet.

Following a traditional Mediterranean diet, that is avoiding processed foods and foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar (pro-inflammatory foods) and favouring foods rich in omega-3, fibre, vitamins, magnesium and polyphenols, can reduce the risk of depression.

4 Bio-Hacks to Lose Weight and Get More Sleep

By Janis Hauser, Weight Loss Coach for Personal Trainer Food

Sleep. Everyone needs more of it.

Fat. Everyone wants less of it.

It turns out that what you eat strongly influences how you sleep…and how you sleep affects your waistline.

Did you know that getting less than seven hours of sleep per night is a risk factor for obesity?

Here are four easy bio-hacks that will help you get more sleep AND lose weight at the same time.

The good, the bad, and antibiotics

From left are Linda Kirkman, LPN, Jenny Triplett, RN, and Sheila Sizemore, RN. The three review medications regularly for the patients on the Northern Hospital Skilled Nursing Unit. -

Jenny Triplett, RN, BSN, runs a tight ship on the Skilled Nursing Unit at Northern Hospital of Surry County – which serves as the temporary residence for 33 eligible individuals who require long-term care and/or special rehabilitation services.

Like a mother eagle, the 56-year-old nursing director ensures that she and her staff meet the needs of their elderly “residents” with equal doses of professionalism, competence and compassion.

“We all have parents and grandparents, so it’s natural for us to treat our residents with the same level of care and consideration as we would our own family members,” says Triplett.

In addition, Triplett carefully oversees the implementation of the unit’s Antibiotic Stewardship Program – which helps ensure that residents receive only the right type of antibiotic — at the right time — and in the right amount. As Triplett explains, antibiotics are powerful and effective drugs that should be used only when necessary. “All drugs, including antibiotics, have side effects – and we monitor continuously for any adverse side effects so they may be treated appropriately, as well.

“The use of antibiotics is further complicated when dealing with an older population – many of whom have multiple medical issues, all of which must be treated simultaneously with different types of therapeutic agents,” she adds.

Antibiotic stewardship program

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed medication in long-term care facilities for the treatment of infections such as urinary-tract infections, respiratory-tract infections and skin/soft-tissue infections.

That’s one reason why long-term care facilities are required by the CDC and state statutes to establish an Antibiotic Stewardship Program.

“We all agree on the important role that antibiotics play in fighting bacterial infections, but we also realize that antibiotics come with side effects and complications such as allergic reactions and the possible development of Clostridium difficile, also known as C-diff, which is a potentially life-threatening condition,” explains Triplett, who has received advanced training in antibiotic stewardship and infection-control procedures.

“One way to help ensure that our residents receive antibiotics only when necessary is to do a complete culture and urinary analysis when we suspect someone may have a urinary tract infection – which is a fairly common development among elderly residents,” she says. “We then wait for the results of the culture to come in so we know exactly what the problem is and can treat it with the right medications. This process helps eliminate the use of unnecessary antibiotics – which helps reduce the chance of negative side effects and complications.”

The yin & yang of antibiotics

As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotics have transformed the practice of medicine — making once-lethal infections readily treatable and making other medical advances, such as cancer chemotherapy and organ transplants, possible. However, while the prompt initiation of antibiotics to treat infections has been proven to reduce morbidity and save lives, some 20 to 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed in U.S. acute care hospitals are either unnecessary or inappropriate.

The CDC also cautions that the misuse of antibiotics has contributed to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, which has become one of the most serious and growing threats to public health.

“At Northern Hospital, antibiotic stewardship programs run concurrently within the Skilled Nursing Unit and throughout the hospital,” says Ned Hill, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer. “Research has shown that a strict adherence to the antibiotic-administration guidelines provided by these programs leads to improved patient care and patient safety.”

Educational efforts are paramount

Jenny Triplett says that educating others about antibiotics is an important part of her Unit’s responsibilities. “We take seriously our efforts to teach residents and their families about the need to use antibiotics judiciously,” she says. “We provide them with helpful information and also encourage them to ask questions about all the medications they receive.”

Triplett acknowledges that some individuals – particularly family members —- question the need to wait before administering antibiotics. “But once they understand that treating an accurately diagnosed problem with the right medication is the best approach, they are grateful that we take the steps we do.

“Our goal is to improve the quality-of-life for our residents,” she continues, “and one way to do that is to make sure we’re giving antibiotics on an as-needed basis only.

“Of course, there’s no limit on hugs … and we give those quite frequently!” she adds with a smile.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Chef José Andrés: A Bromance That Will Save Us All

Given all that’s going on in the world, a good old-fashioned bromance feels oddly reassuring — especially when it’s between two hermanos with heart: Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Broadway megastar behind Hamilton and In the Heights, and José Andrés, the acclaimed chef and leader of World Central Kitchen, which has produced millions of meals over the past several weeks in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

They are fond of retweeting each other’s good works — whether it’s the sweatshirts Miranda curated to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS or Andrés’s hunger-relief efforts throughout New York City — and even vacation together with their families. Miranda and his father, Luis, co-wrote the foreword for Andrés’s book, We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time, about World Central Kitchen’s remarkable response to Hurricane Maria in 2017. And then there is #RecipesForThePeople — hilarious Instagram videos in which Andrés cooks with his daughters while singing along to the Hamilton soundtrack and enjoying a glass of wine. “Boom!” he yells at them. “Let’s go! It’s for today!”

Andrés himself has a life story worthy of a Miranda musical. In 1990, he was on board to work for his best friend (and future celebrity chef) Ferran Adrià at El Bulli, the gastronomic temple that would go on to garner three Michelin stars, on Spain’s Costa Brava. But after an ill-fated meeting with Adrià, Andrés was fired, and he moved to New York instead with just $50 in his pocket. Over the next 30 years, he built a restaurant empire that stretches from Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas to Disney World, then became the person everyone turns to during a crisis and found himself nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

How did this Spanish line cook, a son of two nurses, grow up to be a hero and a statesman? When posed with this question, Andrés, who can be very modest for someone with so much bravado, shrugs. “I only light the fire,” he says. “If anything, I give the push. Then it’s amazing men and women and — boom! — they are doing it. We’re all in this together, and everybody’s doing their part — everybody here, Lin, and so many others. And if we all do our part a little bit more, we’re going to take care of this. We will.”

What follows is an excerpt from their chat over Skype.

Andrés in Puerto Rico in 2019. Photo: courtesy

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA: Maestro! Chef! Good to see you!

JOSÉ ANDRÉS: Hello, Lin! What are you drinking?

LMM: Una Coca-Cola. [laughs]

JA: Ah, like a commercial.

LMM: Cafeína, porque ya tomé mi café por el día [caffeine, because I already drank my coffee for the day] and I’m trying to ration the coffee.

JA: Coffee! Puerto Rican coffee, I’m having today.

LMM: Well, I’m very proud of you. Speaking of Puerto Rico, we met actually during Hurricane Maria. We were both kind of signal-boosting from our respective departments in the world on Twitter. I just remember being struck by how you were getting to places that we hadn’t heard from. And you were filming these dispatches from where you were setting up places to serve food. And then I think I DM’d you, and you sent me a message about our friend Erin Schrode, who was on your team, because she knows all the words to In the Heights.

LMM: It was such a crazy time, and you experienced it firsthand.

Andrés in Oakland, Calif., where the Grand Princess cruise ship was docked with quarantined passengers in March. Photo: courtesy

JA: I still remember the day that you and many others landed in San Juan bringing hope, bringing a message of love. You also brought money and things that were needed, like water. I realized that every gesture in these situations matters in ways that we don’t even understand. I connected to you and all your amazing family through Hurricane Maria. And all of a sudden, my family was like, “Wow, you look like you’ve been friends forever.” And you sent us this kind of amazing message — your words, rapping and making up that song of hope, thanking the men and women at World Central Kitchen. And we were able to deliver this to everybody. I can tell you that, for me, this was even more important than any money we were receiving from donors because this gave hope to every single cook and every person delivering the food, all across the island, who was working with us. Long story short, we were able to open 26 kitchens. We delivered almost four million meals. And everything we did was bringing the same hope that you and all your friends brought to the island. Sometimes a moment of empathy becomes a very powerful weapon.

LMM: We became friends from that because we checked in often during that time, and then I think the first time we saw each other [in person] was in D.C., probably six months later. We had a big bear hug and a lot of drinks at a hotel bar. [laughs] Let me ask you something. I feel like what’s happening right now is sort of the ultimate test of World Central Kitchen because it’s not one hot spot it’s not one natural disaster. It is this thing that has spread across our country and our world. You’ve got something going on in San Juan, and you’ve got things going on in Detroit and Chicago, but still every day I see the places where New Yorkers can get a meal. How are you able to scale your incredible work?

JA: Just for the record: We were not really drinking. We were supporting the local economy.

JA: Thank you. But listen, at World Central Kitchen, we’ve been doing this now for years. Puerto Rico, I would say, was the first time we went so big so quickly. And we just came back from the Bahamas, where we prepared almost three and a half million meals and we were delivering food to 14 islands. We saw very quickly that this was going to be a humanitarian crisis, for people who were losing their jobs and had a lot of difficulty feeding their families.

At World Central Kitchen, we’re trying to bring as many people as possible together under one umbrella. We want them to be themselves, but we want all to have a clear objective, so we are not stepping on each other. So right now, we are providing meals for hundreds of hospitals, and we are partnering with hundreds of restaurants across America, making sure that money donations go directly to their employees so these places can continue doing what they do best: provide meals to the elderly, to shelters, to the homeless, to hospitals, and to the police. We are in more than 150 cities right now in the United States and growing. It’s amazing for me to see the local leaders and how important they are. They go and lead and put themselves at the service of other people.

Andrés in Harlem during the coronavirus pandemic in April. Photo: courtesy

LMM: Here’s a question I have: What is in your coffee that doesn’t seem to be in everybody else’s? Because you seem to have more energy — and this is not just true when there’s a crisis and you’re stepping up and acting, which is often, but I’ve been on vacation with you! You talk about tomatoes and sea urchins with the same urgency. ¡Tienes esa energía! [You have that energy!] What’s in the engine there, papi?

JA: I’m just good at creating mayhem and bringing the urgency of now, now. When you talk about food and you’re talking about water, the urgency of now is yesterday, Lin. Yesterday. So our teams, they have a very simple mission: Feed the hungry and bring water to the thirsty. That’s it. I’m trying to connect the dots, and in an emergency, you have the oomph, the energy, or you don’t.

LMM: I love your videos where you’re cooking all inside the time of a Hamilton song, and that’s a wide range, from King George’s three-minute song [“You’ll Be Back”] to “Non-Stop,” which is a more substantive meal. What was the thinking behind that como el pensador de esta tradición [as the thinker behind this tradition]?

JA: OK, I’m too embarrassed to say that I have a crush on Lin-Manuel.

JA: And I’m a guy who, since I was very young, I would always sing. I would make my own songs, and I would sing about life and about things that were very important to me. And to this day I do it, but I do it in the shower and in the bathroom, when no one sees me, of course. But I like it, and I make crazy songs — and my daughters love to sing Hamilton. Every single child I know seems to know Hamilton. You’ve done more than anybody else for the history of America by planting seeds in every child’s brain. [laughs]

I love to cook to the rhythm of music, and sometimes I make sounds with the fork and the knife, and sometimes we start singing. This [idea] began many years ago when I had a cooking show in Spain. We were running out of time, and it was a long day and everybody was tired, and I still had [to film] one entire recipe. Usually, an entire recipe would take us two hours to film. But the teams were destroyed. I was kind of destroyed. We had to finish the show because it had to go on TV two days later. I told them, “You know what I’m thinking? Give me one song.” And it was the Boléro, by [Maurice] Ravel — the music.

Andrés in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., in April. Photo: courtesy

JA: And it was, like, five, six minutes. And I told them, “I want all the ingredients in front of me. I want the pan, the ingredients. And we’re going to cook in six minutes without stops.” All the cameras are rolling, and in 10 minutes, we’re out of here. Instead of two or three hours to film the recipe, we did it in six minutes. And everybody went home, and it was actually one of the best recipes we ever did. So this stayed in my brain. I put on a song I put out the ingredients as a challenge to see if I can make the dish in the time of the song. And that’s where we began with Hamilton — which my family and I love. When we were in New York a few weeks ago, before we came to be quarantined at home, the last thing my family did — I couldn’t because I was working — was go to see Hamilton on Broadway.

JA: And they came back home with the thing of “Hey! We need to do Hamilton cooking!” I’m like, “Let’s do it!” So that’s how it happened.

LMM: Wow. Whether it’s your cooking show in Spain or the Hamilton videos or your responses, the running theme is urgency: “We gotta do it now. We can spend three hours, or we can do it in 10 minutes.” But urgency is your fuel source. What do you think we’ll look like when we start to emerge from our homes again? And how do you think World Central Kitchen will evolve to sort of go with that? Because I think we’re going to be entering a new economic age and that people are going to be hungrier on the other side of this thing.

Andrés in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian last year. Photo: courtesy

JA: Well, what we are trying to do is what many people are trying to do. Make sure that the government makes the right decisions — not to throw money at the problem but to invest in solutions. Right now, we see that our farmers are throwing [out their produce] because they don’t have anywhere to sell it. And at the same time, we see that families in places across America have difficulty to bring food to their homes. And so this is a problem that actually has a very simple solution. Feeding America with the food banks is going to be part of the solution, but we need more. We need to be using all the stadiums and baseball fields as meeting points for these families to make sure that people can drive in, pick up a box of food for a week, and go home. We need to start opening more farmers’ markets in the cities, on every corner — especially in the food deserts.

People don’t want our opinion. People want our respect. So you give them respect. I think in this new America I see a lot of empathy. I think we need to weaponize empathy. We need to weaponize the good things that bring us together above all. And I believe that if we do that, the America we’re going to see won’t be about if you’re [on the] right or on the left. If you’re white or you’re black, or if you have an accent. We’re going to see that a virus like this can get to all of us and that we need shorter walls and longer tables because a wall cannot stop a virus. A wall will not stop hungry people. If you’re a father, you’re a mother, and your family has to eat, nothing will stop you.

So I hope that we’re going to see a world where we’re investing in the betterment of the lives of people. We need to make sure people are lifted up. If we push people down, we’re going to see a tomorrow that we don’t like. So whoever we vote for, we need to make sure that these people understand that they are here to serve the people and empower the communities. If they don’t do that, we don’t want those leaders. If we have leaders who only think they’re at the top, we don’t want those leaders. We need to make sure that leaders empower everybody to succeed in this beautiful America, in this world we’re all a part of.

Andrés at El Barretal migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, in 2019. Photo: courtesy

LMM: Well said! I can’t wait to be in the kitchen with you again and have our kids listen to Hamilton — and go to the market, get some ingredients, and watch you go to work.

JA: Serve you cocktails?

JA: Da, da, da [singing] — I love you, Lin!

LMM: I love you! Thanks for taking the time. It’s always inspiring to talk to you.

Andrés in Mozambique in 2019. Photo: courtesy

JA: Say hi to your family! Everybody!

LMM: All right, I’m gonna eat my lunch.

For more information about World Central Kitchen and to donate, go to

For more stories like this, pick up the June issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download May 22.

Reprinted From 20 Years Ago – 2001

The NZFFA is an affiliation of angling clubs throughout New Zealand. It has been operating continuously since 1974. It is an independent organisation, which represents the collective interests of its members. The Federation works to identify and resolve national issues affecting angling in New Zealand, and supports member clubs and organisations in their efforts to resolve local issues. The Federation&rsquos strength lies in its independence and the number of anglers it represents.

The Federation currently has an elected executive of 15, and represents 55 angling clubs from throughout New Zealand, as well as 158 individual members and associates. It has links and affiliations with 46 associated organisations. The Federation is a founding member of the Council of Recreational Organisations of New Zealand (CORANZ).

The Federation has opposed the importation of trout flesh for commercial sale into New Zealand since it has been proposed. There are several compelling reasons why, we believe, such importations should continue to be banned. We will list and expand on these below.

Issues of Sovereignty

We believe that the original intent of the Conservation Act was very clear, and still valid today. Trout were introduced and intended as, and still are, a public non-commercial recreational resource. This was accepted by the Select Committee which examined the Conservation (Protection of Trout as a non-commercial species) Amendment Bill. They described MAF&rsquos attempt to allow the importation trout flesh as using a &ldquoloophole&rdquo in current legislation. A &ldquoloophole&rdquo that the proposed Bill would rectify. All parties concerned accepted the recommendations of that Select Committee except ACT.

That proposed Bill was written to address and allay the concerns of thousands of anglers from throughout New Zealand and elsewhere in the world over the commercialisation of our recreational resource. It was adopted by the Government after the last election, and we were told by a senior cabinet minister that &ldquoall Labour MP&rsquos support this bill&rdquo.

It is our belief and contention that trout fishing is a national &ldquoicon&rdquo of New Zealand. It was deliberately set up as an egalitarian public recreational resource by our forefathers who had seen and learnt from the private and commercial freshwater fisheries of their former homelands. Because it has always been protected from commercialisation by legislation, it has flourished to the point where it is used by national tourist promotions to symbolise this countries &ldquoclean green&rdquo image, and the recreational opportunities that provides. We therefore believe it is both accurate and appropriate to describe it as culturally significant to New Zealand an egalitarian, exclusively recreational, public resource enjoyed equally by all sectors of the population, supporting an important symbol of how both we and the rest of the world sees our society.

Recreational freshwater fishing, and the fishery that supports it, is seen as something that defines part of the identity of being a New Zealander. The freedom for anyone to access public waterways and fish for world-renowned sportsfish, differentiates New Zealand from most other countries. Therefore the ability to control and protect that uniquely New Zealand &lsquoicon&rsquo is equally important.

The Canadian agricultural minister has told our Government that, despite the ban on the sale of trout within New Zealand, if they are not allowed to sell their farmed trout here, they will take us to the WTO disputes committee and seek to have this declared a trade barrier. The current government has said in press statements that we should be prepared to accommodate this view. To be told that we must relinquish that right to determine our own cultural identity simply because some overseas countries want to import their commercially produced product into New Zealand, in direct violation of current laws, is totally unacceptable to the tens of thousands of New Zealand anglers. It is a direct challenge to a deeply cherished cultural heritage.

Prior to the current government being elected, it publically indicated it&rsquos support for the Conservation (Protection of Trout as a non-commercial species) Amendment Bill. This Bill&rsquos validity has already been tested and proven by a Select Committee process. We believe that to change that now, and allow the importation of trout flesh, would be operating without a mandate from the public.

Issues of Biosecurity

Compared to most similar overseas trout fisheries, trout in this country enjoy a remarkably disease-free status. This is particularly true of those countries indicating they wish to participate in trade in trout flesh. As in other areas, our geographical isolation has previously protected us from many of the devastating diseases found elsewhere. Trade has the ability to change that, and as is currently demonstrated by the world-wide emergence of BSE and its concurrent human health risk, can do so with devastating financial and health effects.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry have reviewed the biosecurity implications of importing trout flesh, and concluded that the risk is extremely small, and &ldquoacceptable&rdquo. We pointed out during submissions to such reviews, that some of their conclusions were unsubstantiated., scientifically indefensible assumptions. Our concerns, and our call for such reviews to be independently peer reviewed by someone with knowledge and experience in freshwater recreational fisheries, were ignored by MAF.

Our very real concerns with the biosecurity risks associated through participation in an insignificantly small trade in trout flesh have been confirmed by an independent consultants report, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment&rsquos recent publication &ldquoNZ Under Siege&rdquo, and by actual recent examples of our inability to prevent the entry of major pathogens into NZ, detect their presence when they do enter, or eradicate them once they are established. There are numerous examples of this, but perhaps the varroa bee mite illustrates such deficiencies best. It is fact that there is currently no mechanism to detect the presence of a freshwater fish pathogen should it enter this country, no plan or mechanism to monitor fish populations should such an event occur, and no plan, effective organisation, or finance available to eradicate it if it did occur. We view such a risk as neither small or acceptable.

It is accepted by all that importing trout flesh into New Zealand when to do so is currently illegal, creates a biosecurity risk where one does not currently exist. The statistical probabilities analysis used to measure that risk does not preclude a significant disease being present in the first shipment, or even the first two shipments.

Issues of Commercial Exploitation

The non-commercial status of New Zealand&rsquos trout fishery is one of its greatest protections. It is only because trout flesh cannot be sold that it can be effectively defended against criminal activity. This is because trout populations are largely self-sustaining and are particularly vulnerable at spawning when large numbers, sometimes whole breeding populations, congregate in shallow isolated headwaters. They could be easily removed in such situations without detection, destroying whole generations of prime breeding stock. It is testament to this ease of poaching that it is still widespread. It is only the lack of a commercial market that prevents it being on a large commercial scale. Despite that, current estimates by freshwater fisheries managers is that only 14% of such illegal activity is detected.

At the present time it is illegal to sell trout, imported or local, on the New Zealand market. The current Government want to change that, and if the law is changed so that trout could be imported there is no known way of identifying whether trout on sale in New Zealand outlets is imported &mdash or local trout which has been poached. In fact, because wild trout tastes significantly better than imported farmed trout, there would be a greater risk of it being sold at a premium. It is another reason why the likelihood of commercial poaching operations producing product indistinguishable from imported product would occur.

We have every reason to believe that like paua and crayfish and deer and snapper, once trout are commercialised, there will be a substantial increase in the incidence of poaching. Those Government agencies which have the responsibility to eradicate or control poaching of those species mentioned above have shown themselves incapable of controlling that poaching and we have no reason to believe they will be any more successful with trout . Fish and Game NZ believe that should trout become commercialised, they would not have the resources to protect our rivers, back country and headwaters from this threat.

If it were made legally possible to import and sell trout in New Zealand there is no logical reason to ban trout farming in New Zealand. That type of fish farming, as well as being environmentally unsustainable, has been characterised overseas by disease outbreaks, pollution of the environment, misuse of chemicals to control disease and parasites, and the use of suspect animal foods &mdash again fish farming will undoubtedly promote the incidence of poaching.

The production of trout as a food commodity is inevitably followed by a loss of access to recreational fishing waters, wild fish kills caused by both pollution and introduced disease, a huge and commercial scale poaching industry, and because of escapes of farmed fish, the loss of the genetic integrity and vigour of wild trout. This threat is made all the greater by the production of genetically-engineered fish, such as that currently being held by NZ King Salmon. These problems are only too apparent overseas where trout are farmed.

Appendix One

Conclusions of an independent consultants report into the non-commercial status of trout in New Zealand.

  • Recreational trout fishing on rivers and lake with free public access is a valuable resource with cultural, environmental and economic dimensions.
  • Resources such as the trout fishery can be successfully protected only through non-market (legislative) means. Previous legislation, which banned the sale of trout (imported or domestic) for human consumption and prevented trout farming, has protected this resource. Such protection to date has successfully limited the introduction of exotic trout diseases, maintained a recreational resource prized by New Zealanders and tourists alike, and helped support New Zealand&rsquos clean, green image.
  • If this protection is removed, the threats to this resource are real, as are the threats to the environment associated with trout poaching and trout farms.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that there are any benefits in relaxing the present protection regime that outweigh the potential deleterious effects likely to arise from removing this protection.

Dr Ian Johnstone, BSc, MSc (Hons), PhD
Biosecurity Manager and Advisor

Appendix Two

Freshwater fish diseases of particular concern in countries exporting trout flesh

Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHN)

A particularly virulent, aggressive and resistant iridovirus which kills salmon. trout and perch. It is also credited with causing declines in native Australian fish populations, including galaxids, over recent decades.


Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA)

Both American and Canadian fish farms have outbreaks of this highly infectious viral disease which have subsequently crossed over into wild salmon populations, making control and eradication virtually impossible.


Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA)

Scotland has been struggling with an outbreak of ISA in salmon farms which was transferred from Scandinavian fish farms with infected stock, since August 1998. Despite being an OIE notifiable disease, it has continued to spread, and has been found to have infected wild salmon and trout in Britain, Ireland and Scotland.

Parasites of trout and salmon, they occur in huge numbers on cage farmed fish. They transfer to wild fish as they pass by the fish cages and are credited with the severe decline of both wild salmon and sea trout in Scotland, Ireland and the north of England. As well as killing fish themselves they have been shown to transfer viral diseases such as ISA between fish, and have been reported as biting human bathers downstream of fish farms. Also of concern is the current treatment of farmed fish with chemicals such as Ivomectin to try and control the lice numbers.

NORWAY (also Scandinavia and Northern Europe)

Gyrodactylus salaris

An aggressive parasite of salmon and trout, its spread is a consequence of fish farming, through the transfer of infected salmonids between fish-farm businesses. Its spread to wild fish in Norway saw the poisoning of the Laerdal and six other rivers in an effort to stop it on April 9, 1998. 500 salmon, 4,000 sea-trout and upwards of 100,000 salmon smolts died, and all fishing on the Laerdal and other infected rivers was banned for the next five years. The Laerdal was a famous salmon fishery until the parasite, bred in Norwegian salmon farms, arrived and affected the wild fish. Not that it worked, the parasite has since spread throughout Europe and has been identified in Sweden, Finland, north Russia, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal.

Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA)

It is also of concern that Norway doesn&rsquot seem to be required to follow OIE requirements for notifiable diseases such as ISA. While the rest of the world closes down fish farms with outbreaks and destroys all the fish stocks, Norway doesn&rsquot. We wonder why not, particularly when they export infected fish to other countries and start outbreaks there.

Appendix Three

Relevant news items from recent NZFFA Newletters


Trout Protection &ndash an update:

We outlined in our last newsletter how the present Labour government was preparing to abandon it&rsquos pre-election promise to New Zealand&rsquos anglers, and scrap the Conservation (Protection of trout as a non-commercial species) Amendment bill. This was because the Canadians are insisting that under WTO rules, they have the right to sell their farmed trout here, despite the fact that is always has been, and currently still is, illegal to sell trout commercially within New Zealand.

One of the reasons that the Federation was formed, was to oppose the farming of trout. It has also been fighting the importation of trout flesh ever since that was first proposed. Along with Fish & Game NZ, we believe (based on the abundant evidence from overseas) that such importation will inevitably lead to trout farming, and either would see the end of our wild trout fishery, as we currently know it.

Thanks to the participation marshalled from you, the ordinary New Zealand angler, just prior to the last election enough pressure was exerted for Mark Burton, MP for Taupo, to draft the &ldquoProtection of trout as a non-commercial species&rdquo amendment to the Conservation Act. This would have the effect of making the importation, sale or farming of trout within New Zealand illegal. The Federation was informed at the time, by Jim Sutton, that &ldquoall Labour MP&rsquos support this bill&rdquo. It even went through a select committee stage unscathed, despite vigorous opposition from within the National government. Once Labour was elected, it formally adopted the bill as a government-sponsored bill, and eventually made it the responsibility of the Minister for the Environment, Marion Hobbs, to progress into law.

Now we find that the Labour cabinet has been captured by a dry-right element reminiscent of the &lsquoRoger Douglas&rsquo days, and Ministers, including Jim Sutton, are actively campaigning against the bill they once so vociferously championed. We are told that the Crown Law Office has decided that the Bill does indeed contravene some of the international trade agreements that the last National government obligingly signed us up to. We are also told that the current Labour government is prepared to &ldquoroll over&rdquo and let WTO backed commerce take precedence over it&rsquos own legislation. In other words, the freshwater anglers of New Zealand are being sold down the river to appease overseas commercial fish farmers (notably Canadian).

We think that if NZ&rsquos anglers can make a difference to this process, and keep the government to its promises, then it has to be done now. The moratorium on the importation of trout (an extension of the original one) ends in April.. The alternative is the destruction of a national icon, the end of the egalitarian right for anyone to buy a licence and fish for wild, world-class, self-sustaining trout in clean, freely accessible rivers and lakes. Failure to support and pass this bill in its current form will see the ending of an age of fishing within New Zealand.

The current state of play . . . .
The Conservation (Protection of Trout as a non-commercial species) Amendment bill continues to languish within the Ministry for the Environment. At the time of writing, the &ldquorevision&rdquo of the bill which was due at the end of 2000 shows no sign of re-emerging. Correspondence from Environment Minister Marian Hobbs continues to state that Cabinet has decided to refer the bill back to a Select Committee, so that any changes can be throughly scrutinised by Parliament, and to allow further submissions from the public and interest groups. Given that the bill has already been through this process once, we can only assume that Government is expecting a hostile reception to its changes from anglers like yourselves, while trying to placate self-seeking organisations such as Federated Farmers and industry groups. So they should. Changes to the bill they themselves sponsored, to allow overseas business interests precedence over New Zealand law is a shameful cop-out. Putting a world-class recreational fishery at risk for a insignificant and unimportant trade in trout flesh is even worse. Anglers have long memories and passionate feelings about this public resource.

Government commissions reports. . .
We asked the Minister for a copy of a couple of reports that they had commissioned as part of the review process, under the Official Information Act. The Minister released one to us, a report by APR Consultants of Rotorua, on the fisheries management consequences of trout imports. The other, a Crown Law opinion of the World Trade Organisation implications of trout imports, was refused, on the grounds of legal professional privilege. Fancy that! A Minister, elected to represent you the public, withholds from the public, a report by public servants (albeit the Crown Law Office) on the basis of professional privilege. No such worries with the report from commercial consultants. This must be the &ldquoopen government&rdquo we keep hearing about! We are going to have to apply to the Ombudsman to review this decision.

A preliminary glance of the said 50 page report (it is Christmas) indicates that it addresses the trade implications in greater depth than the fisheries management consequences, and would appear to be based on a number of preconceptions:

  • that the requirements of international trade agreements take absolute precedence over national law, (and hence),
  • that the only valid management method for species such as trout is based on &ldquofree-market&rdquo principles,
  • that the MAF Import Health Risk Analysis was complete, accurate and unquestionably correct and valid,
  • that trout would not only be imported into New Zealand, but also harvested or farmed as well,
  • that what hard information it (this report) contains is based on the Taupo fishery, because they have no knowledge of (or hard data on) any other freshwater recreational trout fisheries

That the Minister is being given this sort of advice to base decisions about the future of our recreational resource upon, is of great concern.

In the end, it might all boil down to. . . .
So why all this fuss about importing a fish for which there isn&rsquot a market in New Zealand? Where the return is unlikely to justify the cost, especially when in direct competition with salmon? Because, that isn&rsquot the main agenda. The Canadians may simply be trying to prove a point &ndash that they can use the WTO and international trade agreements to usurp national laws that they don&rsquot see as being in their best interest. Within NZ however, the aquaculture industry is lining up to have a crack at farming trout. They know that if it can be imported, there is no justification for not growing (or like eels &ndash harvesting) our own. APR Consultants seem to consider that such fish would fetch $5/kg ex-farm, $8/kg wholesale, and $21/kg retail. We think it much more likely that the public wouldn&rsquot find commercially reared fish particularly acceptable (once all the wild stock had been poached out, or killed off from disease and pollution). That is certainly the message that we get from overseas markets. We think that it is more likely that the real market can already be found on supermarket shelves. Nestles, the trans-national company that could afford to buy NZ, and with whom the dairy board certainly doesn&rsquot want a quarrel, already import trout into New Zealand. Marketed under their Fiskies &ldquoFancy Feasts&rdquo label, their Flaked Trout Feast is Gourmet Cat Food made in the USA.

It would be somewhat ironic, but absolutely typical of industry and international trade, if we lost a priceless recreational resource so that we could produce catfood.

You are what you eat.

One of the reasons we oppose salmonid farming, is that it is environmentally unsustainable. For every kilo of salmon or trout grown, four kilos of shrimp and small fish are sucked out of the ocean to produce fish pellets. Now new research by Dr Miriam Jacobs of Surrey University has found the farmed fish contain high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The production of PCBs is banned in most countries &ndash but the chemicals accumulate in oceans after being released in industrial waste. UK scientists are calling for urgent research to be carried out into the safety of farmed salmon after research showed that some fish contain worrying levels of these potentially dangerous chemicals.

PCBs are among the most toxic and persistent pollutants in existence. The chemicals are thought to affect human nervous, immune and reproductive systems. They are also thought to be responsible for so-called &ldquogender bending&rdquo effects because they mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen. Studies indicate the chemicals can cause cancer, decreased sperm counts, deformed genitals and sterility. The World Health Organisation is sufficiently concerned about the potential consequences to have cut its guidelines on the recommended intake of dioxins.

Dr Jacobs traced the contamination back to the feed that includes fish meal and oil which come from wild fish trawled from the world&rsquos oceans in vast quantities by industrial fleets. Concentrating the nutritional value of these fish into pellets to produce a high-protein diet for farmed salmon multiplies the minute traces of toxins present in each individual fish to a more significant level. Once ingested, PCBs build up in body fat and take years to break down.

A spokesman for the UK Fishmeal and Oil Manufacturers Association said it was aware of chemical concentration in feed. We can therefore assume that salmon and trout producers are, or should be, aware of this also. So how many warning labels have you seen on salmon products in shops and supermarkets? Oops! Must have slipped their minds.

One last point. Last August New Zealand&rsquos only dedicated fish food producing factory closed, after King Salmon decided to import their fish food rather than buy NZ-made. All 13 staff were made redundant at the plant at Hope, which was owned by NRM, a division of Tegel Foods. So why should fish farmed in this country be any different?

Salmon farming troubles on both sides of the Atlantic

New England&rsquos salmon farmers are under attack, as the federal government declared wild salmon in 8 Maine rivers as endangered, and said that the fish-farming industry was partially to blame. Environmentalists, backed by the National Environmental Law Centre are also suing three salmon farms for operating without discharge permits. They claim that concentrated fish waste, excess fish food, and a chemical used to clean the fish of sea lice, are running unchecked into the sea. Meanwhile, no fewer than 7 government agencies are beefing up or creating regulations that will impact on fish farming.

The listing of Maine&rsquos wild salmon as endangered is seen as such a threat to the salmon industry, the governor and a coalition of aquaculture companies are challenging it in court. They fear that fish pens might have to be moved further offshore to prevent escaped fish interbreeding with native fish, increasing production costs.

Sea lice also feature in news from Scottish salmon farms, where a family claim they were attacked by these blood-sucking little creatures whilst bathing from a beach near a fish farm. Sea lice breed in billions amongst salmon in farm cages. They have been shown to transmit bacterial and viral diseases. For the second year running in Scotland, thousands of miles of coastline have been closed to shellfish harvesting because of toxic algal blooms. Out of the 60 sites affected, 57 are in areas used for fish farming. None has any record of toxicity prior to 1988, when a massive expansion of fake salmon farming occurred, dumping huge quantities of untreated fish farm sewage into the marine environment.

Poached fish

Organisations such as Federated Farmers and APR Consultants continue to point out in articles and submissions that it is easy to tell the difference between farmed fish delivered in shrink-wrapped plastic, and poached fish delivered in newspaper or an old sack. We really wonder which world these people live in. Do they really think that vacuum packing machines are so hard to come by?

A recent article from Britain illustrates the commercial nature and the huge damage that poaching can inflict on a fishery. The biggest recorded kill of fish in one of Britain&rsquos most protected rivers has been blamed on bungling poachers. 100,000 fish have died in 10 days in the Dee&rsquos lower reaches on the border of England and Wales near Chester. Poachers often use chemicals to cut oxygen in the water and suffocate fish quickly. Ten days ago, dead and dying fish began surfacing in the river at Farndon, starved of oxygen. &ldquoThere have been occasions when poachers have used a substance in the water illegally which results in them getting the fish out quickly,&rdquo said an Environment Agency spokeswoman yesterday. &ldquoPoaching these days is no longer the chap taking home a bit of fish for his tea.&rdquo The contaminating agent was colourless and odourless and is proving difficult to identify. Anglers believe the stretch of river will be of no use to them for 10 years. Steve Fitzpatrick, news editor of the Angling Times, said: &ldquoAn incident at a trout farm two years ago killed 300,000 fish but we&rsquove seen nothing like this in their natural domain. He grew up fishing the Dee&rsquos waters and believes 100,000 fish have died.

It couldn&rsquot happen here, if there was a market for trout, &ndash could it?

Over the last month, we have seen:

  • Marine poaching described as a major source of income for gangs in between cannabis seasons, by Ministry of Fisheries.
  • a New Plymouth man convicted of possession of fish (rock lobster) for sale other than from an authorised source.
  • a large amount of paua found dumped in the Linwood Avenue waterway. It was believed the find was connected to a known group of paua poachers.
  • A total of 1081kg of kina roe valued at $28,997 was illegally taken by a Picton fisherman.
  • 25 kg of illegal shucked frozen paua was found in chilly bins owned by a Blenheim diving instructor. 148 were undersized.
  • Another offender was fined a total of $14,970 after pleading guilty to four charges relating to taking excess paua, undersize paua, taking paua with underwater breathing apparatus and taking fish while a banned fisher. The offending took place in the Marlborough Sounds.
  • Fisheries officers nabbed three men at Turakirae Head with 890 paua, police stopped a motorist with 600 paua, and a man was caught with nearly 200 crayfish taken illegally from the Wairarapa coast.
  • Fisheries officers seized 1500 paua taken by five men at Makara.
  • A huge haul of illegal crayfish nabbed by the Fisheries Ministry off the Wairarapa coast. It included 90 cooked and 40 fresh crayfish, along with five craypots and the four-metre aluminium runabout they were transported in.
  • Kaikoura volunteer fisheries officers have netted a fishermen with a catch of 300 paua, 30 times the legal limit.
  • Taranaki Fisheries officers caught more than half a dozen recreational anglers who hauled in undersized snapper.
  • A 200m net packed with rotting fish was found off the West Coast yesterday after floating 200km untended.


Government goes &lsquobelly-up&rsquo on Trout Protection

On October 13 th , 2000 the (Hon.) Jim Sutton said of the Burton Bill, (which is designed to protect the non-commercial status of trout in NZ), &ldquoNew Zealand might have to look at its ban on trout imports in order to meet international obligations on removing trade barriers. &hellip We are going to have to examine that to see if there are less trade restrictive ways of meeting our own policy objectives.&hellip This is going to cause a stir, of course, in New Zealand&ldquo.

Mr Sutton was speaking after a meeting with the Cairns Group in Canada, where he had the hard word put on him by Canadian Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief. Mr Vanclief told Sutton that regardless of the status of trout in NZ, if the Canadians weren&rsquot allowed to import their trout here, they would consider it a restrictive trade practice and initiate actions accordingly. They have already used this argument to good effect against the Australians through the World Trade Organisation.

Contrast that with what Mr Sutton was saying on 27th November, 1998, &ldquoThis bill has the important effect of avoiding exposing New Zealand to attack in the WTO for discriminating against imported product. &hellip All Labour MP&rsquos support the Burton&rsquos bill&rdquo We outlined the process involved in our Newsletter of September 1999, and wondered at the time whether the government of the day would have the guts necessary to withstand the pressure from overseas exporters. Well, I guess we now know. We did expect a little more spirited resolve from a Labour/Alliance government. I guess that makes two elections in a row that we have been suckered in by promises that politicians have no intention of keeping.

So, it appears that this governments policies and legislation on NZ recreational resources (like the previous governments) are being made, not by our elected representatives in Wellington based on the wishes of their constituents, but by overseas businessmen in foreign countries, out to make a quick buck at any cost. We firmly believe that this government is preparing to back down on the promise they were elected to carry out. We expect them to gut the Burton bill to appease foreign trade advocates.. Democracy, if not dead, would appear to be very, very sick indeed.

Biosecurity Issues

We have highlighted these of late, because of our continuing perception that they are symptomatic of a general breakdown in NZ&rsquos ability to recognise, intercept or respond to the introduction of unwanted organisms. As anglers, one of our greatest fears is the introduction of freshwater fish pathogens, which we have been highlighting since 1997, and which successive governments have been ignoring or marginalising because they interfere with &ldquofree trade agreements&rdquo. We have seen the extreme devastation such pathogens have brought to overseas freshwater fisheries when introduced in this manner, and we are determined not to see that repeated here.

Recent NZ examples include:

  • the inability to contain or eradicate veroa bee mites devastating our agricultural industries,
  • the inability to prevent the spread of mosquitos capable of carrying fatal human diseases down the east coast of the North Island,
  • the inability to eradicate the Guava moth from Northland,
  • the discovery of Australian frogs and poisonous cane toads,
  • a potentially fatal toxic algal bloom, introduced from ship ballast water discharge, affecting shellfish from most of the North Island,
  • an introduced tube worm devastating the Coromandel scollop fishery,
  • the discovery of four venomous spiders within six weeks, and thirteen snakes in the last two years ,

Now comes confirmation of our concerns from a most unlikely quarter &ndash MAF themselves. 23 of their last 26 internal biosecurity audits have shown up major problems, many of which aren&rsquot even being addressed, let alone fixed. Mind you, it took an application under the official secrets act to wrinkle this information out of them. We aren&rsquot sure which was most disappointing the confirmation of NZ&rsquos inability to protect its borders, or listening to Biosecurity Minister Marian Hobbs and MAF&rsquos spin-doctors defending the public servants responsible (or irresponsible, as the case may be).

Just so you don&rsquot think that the problems are all one-way traffic, the CSIRO reports that the introduced NZ screw shell has established itself off the coasts of eastern Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales, and now covers an area of seafloor about the size of Tasmania. It is impacting on other mollusc species, including scallops and the native screw shells, shellfish-eating fish species, and the food chain that depends on them.


Importation of uncooked Salmonid flesh

The importation of uncooked salmon, including those from Australia with heads and gills still attached, is still permitted by MAF. Despite the okay of the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, a WTO ruling, and the threat of trade restrictions from the Canadians, Tasmania is still banning the importation of raw Canadian salmon. The AQIS report allowing these imports, (similar to our MAF&rsquos report doing the same for NZ) has been blasted by an Australian joint Senate Committee.

An ABC News report, prepared when AQIS made their decision, gives an interesting insight into the views of Australian Aquacultural Scientists, Salmon Farmers and others. It describes raw fish imports as &ldquobiological Chernobyl&rsquos&rdquo, describes the devastating disease threats involved, and fails to find anyone who isn&rsquot hostile to the prospect, described by an international Aquacultural Scientist as &ldquoabsolute madness&rdquo. It also gives interesting insights into the pressure applied by the Canadians and WTO, and how one industry (the tuna industry) is played off against another (the salmon industry). It reenforces the view that such decisions (by both AQIS and our MAF) have little to do with science, or even common sense, and a whole lot to do with the implementation of international trade agreements at the expense of individual countries sovereign rights.

Only recently, a joint meeting of Federated Farmers and its Australian equivalent, has called for a new round of international trade negotiations by the WTO (after the abject failure of the Seattle Summit) and the &lsquouncoupling&rsquo of these negotiations from labour and environmental issues. Talk about an abdication of responsibility for their actions! Perhaps the heads of Federated Farmers need to get out of Wellington and have a closer look at some of NZ&rsquos rivers and streams downstream of intensive farm holdings. Or where stock have uncontrolled access to them. That is assuming that the streams and rivers still flow after most of their water has been extracted for irrigation. We are sure that what they would find is not the image of farming in NZ that they prefer to present to the rest of the world! A full version of the ABC News transcript can be found on the Federation&rsquos web site at:

Genetically altered salmon cause debate among U.S. officials

In New Zealand, researchers using genetic engineering developed a strain of chinook salmon they believed could eventually weigh 550 pounds. On Canada&rsquos Prince Edward Island, &ldquotransgenic&rdquo Atlantic salmon injected with a protein grow four times faster than ordinary fish. The &ldquoblue revolution&rdquo &ndash like the green revolution in biotech agriculture &ndash is on the verge of exploding, and new breeds of salmon could be the first genetically altered animals sold in the local supermarket. But from the shores of Puget Sound to the California statehouse and from the Alaska governor&rsquos office to two streams on Vancouver Island, fishermen, government officials and environmentalists are increasingly wary of what critics are calling &ldquoFrankenfish.&rdquo

&ldquoWe are very worried,&rdquo said Glen Spain, Northwest regional director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen&rsquos Associations. &ldquoOnce you let the genies out of the bottle, you are at the mercy of the genies.&rdquo No one is quite sure what the long-term biological or environmental consequences might be if genetically altered salmon escaped from the fish farms, where they would be raised, and cross-bred or competed with wild, native stocks for food and spawning sites. &ldquoIt&rsquos a hot issue,&rdquo said Kevin Amos of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

A Massachusetts company, A/F Protein Inc., has said it has orders for 15 million eggs from genetically engineered, or transgenic, Atlantic salmon it has been raising on Prince Edward Island. The company has sought FDA approval to start marketing the eggs to fish farms. The fish can reach market size in 18 months, rather than the 36 months it now takes a typical Atlantic salmon. An A/F Protein spokesman was unavailable for comment, but the company&rsquos supporters say such transgenic salmon could dramatically expand fish farm operations around the world and relieve the pressure on wild stocks. Already, more than half the salmon sold in the United States are raised in farms.

In New Zealand, a company using genetic engineering was developing what could have been a mammoth chinook, or King salmon, they believed could eventually grow to 550 pounds. Wild chinook have been caught weighing 100 pounds or so. According to reports out of New Zealand, some of the first generation of chinook under development had lumps on their heads and other deformities. Following a public outcry and rising government scrutiny, the company abandoned its research earlier this year and killed and buried the fish. The company, however, held onto frozen sperm.

On the US West Coast, surprisingly, it&rsquos the Atlantic salmon that could actually pose the greatest threat. It has become the staple of fish farming operations in Washington and British Columbia. About 10 million pounds are raised annually, and it&rsquos a $40-million-a-year business. Fish farms in British Columbia raise 80 million pounds of Atlantic salmon annually. The problem is, the Atlantic salmon escape. Since 1996, almost 600,000 Atlantic salmon have escaped from the net pens in Washington waters, and at least 60,000 in British Columbia waters. Genetically engineered Atlantic salmon could provide an even greater danger to Pacific salmon. They would grow faster and be more competitive. &ldquoIt&rsquos a recipe for extinction,&rdquo said Kate Neiswender, an aide to California state Sen. Tom Hayden. The Los Angeles Democrat wrote a resolution approved unanimously by the California Legislature that calls, among other things, on the National Marine Fisheries Service to ensure transgenic salmon are prevented from threatening wild stocks. Neiswender said salmon migrate up and down the West Coast, and Alaska salmon have been found as far south as California. Bob King, a spokesman for Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, said that salmon farming is banned in the state and that the governor considers Atlantic salmon an &ldquoinvasive&rdquo species. &ldquoHaving genetically engineered salmon escape into the wild is a scary prospect,&rdquo King said, adding that with a current surplus and depressed salmon prices &ldquowe would question altering Mother Nature to add to the glut.&rdquo

In the Northwest, an official of the Omega Salmon Group Ltd., which owns the Washington salmon farms, said he knew of no plans to start raising transgenic Atlantic salmon. Omega is a subsidiary of the one of the largest salmon farming companies in the world, Pan Fish ASA, a Norwegian company with operations in Norway, Scotland, Canada and the United States. A/F Protein officials, however, said they have had private discussions about transgenic Atlantic salmon with virtually every salmon company in the world.

The effects of aquaculture and trade on fisheries.

The scientific journal &ldquoNature&rdquo has published research showing that the farming of carnivorous fish such as trout and salmon is environmentally unsustainable and damaging. New research has confirmed that, as well as problems involving conversion of coastal wetlands to fish ponds, habitat modification, wild seedstock collection, the spreading of fish disease and the discharge of untreated fish wastes, producing one pound of carnivorous farmed fish such as salmon or shrimp requires about three pounds of wild fish in the form of fish meal. &ldquoMany consumers believe that when they purchase farmed fish they are helping to take pressure off of wild fisheries,&rdquo said an author of the study. &ldquoIn fact, for many types of farmed fish, the opposite is true.&rdquo

Meanwhile, fish farmers here were warned that using alternatives to fish-meal, or genetically-modified fish, would see their products banned from European markets by the EU, still worried about the human variant of Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease. Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission member John Mitchell told the commission&rsquos annual meeting that farmers also had to exclude dioxin-containing chemicals from their farms. Dr Mitchell, just back from an aquaculture conference in France, said New Zealand&rsquos farmed seafood would be rejected in Europe if farmers could not prove they were meeting the European Union&rsquos health regulations. Genetically-engineered fish, like those in a now-defunct King Salmon experiment in Marlborough, could not be exported to Europe either. New Zealand&rsquos aquaculture exports earned about $200 million last year. (ie less than one third of what the freshwater recreational fishery earned, about one fifth of what recreational seafishing earned). Fish could no longer be fed on meal derived from beef, sheep, pork, or chicken by-products, Dr Mitchell said after the conference, because of the danger of the human variant of Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease, commonly known as mad cow disease. The concerns were with the food fed to cage-reared salmon, snapper, kingfish and flounder. &ldquoThey&rsquod better be pretty damn sure they are using fish-meal &ndash by-products from a fish factory that cannot be fashioned into food products for human consumption &ndash and clean fish-meal at that,&rdquo he said. Salmon Farmers&rsquo Association chairman Mark Gillard, from King Salmon, said meat and bone-based meal was used in New Zealand because it was cheap and efficient, and he did not believe there was a health risk. MAF, who seem to work on the theory that the customer is always wrong, immediately pointed out that there was no scientific basis to such trade restrictions, only to trip themselves up on the issue of meal imported from Australia.

An interesting aside to such issues arose from Jim Sutton&rsquos speech to the NZ Veterinarians annual conference, and serves to illustrate how international trade agreements over-ride national and consumer concerns. The Minister of Agriculture and Overseas Trade pointed out that &ldquoWorld Trade Organisation rules preclude the use of animal welfare issues as non-tariff trade barriers to prevent market access. By continuing to actively participate in bilateral, regional and multilateral trade negotiations, both MAF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue to ensure that animal welfare is not used as a market access issue&rdquo. What the means in practice is that when you learn that farmed salmon have been kept so tightly packed in cages that their eyeballs had been rubbed out by bodily contact, resulting in the death of 240,000 fish or that they have been feed fish-meal so full of oils that they have diarrhoea their whole lives and the structure of their flesh breaks down, you can&rsquot decide that you aren&rsquot going to import the product because of that, or you will be taken to the WTO disputes process for using non-tariff trade barriers. It gives an interesting insight into the sort of trade agreements that previous governments have signed us up to, and how they might impact on the Conservation (Protection of trout as a non-commercial species) Amendment Bill. If you want a really scary example of the logical conclusion of this sort of thinking, read how the WTO advocates the use of free trade agreements as the most efficient means of environmental protection, available from the WTO web site!

The farcical nature of these trade rules has been graphically illustrated by MAF&rsquos previous reports allowing the importation of salmon and trout into New Zealand (which sparked both the Customs Order banning the importation of trout, and the Conservation Amendment Bill designed to keep trout as a non-commercial species), and the report on the importation of fresh Salmonid flesh (heads on, gills in) from Australia. These were part of bilateral and multilateral trade deals and MAF was required to produce a report to scientifically show that they posed no problems, as part of the WTO rules. Well they produced the reports to show it was okay, but the scientific part was dubious to say the least. Not only were they based entirely upon conjecture, but they dismissed as &lsquonegligible risk&rsquo the exact same scenario that saw the introduction of whirling disease into the USA, &ndash with the resulting destruction of freshwater trout fisheries, and economic losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Even when other scientists pointed out inaccuracies in the reports, such criticism was ignored. (After all, it might have prevented the trade agreements going ahead). Now we have the situation where these reports are being politically accepted as scientifically based justification according to WTO rules, solely on the basis that their authors say they are. Does that sound like science, or does that sound like commerce, to you? Interestingly, an Australian Senate Committee has blasted the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service&rsquos report allowing the importation of Canadian salmon into their country (see report above). What a pity no-one in our government is prepared to critically examine the finding of their own government departments over similar reports, even when such departments have clearly demonstrated bias and their own agendas.

Meanwhile, King Salmon went back on the offensive over seals eating their fish. It has applied to DoC to move 100 seals a month out of their home in the Marlborough Sounds. Forest and Bird responded by saying West Coast seal colonies have been declining recently, partly because about 10,000 seals have drowned in trawler nets, mostly in the hoki fishery.

Overseas, Scottish reports indicate that the total number of salmon caught by all methods in the North West and West coast regions, where fish farms are most prevalent, has fallen from close to 30,000 in the early 1980&rsquos, to 3,699 wild fish in 1998. Sea-trout are in a worse state. In 1998 the figure was 1,431 fish. In the early 1980s it was over 10,000. Even more worrying, new legislation in connection with the control of the disease Infectious Salmon Anaemia will allow fish farmers to sell to the public salmon from farms where the disease is present. Environmental groups have renewed their calls for a public inquiry into fish farming in Scotland. They said fish escaping from farms were spreading disease and causing genetic changes in the wild salmon population.

And from America comes confirmation of what many anglers already know, that wild salmon tastes better than its cousin on the farm. At a recent blind taste test conducted by conservation groups, diners evaluated the flavour, texture, mouth feel and colour of wild salmon and farmed salmon, which were prepared the same way. &ldquoThis blind tasting was important to show the consumer the differences in flavour brought about by the environment in which the fish are raised &ndash one manipulated by man versus the superior flavour of the wild salmon, which has been allowed to mature through its natural lifecycle.&rdquo said Nora Pouillon, owner of Restaurant Nora where the salmon tasting took place. The luncheon at Restaurant Nora coincided with SeaWeb&rsquos release of a national poll, which indicates most Americans are unaware of the environmental and health concerns surrounding fish farms. The majority of those surveyed indicated they have no idea where the salmon they eat comes from. Most believe farmed salmon is healthier and better for the environment. Tasters at Restaurant Nora said the wild salmon was &ldquofull of flavour.&rdquo Several added that there was &ldquono comparison&rdquo with farmed salmon. About half of the salmon eaten by Americans is farmed. From 1990 to 1991 alone, farmed salmon production increased by 4,600 percent. Conservationists cite a litany of environmental concerns involving farmed salmon, from water pollution to bycatch of marine birds and mammals to disease to algal blooms. According to SeaWeb, 32,000 tons of farmed salmon may produce the same volume of sewage as that generated by a city of 50,000 people. Farm salmon regularly escape from coastal pens and often breed with wild salmon. In Norway, as many as 1.3 million salmon wander from farms each year. Recently, a genetically engineered &ldquosupersalmon&rdquo has put salmon at the centre of the biotechnology debate. &ldquoIf you mess up the gene pool, you can make wild salmon populations less able to survive and reproduce in the future,&rdquo warns Environmental Defense biologist Rebecca Goldberg.

And from Canada, comes news that a flotilla of boats led by five native war canoes protested the presence of fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago, by serving a symbolic eviction notice. Thirty fishing vessels joined the demonstration against what organizers, the Musgamawg Tsawataineuk Tribal Council, called an invasion of their territory by the fish farming industry. Twenty-six fish farms operate in the Broughton Archipelago, a B.C. Marine Provincial Park and wilderness area comprising several small islands, numerous islets and adjacent foreshore at the southern extremity of Queen Charlotte Strait between Vancouver island and mainland British Columbia. Protesters claim Broughton Archipelago has the highest concentration of fish farms in the world. Environmentalists like whale researcher Alexandra Morton, who has lived in the area for 13 years, claim fish farming is responsible for a multitude of sins &ndash toxic algae blooms, diseased Atlantic salmon escaping and breeding in Pacific streams, displacement of killer whales by acoustic harassment devices and plummeting populations of wild salmon. Yvon Gesinghaus of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council said the council has protested every fish farm licence application for 15 years. &ldquoToday&rsquos protest is our way of saying we&rsquove tried everything else &ndash enough is enough. They can take their frigging fish farms and put them somewhere else.&rdquo


Infectious Salmon Anaemia Outbreak

We have followed the unfolding story of this outbreak in Scottish salmon farms, since it broke in August 1998. Following its introduction, apparently from Norway by multinational salmon farming companies, all efforts by the Salmon Farming Industry and MAFF to contain, let alone eradicate, the disease have failed. Now comes even more disturbing news, that:

  • the disease is still spreading among fish farms, with 6 new sites affected,
  • 24 sites are suspected or confirmed as having the disease (10% of all salmon farms) and millions of salmon have been destroyed.
  • 20,000 fully grown farmed salmon escaped from a farm in a &ldquohigh-risk&rdquo (infected) zone. It was 10 days before this was publically notified.
  • The diseases spread to Scotland&rsquos wild salmon has finally been admitted,
  • Other results indicate it could be in brown trout in the Rivers Conan and Easaidh Atlantic salmon parr in the Rivers Conan, Easaidh and the Tweed and Rainbow Trout in freshwater farms in Aberdeenshire and Kinross-shire.

You can find heaps more information about this outbreak on the Federations website at:

Whirling Disease Update &ndash from Trout Unlimited

Four years ago the term &ldquowhirling disease&rdquo entered the lexicon of trout fishers throughout the United States. Although it had been in a number of fish hatcheries around the country since at least the 1970s, whirling disease had not troubled most fish managers, who took solace in the absence of proof that the disease had the same deadly effects in the wild that it had demonstrated in a captive fish breeding environment. But then, beginning in 1994, came disturbing reports from Colorado and Montana suggesting that whirling disease was responsible for the decline of such blue-ribbon fisheries as the Madison, the Colorado, the South Platte, and the Gunnison. In short order, whirling disease became a spectre haunting the future of American trout fishing.

Now, several years after whirling disease&rsquos emergence as a recognized threat to coldwater fisheries, we offer a follow-up report, whose purpose is to evaluate progress in implementing the 1996 report&rsquos research and management recommendations. This report attempts to answer a basic question: What have scientists and fishery managers learned about whirling disease? To start with, it is important to note that no one as yet has been able to explain why whirling disease has had such deadly effects on wild fish in Colorado and in some Montana waters, but has not demonstrated pronounced adverse effects on fish in such places as California and New York. Yet scientists have gained new insight into the environmental factors that seem to influence the intensity of infection. Adding strength to the role of environmental factors, there has been no evidence of genetic differences in M.cerebralis (the whirling disease parasite) in samples from a broad geographic range. In addition to the varying influence of environmental factors, researchers have confirmed varying responses to infection among salmonid species. To aid in the disease&rsquos detection, thanks to work done at the University of California-Davis, we now have a quick, cost-effective diagnostic test. These are all solid achievements, made possible by public-private sector cooperation in meeting the disease&rsquos threat.

In the final analysis, success in controlling whirling disease will depend on the willingness of fishery managers to use the information and tools that science provides. We remain far from finding a &ldquocure&rdquo indeed, we may never find one. That by itself conveys a valuable, cautionary lesson. Whirling disease demonstrates that, in addition to documented genetic risks, the use of artificially propagated fish for supplementation can entail significant pathological risks to wild populations and should be undertaken with far greater care and deliberation than has been the norm. It also tells us that our ability and willingness to protect and restore our streams and rivers may prove the best long-term protection to whirling disease and other pathogens.


Importation of Fresh Canadian Lake Trout

The great news is that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has refused Southfresh permission to import fresh Canadian lake trout prior to the Conservation Amendment (Trout as a recreational species) Bill being considered by Parliament. We commend the Minister on his decision. The other good news is that, as trout can only currently be imported at the discretion of the Minister of Conservation (under the Customs Import Prohibition (Trout) Order 1998), the Department of Conservation, rather than MAF advise the Minister. (The reason that Dr Smith took so long to make a decision on Southfresh&rsquos application was that DoC prepared a report on the proposal).

Funnily enough, Southfresh were less than impressed by the decision, indicating that freshwater fishing organisations were elitist greenies determined to destroy world trade and deny the public the right to buy what they wanted to. They widely published their arguments, most notably in The Dominion. They have vowed to reapply and keep fighting, claiming that a number of exhaustive MAF studies have shown that there is absolutely no risk involved. This is very interesting, given that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Minister Luxton (who seem to think that they have a sole right to decide such matters) are openly advocating the importation of trout into New Zealand, and that the MAF &lsquostudies&rsquo that support that decision could at best be described as very suspect &lsquoscience&rsquo.

Submission on the Importation of Salmonids from Australia

The Australians, having decided that we can send our whirling disease over there, have reciprocated by requesting that they be allowed to send their &lsquonasties&rsquo over here. They want to export their fresh salmon to us with the heads and gills attached. Why would they want to do that, when such bits are inedible and carry many of the disease organisms capable of decimating our fisheries? Presumably, to save their aquaculturalists a couple of bob in processing costs. And the potential costs to NZ? Think about how whirling disease was introduced into the USA. There, almost a decade later, some trout streams are still experiencing losses of wild juvenile rainbow trout of 95% &ndash 98%. The prospect of eliminating it from the environment is nil.

We covered this application in our last newsletter, at which time, the information released by MAF sounded pretty straightforward and feasible. Then we read their proposal (supplementary import risk analysis), and changed our minds. We&rsquore not sure what it is, but whatever it is, it isn&rsquot science. It is our view, covered in our submission to MAF, that:

  • the analysis is full of unscientific supposition and opinion, unsupported by fact or data
  • the recommendations and conclusions reached are not supported by the presented scientific facts or data
  • the report, while spending considerable detail on wild fisheries, shows an appalling ignorance of them
  • a considerable portion of the report is spent on the importation of trout, and leaves no doubt of MAF&rsquos advocacy for this.

Of particular concern is the increased potential to import and release Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV) which, apart from infecting Salmon, can also kill Perch, Trout and native Galaxiids, and has been implicated in the decline of Australian native fish populations. It is an extremely hardy virus which may be present in apparently healthy farmed fish.

Frankly, we simply don&rsquot think that MAF are capable or competent of assessing the risk to our wild recreational fisheries of these sort of proposals, and the fact that they form the basis of our international trade agreements gives us grave concerns. We have to question why the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is making decisions on fish species which directly affect our recreational fisheries, (why not, more properly, the Ministry of Conservation?), when they obviously have no expertise in the subject. And we would question how the Minister, or anyone else, can expect balanced impartial studies and decisions from a Government Ministry that has an openly declared bias.

Among the greatest of our concerns is that, should such imports be allowed, there is absolutely no suggestion that its results be monitored. In other words, MAF is quite happy to relax our biosecurity standards in the name of free trade, but is unwilling to accept any responsibility for the consequences, let alone monitor them. We find that unacceptable.

Salmon Farms strip South Island trout spawning stream

It is also of grave concern to the Federation that two South Island commercial salmon companies, Farm Fresh Salmon Company and Rebco Salmon Farm, have been found with 200 penned trout and 400kg of processed trout fillets in their possession. As reported in the Press (9/11/99), the brown trout were apparently poached from the Sisters Stream, a tributary of the North Hurunui River (the best trout fishery in the region), and where one of the &lsquofarms&rsquo is located. They represent almost the entire spawning run and their removal has devastated the fishery according to Fish and Game, whose officers raided the &lsquofarms&rsquo. The fish had been described by one of the companies as &ldquoPacific Salmon&rdquo.

This incident serves to confirm and highlight a number of the concerns that the Federation has been stating for some time now about commercial fish farms. Firstly, there was a complete distain for the natural fisheries and surrounding environment. Secondly, when it was a question of money or ethics, it ain&rsquot always the ethics that wins. Thirdly, some commercial operators are prepared to break the law to make a buck. Obviously, these commercial operators were able to carry out this crime with impunity. Now we were under the impression that MAF had a monitoring programme for commercial salmon farms. It would appear that either: (a) We were wrong, (b) It isn&rsquot operating, or (c) MAF can&rsquot tell the difference between a farmed salmon and a wild brown trout!

We can only imagine what would have happened if there had been a disease outbreak on such a salmon farm. Either it would have been ignored, covered up, or remained undetected. Either way, it is probable that dead fish would have been dumped to infect our wild trout populations. But then, MAF tell us that this would be &ldquounlikely&rdquo and that the risk is &ldquonegligible&rdquo.


Italy may be in Easter lockdown, but the party's on at sea

Italy may be in a strict coronavirus lockdown this Easter with travel restricted between regions and new quarantines imposed. But a few miles offshore, guests aboard the MSC Grandiosa cruise ship are shimmying to Latin music on deck and sipping cocktails by the pool.

In one of the anomalies of lockdowns that have shuttered hotels and resorts around the world, the Grandiosa has been plying the Mediterranean Sea this winter with seven-night cruises, a lonely flag-bearer of the global cruise industry.

After cruise ships were early sources of highly publicized coronavirus outbreaks, the Grandiosa has tried to chart a course through the pandemic with strict anti-virus protocols approved by Italian authorities that seek to create a “health bubble” on board.

Passengers and crew are tested before and during cruises. Mask mandates, temperature checks, contact-tracing wristbands and frequent cleaning of the ship are all designed to prevent outbreaks. Passengers from outside Italy must arrive with negative COVID-19 tests taken within 48 hours of their departures and only residents of Europe's Schengen countries plus Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria are permitted to book under COVID-19 insurance policies.

On Wednesday, the Grandiosa left the Italian port of Civitavecchia for its weeklong Easter cruise, with 2,000 of its 6,000-passenger capacity and stops planned in Naples and Valletta, Malta, before returning to its home port in Genoa.

Passengers welcomed the semblance of normalcy brought on by the freedom to eat in a restaurant or sit poolside without a mask, even if the virus is still a present concern.

“After a year of restrictive measures, we thought we could take a break for a week and relax,” said Stefania Battistoni, a 39-year-old teacher and single mother who overnight from Bolzano, in northern Italy, with her two sons and mother to board the cruise.

The pandemic has plunged global cruise ship passenger numbers from a record 30 million in 2019 to more than 350,000 since July 2020, according to Cruise Lines International, the world’s largest cruise industry association representing 95% of ocean-going cruise capacity. Currently, fewer than 20 ships are operating globally, a small fraction of CLIA’s members’ fleets of 270 ships.

The United States could be among the last cruise ship markets to reopen, possibly not until fall, and not until 2022 in Alaska. Two Royal Caribbean cruise lines that normally sail out of Miami opted instead to launch sailings in June from the Caribbean, where governments are eager to revive their tourism-based economies despite activist concerns about the health and environmental impact.

On the MSC ship, extra cabins are set aside to isolate suspected virus cases. Because of the contact tracing wristbands, if a passenger tests positive, medical personnel can identify anyone with whom they were in contact. Once the situation is clear, anyone who is positive is transferred to the shore.

According to an independent consulting firm, Bermello Ajamii & Partners, just 23 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed on ships since the industry began its tentative relaunch last summer, for a passenger infection rate of 0.006%.

But cruise industry critics say the risk isn’t worth it and add that cruise companies should have taken the pandemic timeout to address the industry's long-standing environmental and labour problems.

“All large cruise ships burn huge volumes of the dirtiest, cheapest fuel available,” said Jim Ace of environmental group Stand Earth. “Cruise ship companies could have used the COVID shutdown to address their impacts on public health and the environment. Instead, they scrapped a few of their oldest ships and raised cash to stay alive.”

On board, though, passengers are relishing the chance to enjoy activities that have been mostly closed in Italy and much of Europe for a year: a theatre , restaurant dining, duty-free shopping and live music in bars.

The rest of Italy is heading back into full lockdown over the Easter weekend, with shops closed and restaurants and bars open for takeout only to try to minimize holiday outbreaks. In addition, Italy’s government imposed a five-day quarantine on people entering from other EU countries in a bid to deter Easter getaways.

“Let’s say that after such a long time of restrictions and closures, this was a choice done for our mental health,” said Federico Marzocchi, who joined the cruise with his wife and 10-year-old son Matteo.

The European cruise industry is looking to expand the reopening this spring.

Cruises are circulating on Spain’s Canary islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, including the company AIDA catering to German tourists. Costa Cruises, which with MSC is one of Europe’s largest cruise companies, will resume cruises on May 1, with seven-night Italy-only cruises. Costa plans to begin sailing in the western Mediterranean from mid-June.

Britain is opening to cruise ships in May, with MSC and Viking launching cruises of the British Isles, among several companies offering at-sea “staycation” cruises aimed at capturing one of the most important cruise markets. The cruise industry is hoping Greece will open in mid-May, but the country hasn't yet announced when it will reopen tourism.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a “framework” for resuming cruises in the U.S., but the industry says the health agency hasn't spelled out the details that companies need to operate their ships. Once the CDC provides technical requirements, industry officials say it takes about 90 days to prepare a ship for sailing.

The cruise companies complain that last fall’s CDC framework is outdated and should be scrapped. They say it was issued before vaccines were available and before the restart of cruises in Europe, which they say have safely carried thousands of passengers under new COVID-19 protocols. And they complain that cruising is the only part of the U.S. economy that remains shuttered by the pandemic.

The Cruise Lines International Association trade group is lobbying for an early July start to U.S. cruising, noting that loyal cruise customers will just go to elsewhere.

“Cruisers love to cruise, and they will go where the ships are sailing,” said Laziza Lambert, a spokeswoman for the trade group.

Still, environmentalists pushing back against an earlier restart say the timeout imposed by the pandemic provides a window to address the industry's issues.

“Large cruise ships pollute our air, our water and contribute to climate change. They are toxic to port communities. And they spread COVID. They exploit workers and put passengers at risk,'' Ace said. ”Why should large cruise ships be allowed to return before they have addressed these concerns?"

AP reporters Colleen Barry in Soave, Italy, Nicole Winfield in Rome, and David Koenig in Dallas, contributed to this report.

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at:

Maria Grazia Murru, The Associated Press

Royal Caribbean: We expect all cruise guests to be vaccinated

Shootings leave 3 dead over the weekend in Independence, police say

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U.S. Outbreak Slows as Concern Rises Over Variant: Virus Update

Heat, Nuggets look to recover after dropping Game 1 matchups

Royal Caribbean: We expect all cruise guests to be vaccinated

The boss of Royal Caribbean wants all passengers to have Covid vaccines before getting on his ships.

Shootings leave 3 dead over the weekend in Independence, police say

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Wheeler fans 12, Phils beat Red Sox 6-2 to end 4-game skid

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Zack Wheeler struck out a career high-tying 12 and the Philadelphia Phillies ended a four-game skid, beating the Boston Red Sox 6-2 on Sunday. Odubel Herrera doubled twice and singled and Brad Miller hit a three-run homer as the Phillies averted a sweep and stopped Boston's four-game winning string. Wheeler (4-2) allowed only three hits in 7 1/3 innings, and retired 17 straight batters after a leadoff single. He matched the dozen strikeouts he had in 2013 for the New York Mets against San Diego. Philadelphia scored four times in the first off Eduardo Rodríguez (5-3). Rhys Hoskins singled home Herrera with the first run and after Alec Bohm walked, Miller hit a drive just inside the left-field foul pole for his fourth homer of the year. Rodríguez gave up five hits and walked three in four-plus innings. He threw 103 pitches before departing two hitters into the fifth inning. The first-inning run support was all Wheeler needed. Facing a Boston lineup that didn’t feature Xander Bogaerts or J.D. Martinez — both given a day of rest by manager Alex Cora before an off-day on Monday. Only Franchy Cordero’s long home run onto Ashburn Alley in deep right center to lead off the eighth blemished Wheeler’s outing. Rafael Devers hit a solo homer in the ninth off Archie Bradley. Wheeler improved his overall ERA to 2.38 on the season. He has been masterful at notoriously hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park as well, going 3-0 in six starts with a 1.88 ERA, 52 strikeouts and just five walks in 53 innings. Andrew McCutchen added a sacrifice fly and Herrera had an RBI double. Herrera has made his case to fill Philadelphia’s center field void, hitting .355 with two homers and eight RBIs in 62 at-bats since May 3. TRAINER’S ROOM Red Sox: Alex Verdugo was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game because of a left hamstring strain suffered in Friday night’s win. He did come up in the ninth inning as a pinch-hitter for Marwin Gonzalez, grounding into a fielders choice. The Red Sox outfielder is expected to return on Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves. Phillies: Bryce Harper was out of the Phillies starting lineup on Sunday as he continues to try to shake a 2-for-25 slump with 13 strikeouts in his last seven games with no hits in his last 16 at-bats. Harper has been bothered by a sore shoulder that was exacerbated last weekend against the Blue Jays. UP NEXT Red Sox: After an off-day on Monday, the Red Sox will host the Braves to start a two-game set. Garrett Richards (4-2, 3.72 ERA) will get the start for Boston against Atlanta’s Charlie Morton (2-2, 4.60). Phillies: Philadelphia hits the road for a nine-game road trip that will start in Miami on Monday. Zach Eflin (2-3, 3.77 ERA) will start for the Phils against Marlins LHP Trevor Rogers (6-2, 1.74) ___ More AP MLB: and Kevin Cooney, The Associated Press

U.S. Outbreak Slows as Concern Rises Over Variant: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) -- The spread of coronavirus in the U.S. continues to slow, with the country ending its first week since June with no days of infections exceeding 30,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that under-vaccinated areas in the U.S. could become hot spots for a mutation of the coronavirus first detected in India and is increasing surveillance of the more-transmissible variant.The U.K. government pushed back on claims from the former chief aide of Prime Minister Boris Johnson that officials pursued a herd-immunity strategy in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases pass 166.8 million deaths exceed 3.4 millionVaccine Tracker: More than 1.65 billion doses have been givenData revisions leave Taiwan unsure where outbreak is headingWhat’s the best Covid vaccine? Why it’s not so simple: QuickTakeGlaxoSmithKline will make sure it’s on the front lines of the next pandemicVaccine tourists urged to read fine print on trips overseasThree at Wuhan Lab Hospitalized in Late 2019, WSJ Reports (3:20 p.m. NY)Three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology sought hospital care in November 2019, about the time when experts say the coronavirus began circulating around the Chinese city, the Wall Street Journal reported.The newspaper cited a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report that could bolster the theory that the pandemic began at the laboratory, which studied coronaviruses. No official conclusion has been made about the origin of the virus, and many nations, including the U.S., have criticized China for a lack transparency, without overtly embracing the lab-leak theory, which had been pushed by the Trump administration.California Deaths Decline (2:48 p.m. NY)California’s deaths dropped to 33 from 50 the day before. Cases rose to 1,308 from 1,186, a rate of 2.8 new cases per 100,000. California has administered more than 36 million vaccines in total. The state is preparing for its reopening on June 15, when it’s easing mask requirements and lifting capacity limits for most venues.France Deaths Lowest Since Fall (1:36 p.m. NY)France reported the lowest daily increases in coronavirus-related deaths since October, in a sign that the pandemic’s grip on the country is loosening. The 70 additional fatalities registered over the past 24 hours bring the official toll to 108,596. France reported 9,704 new cases, about a third less than the seven-day average.Gottlieb Says Covid Profile Changing (12:22 p.m. NY)Falling hospitalizations from Covid-19 show a “rapidly-declining vulnerability” in the U.S., as the people getting infected -- sharply falling, but still averaging over 25,000 a day in the past week -- tend to be younger and less vulnerable to complications, said former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.Gottlieb said on CBS that many in the U.S. are gradually recalibrating their approach to masks, social distancing and other measures as cases and deaths fall sharply.“We need to make a judgment about what our comfort is. A lot of people have spent a year wearing masks and taking precautions, so it will take some time for us to get comfortable again going into settings without those precautions,” he said.Texas Governor Hails Early End to Masking (12:05 p.m. NY)Texas Governor Greg Abbott said his decision to remove mask mandates and to allow businesses to open at full capacity as early as March was the “right move.”“Of course, President Biden and the Democrats railed against it,” he said Sunday on Fox News. “Democrats said that I had issued a death warrant.”New cases and deaths have been declining in Texas since March. Last week, the state reported zero virus-related deaths for the first time in more than a year. About 43% of the population in Texas has received at least one dose of vaccine, behind the U.S. average of almost 49%, according to Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.Italy Reports Fewest Deaths This Year (11:58 a.m. NY)Italy on Sunday reported the lowest number of daily coronavirus-related deaths this year, according to Ansa. There were 3,995 new virus cases compared with 4,717 a day before and 72 deaths compared with 125 on Saturday.N.Y. Positive Test Rate Dips (11:48 a.m. NY)New York state’s single-day positive test rate dropped to .77%, the lowest since late August, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. The state’s positive tests are among the lowest in the U.S., with a seven-day average of .92%.Cuomo reported 1,073 new infections, in line with the dropping caseload, and 12 deaths. Hospitalizations continue to fall.U.S. Outbreak Continues to Weaken (8:16 a.m. NY)The U.S. reported just over 18,700 new cases Saturday, capping the first week since June with no days of infections exceeding 30,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Average daily infections dropped to about 25,600, compared with almost 217,500 at the end of the first week that vaccines were rolled out in the U.S. in mid-December.A further 481 fatalities were recorded, capping a week with the fewest fatalities since the end of March 2020.Norway Earmarks Priority Shots (8:06 a.m. NY)Norway has decided to set aside 500 vaccine doses for persons in socially critical functions, the government said in a statement Saturday. Members of parliament, government and the health directorate are among those who will be prioritized.U.K. Denies Cummings Claims (7:05 a.m. NY)The U.K. government pushed back on claims from the former chief aide of Prime Minister Boris Johnson that officials pursued a herd-immunity strategy in the early days of the pandemic. Dominic Cummings unleashed a series of tweets on Saturday criticizing the U.K.’s response.He said that letting enough citizens become infected in order to reach natural herd immunity was the “official plan in all docs/graphs/meetings” until early March 2020, when it became clear that such a policy would lead to catastrophe.When asked about the allegations in an interview on the BBC on Sunday, Home Secretary Priti Patel said that was “not at all” the plan. Jenny Harries, chief executive of the U.K. Health Security Agency, also said it wasn’t the nation’s strategy.Germany Vows Summer Easing (5:51 p.m. HK)Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, has promised a wide-ranging easing of pandemic restrictions during the summer if the country’s seven-day incidence rate falls below 20. “Last summer the rate was below 20. We should aim for that again,” Spahn told the Sunday edition of Bild. According to the Robert Koch Institute, Germany has a seven-seven-day incidence rate of 64.5. That means that there are 64.5 new infections per 100,000 individuals over a period of seven days.CDC on Variant Watch (5:01 p.m. HK)Federal health officials are ramping up their surveillance of the highly transmissible Covid-19 variant first identified in India, as experts warn that under-vaccinated areas in the U.S. could become hot spots for the mutation.While U.S. cases attributed to the B.1.617 variant currently sit below 1%, the growth rate remains unclear due to the small sample size. One science group said the strain could be as much as 50% more transmissible than B.1.1.7, the variant that emerged from the U.K. That mutation was first seen in the U.S. in late December, and is now dominant nationally.India Cases Lowest in More Than a Month (2:38 p.m. HK)India’s new coronavirus cases continued to slow with a daily total of 240,842 on Sunday, the lowest in more than a month. Meanwhile, India’s capital extended its lockdown until May 31 as it halted vaccinations of people age 18 to 44 due to a shortage of jabs. India and scores of other World Trade Organization members made a fresh appeal for a three-year patent waiver on products and technology used in the treatment of Covid-19, the Economic Times reported.CDC Probes Cases of Youth Heart Inflammation (7:17 a.m. HK)The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating “relatively few” reports of a heart problem in adolescents and young adults after a Covid-19 vaccination.A report from a meeting of the agency’s safety group on May 17 said that most discovered cases of myocarditis “appear to be mild” and could be unrelated to vaccinations. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle often found after an infection.The cases were mostly in adolescents and young adults and more often in males than females. The report added that the cases occurred more often after a second dose than the first and were typically found within four days after infection.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Heat, Nuggets look to recover after dropping Game 1 matchups

Miami went to the NBA Finals as the Eastern Conference's No. 5 seed a year ago. Denver became the first team in NBA history to rally from a pair of 3-1 deficits on its way to the Western Conference finals. The roads were not easy then. They’re not looking easy now, either. The Heat and the Nuggets will be the first teams in these playoffs to take the floor and try to avoid 2-0 deficits. Miami trails Milwaukee 1-0 in their East first-round series, and Denver lost the home-court advantage to Portland with a Game 1 loss in their West opener. The rematches are Monday night, the only two games on the slate. “It definitely will be a different game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I mean, that’s what the playoffs are. There’s tendencies and strengths for both teams. You’re trying to maximize your strengths. You’re trying to make it tough on the other team.” Milwaukee got a 109-107 overtime win on Saturday, a matchup where neither the Bucks nor the Heat led by more than eight points. The Bucks won despite making only five 3-pointers. “I think the biggest thing for us is we showed we can have those games and still pull it out,” Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo said. Denver gave up 65 second-half points in Game 1 and fell 123-109, making this the 11th consecutive postseason series in which the Nuggets have trailed. The last instance of Denver never being down in a series was the 2009 West semifinals, a 4-1 series win over Dallas. “Just to have a consistent game somehow, just to give us hope,” Denver’s MVP finalist Nikola Jokic said. Portland took a 1-0 first-round lead last season as well. It was the Blazers’ lone postseason win last summer they then dropped four straight to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers. And the Blazers know a 1-0 lead guarantees nothing. “It’s only going to get harder from here,” Portland guard Damian Lillard said. “But I think starting out with a win on the road was great for us.” Monday’s games: HEAT AT BUCKS Milwaukee leads 1-0. Game 2, 7:30 p.m. EDT, TNT. — NEED TO KNOW: Game 1 was a statistical oddball. Miami outscored Milwaukee 60-15 from the 3-point line and lost, dropping NBA teams to 73-2 all-time in games where they make 15 more 3s than their opponent. Miami’s Jimmy Butler was 4 for 22 from the field in the 271 career games where he took at least 15 shots, he never shot worse. And Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo was 6 for 13 from the line, bringing back memories of his dreadful issues there against Miami in last season’s playoffs. — KEEP AN EYE ON: Miami’s Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. Game 1 was the 48th time that they’ve combined to take 25 or more shots their 6-for-25 showing was the worst combined shooting effort in those 48 games. Have to think that won’t happen again. — INJURY WATCH: Butler and Antetokounmpo both took some big hits in Game 1 and it’ll be interesting to see if either has any ill effects still on Monday night. Butler was shaken up twice after drives to the basket, while Antetokounmpo needed to put a compression sleeve on his left arm after a second-half collision. — PRESSURE IS ON: Milwaukee. A split of the first two games wouldn’t be ideal, especially because it would give Miami all the momentum as the series shifts to South Florida later this week. A win puts Milwaukee in total control, while a loss would mean the Bucks have two full days to lament what went wrong before Game 3 on Thursday night. TRAIL BLAZERS AT NUGGETS Portland leads 1-0. Game 2, 10 p.m. EDT, TNT. — NEED TO KNOW: Damian Lillard’s 34 points in Game 1 were the most by any Portland player against Denver all season. The Blazers conceded points to Denver MVP hopeful Nikola Jokic he had 34 of them, along with 16 rebounds. But Jokic had just one assist because of the job Portland did defensively on everyone else. Portland made 15 3s in Game 1 and is now 7-0 all-time against Denver when making that many. — KEEP AN EYE ON: The Nuggets’ aggression on offense. Denver has taken no more than 15 free throws in each of its last four games, matching the longest such streak in team history. The 3-pointers are nice and clearly not having Jamal Murray hurts, but the Nuggets can’t continue to let Lillard (nine in Game 1) take more free throws than their entire roster (eight). Portland outscored Denver 18-4 from the line in Game 1 the 14-point gap there matched the one that was on the scoreboard at night’s end. — INJURY WATCH: Denver’s Will Barton (hamstring) missed Game 1, and if his injury kept him from a playoff opener, it’s hard to imagine how it’ll be well enough to allow him to contribute in Game 2. But the Nuggets need more, and Barton could help. — PRESSURE IS ON: Denver, obviously and completely. If the Nuggets go down 0-2, at home, with a roster missing their second-best player and all sorts of little nagging aches among the guys who are still there, it’ll be big trouble. ___ AP Sports Writer Pat Graham in Denver contributed to this report. ___ More AP NBA: and Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

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Well-paid nurse quits job to cremate unclaimed bodies in Odisha

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Serie A final day: Juventus qualify for Champions League after dropping Cristiano Ronaldo

Juventus qualified for the Champions League on the final day of the Serie A season - and the Bianconeri had rivals Napoli to thank, rather than Cristiano Ronaldo. With Juventus enduring a poor title defence, the Italian giants needed results to go their way on matchday 38 of the 2020/21 season to ensure they did not miss out on Champions League qualification.


But despite selling in their billions in countries across the globe, little is often known about the products, foods, and beverages that have become a part of our everyday lives - and the people who toiled away creating them.

Now a fascinating new book has delved into the origins of famous brands, exploring the stories behind their names and founders.

Famous Brands and Their Origins looks at, among others, Michael Marks - a Jewish immigrant who fled persecution to arrive in Leeds where he met Tom Spencer - signalling the birth of M&S.

The cult beauty product Vaseline is sold every thirty-nine seconds somewhere in the world - but was devised by a British-born chemist who traveled the length and breadth of America by horse and cart to market his product.

Other stories include Quality Street - the world’s number one selling boxed chocolate assortment, IRN-BRU and its top-secret recipe, Nescafé, which came as a consequence of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, and the Caesar salad - put together with scraps of leftovers in a Mexican restaurant.

Barbie’s creator was Ruth Handler who, with her husband Elliot, had founded Mattel Creations in 1945. In 2006 a collection of over 4,000 Barbie dolls dating from 1959 to 2002 raised £111,000 when they went under the hammer at Christie’s

The Hoover brand was created in 1907 by James M. Spangler, an asthmatic janitor from Ohio who invented a device he called a suction sweeper to help minimise his exposure to dust. He later sold the patent to his cousin’s husband, Henry Hoover

Airfix – built for success since 1939: The man behind the brand was born Miklos Koves, a Hungarian Jew who spent sixteen years moving from one country to another to avoid political and religious persecution

Then and now: Kit Kat – chocolate break of choice since 1935 Kit Kat first appeared on the market in 1935 within two years it had become Rowntree’s bestselling product, a position it retains to this day

W H Smith: In 1784 46-year-old Henry Walton Smith married 28-year-old Anna Eastaugh. Smith`s family cut off his allowance because of the couple`s class disparity forcing him to seek an alternative means of support - so the shop was born

Quality Street: Magic moments

Sweetening Christmas since 1936, Quality Street is the world’s number one selling boxed chocolate assortment. Around 6,000 individual sweets are produced every minute - or 67 million per week.

Yet without the efforts of a hardworking couple from Halifax in the 1890s, Yuletides would be bereft of green noisette triangles, golden toffee pennies, and ‘the purple one’.

In 1890, shopkeepers John and Violet Mackintosh hit upon a way to combine traditional English toffee with soft, gloopy American caramel.

Quality Street: The brainchild of shopkeepers John and Violet Mackintosh in 1890

After a few years their recipe had become so popular that they closed their shop and opened a toffee factory.

By the 1930s, John Mackintosh & Sons Ltd was a thriving confectionery business with more than 1,000 employees in Halifax, and a second factory in Norwich. Yet the difficult economic conditions of the era meant that ordinary people had less disposable income for luxuries like boxes of chocolates.

Realizing this, in 1936 Mackintosh decided to create a range of toffees and sweets which would be coated in chocolate, making them more affordable than confectionery with a higher chocolate content.

When John died his son, Harold inherited the business, named Mackintosh`s, and in 1936 he invented Quality Street, a name inspired by the J. M. Barrie play `Quality Sweet`.

The businessman was revolutionary, wrapping sweets individually in coloured paper and in a decorative tin for the first time. He also introduced new technology in the world`s first twist-wrapping machine.

Coca-Cola: Accept no substitute

Coca-Cola originated as a soda fountain beverage in 1886, selling just nine glasses a day at five cents a glass.

But the drink has come a very long way from its humble origins in nineteenth-century Atlanta. Now, more than 1.9 billion Coca-Colas are enjoyed in more than 200 countries each day.

Back in 1886, an Atlanta-based pharmacist called John Stith Pemberton was experimenting with different ingredients including sugar and a variety of spices when he created a liquid that he thought had potential.

Taking his syrupy mixture to the nearby Jacob’s Pharmacy, he watched as it was combined with carbonated water to form a unique drink.
By 1891 businessman Asa Candler acquired the rights to the brand and used innovative techniques such as complimentary coupons and assertive branding to promote his product.

Coca-Cola originated as a soda fountain beverage in 1886, selling just nine glasses a day at five cents a glass

`Taste the feeling`: The brand - and the advertising - has come a long way. Now, more than 1.9 billion Coca-Colas are enjoyed in more than 200 countries each day

By 1895 there were factories producing Coca-Cola syrup in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. It arrived in the UK in 1900, brought by Asa Candler’s son Charles on a visit to England.

When competitors began to produce copycat brands, Coca-Cola responded by urging their customers to ‘Demand the genuine’ and ‘Accept no substitute’.
To further distinguish itself from the copycat brands, from 1916 Coca-Cola was issued in the iconic contour bottle shape.

Although the drink had already spread to a number of countries by the start of the Second World War, many people enjoyed their first taste of Coca-Cola during the conflict via the US soldiers serving in their countries.

IRN-BRU: Scotland`s other national drink

A favourite of Andy Murray (left): Launched in 1901 by A G Barr, IRN-BRU contains thirty-two different flavours, but the precise recipe is a closely-guarded secret which is passed down through the Barr family

Scotland’s favourite non-alcoholic beverage is that rarest of entities, a brand still in the hands of the family firm responsible for its creation. Launched in 1901 by A G Barr, a second generation soft drinks manufacturer, IRN-BRU was known initially as Strachan Brew before changing to Iron Brew.

While it is known that IRN-BRU contains thirty-two different flavours, the precise recipe is a closely-guarded secret which is passed down through the Barr family. At present, three people are privy to the secret two of them are members of the Barr family while the identity of the third is confidential.

Today, sales of IRN-BRU in Scotland are more or less equal to those of Coca-Cola.

The brand is the third bestselling nonalcoholic beverage across the UK. It also has a strong following in parts of Europe, Africa and Asia, and is produced under licence in Canada, the USA and Norway as well as in Russia where it is manufactured by the Moscow Brewing Company.

In Scotland, the IRN-BRU plant in Cumbernauld has the capacity to produce 690 million cans annually.

Marks & Spencer: Reliable innovation since 1884

In the early 1880’s, Jewish immigrant Michael Marks arrived in Leeds, having escaped persecution in Belarus.

Speaking little English and without much money to his name, he earned his living as a pedlar but by 1884 was trading from an open stall on Leed’s Kirkgate market, thanks to a loan from a wholesaler and a catchy slogan of ‘Don`t ask the price, it’s a penny!’

In 1894, Michael partnered with the wholesalers cashier, Tom Spencer - creating the new organisation Marks and Spencer. During WW2 eating out became popular as rationing was not enforced at restaurants and subsequently by 1942, M&S had opened 82 cafe bars in various stores.

During WW2 100 M&S stores were bombed and 16 destroyed completely. Staff did their bit for the war effort by fire-watching, fundraising for a Spitfire and setting up soup kitchens.

Marks & Spencer original penny bazaar, a mockup in the Kirkgate Markets, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Nescafé: Coffee on demand since 1938

Nescafé came into existence as a consequence of the 1929 Wall Street Crash. Coffee prices collapsed in the ensuing economic chaos, leaving vast quantities sitting unsold in a Brazilian warehouse.

That was when Nestlé, the Swiss food company founded in 1867, was asked to find a way to transform the raw product into some kind of instantly soluble coffee whilst retaining its fresh aroma. After a great deal of research and several false starts, a soluble coffee product called Nescafé made its debut in Switzerland in April 1938.

Nescafé came into existence as a consequence of the 1929 Wall Street Crash

Two months later it was introduced to the UK and the following year it arrived in the US where it proved immensely popular because of its long shelf life. The series of television commercials starring Anthony Head and Sharon Maughan first broadcast in the 1980s became immensely popular.

Viewers became so absorbed by the couple’s tentative romance that tabloid headlines were made when they finally exchanged a kiss after six years of indecisiveness.

Smirnoff Vodka: Premium purity since 1864

In the nineteenth century Pyotr Smirnov devised a recipe for the purest possible vodka. Smirnov’s story is one of remarkable contrasts. Born into serfdom in an agricultural community around 200 miles from Russia, when he died in 1898 he was said to be one of the richest men in the country.

It was the freeing of the serfs by Tsar Alexander II in 1861 that enabled Smirnov to begin his ascent but he achieved his extraordinary success through his own talent and drive. In 1864 when he started to distil vodka he dreamed of creating a product of such purity that it would be endorsed by the Tsar himself.

Having come up with a special recipe and purification system, he promoted his product by paying Moscow’s beggars to ask for his particular vodka brand at the drinking establishments they frequented. The strategy worked and within less than a decade his sales were bringing in an annual revenue of 600,000 roubles.

His life’s ambition was achieved in 1886 when he became the Tsar’s official vodka supplier. Smirnov’s son Vladimir ran the company following his father’s death.

When the Bolsheviks came to power he fled to France and re-established the business. Now called Smirnoff, the French version of Smirnov, the vodka became a bestseller across Europe and the USA.
Owned today by Diageo and made in a number of countries including the UK, Smirnoff is the world’s bestselling premium distilled spirit.

Nescafé: The series of television commercials starring Anthony Head and Sharon Maughan first broadcast in the 1980s became immensely popular

Waitrose: Classy groceries since 1904

In 1904 three ambitious young men – Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor – joined forces to open a high class grocery shop at 263, Acton High Street.

From the very first their philosophy was to offer customers a large and varied selection of the finest-quality foodstuffs. Taylor quit the business in 1906. In 1908 the shop underwent a change of name Waite and Rose merged to form Waitrose.

During the First World War, Rose enlisted while Waite remained at home. After the Armistice, Rose suffered from poor health as a result of wartime injuries so left the business in 1924. Waite continued to open new shops in affluent areas.

By 1937 he was thinking about retirement but wanted to make sure his chain of shops was left in safe hands. His solution was to sell the ten Waitrose shops to the John Lewis Partnership on 1 October of that year, staying on to oversee the transition. He retired in 1940, having been awarded an MBE for promoting British and Empire produce, and lived until 1971.

Their first supermarket was opened in Streatham in 1955 with 2,500 square feet of selling space. As more followed, a new distribution centre was opened at Bracknell in Berkshire to enable the business to cope with the increased demand.

Today there are in excess of 300 Waitrose stores across the country. Not bad going for a little grocery shop from Acton.

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk: Milky magic since 1905

The Cadbury manufacturing story began in 1831 when Birmingham shopkeeper John Cadbury started to produce cocoa and drinking chocolate. In 1861 John’s sons, George and Richard, took over the business, using an inheritance from their mother to finance the enterprise during a problematic period.

Their commitment was rewarded when, in 1866, an expensive new piece of machinery enabled them to create the UK’s first unadulterated cocoa powder, Cadbury’s Cocoa Essence.

In 1875 Cadbury created their first Easter eggs but it wasn’t until 1897 that they ventured into the production of milk chocolate. Rather coarse and dry, their initial product was inferior to the Swiss chocolate that was dominating the market.

The Cadbury manufacturing story began in 1831 when Birmingham shopkeeper John Cadbury started to produce cocoa and drinking chocolate

Keen to improve, in 1905 Cadbury launched Dairy Milk, a milk chocolate bar with a uniquely high content of milk. The first packaging was pale mauve with red script but in 1920 it was replaced by the purple we are familiar with today.

The public showed their appreciation for the new chocolate brand by making it the UK’s bestseller by the start of the 1920s. Introduced in 1928, the famous ‘glass and a half full of milk’ symbol is still in use today.

The brand is now owned by American company Mondelēz.

Mars: Helping us work, rest and play since 1932

Every day, three million Mars bars are produced at the Mars factory in Slough, a fact that encourages many to regard it as the undisputed king of all chocolate bars.

A layered creation of sticky caramel and soft nougat surrounded by milk chocolate, it was the first product created by Forrest Mars when he came to England in 1932 and opened a small confectionery outfit in Slough.

Legend has it that with limited funds at his disposal, Forrest and his team of between four and twelve employees perfected his recipe in a small kitchen stocked with second-hand equipment.

Every day, three million Mars bars are produced at the Mars factory in Slough, a fact that encourages many to regard it as the undisputed king of all chocolate bars

Although not identical, the formula was closely based on his father Frank Mars’ Milky Way which was already an established brand in America. When the Mars bar went into production in August 1932 it was coated in chocolate obtained from Cadbury since the fledgling Slough site was some way off being ready to produce its own chocolate.

During the Second World War Mars bars were given to British troops and sent to prisoners of war in Germany. In 1959, the famous ‘A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play’ slogan was used for the first time.

A variation of the same phrase is still used today. In recent years Mars has become an official supporter of the England football team and an official sponsor of the Scotland team. In 1955 Petula Clark and the late Bob Monkhouse appeared in the first Mars bar TV commercial.

Legend has it that with limited funds at his disposal, Forrest and his team of between four and twelve employees perfected his recipe in a small kitchen stocked with second-hand equipment

Did you know?: Mr Kipling was not a real person

Mr Kipling, maker of ‘exceedingly good cakes’, was not a real person.

Launched in 1967 by Rank Hovis McDougall, the Mr Kipling brand name was intended to lend a cosy aura to cakes turned out on a production line.

It was a highly successful strategy because Mr Kipling has been the UK’s leading cake brand since 1976.

Sara Lee: Our just desserts since 1949

Charles Lubin epitomised the American Dream, rising from humble beginnings to found a global frozen foods business. His journey began in 1918 when, as a lad of 14, he was apprenticed to a Chicago baker.

By 1935 he had gone into business with his brother-in-law, buying three neighbourhood bakeries called Community Bake Shops. As the venture prospered a further four shops were added to the chain but in 1949 Lubin and his brother-in-law went their separate ways.

Now working alone, Lubin developed new products, the first of which was a cream cheesecake. Discussing possible names for the new confection, his wife jokingly suggested naming it after Sara Lee, their young daughter. Lubin’s cakes were sold fresh until 1952 when a visitor asked Lubin to ship products to Texas. He reformulated his recipes without compromising on quality, and by 1955 was delivering them to forty-eight US states.

Such was his success that just one year later Lubin was able to sell his business to Consolidated Foods for $2.8 million, at that time an enormous sum of money. Nevertheless, Lubin stayed on as Chief Executive Officer. He died in 1988. His enterprise has gone on to become a global baked goods brand.

Charles Lubin epitomised the American Dream, rising from humble beginnings to found a global frozen foods business

Caesar salad was invented by restaurateur Caesar Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924. It was the Fourth of July and business had been so brisk that the restaurant was running out of food.

Caesar salad was invented by restaurateur Caesar Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924

Unwilling to turn away hungry customers, Cardini had a rummage in his kitchen and put together a salad from his few remaining supplies: romaine lettuce, garlic, croutons, Parmesan, hardboiled eggs, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.

With a natural showman’s instinct, he prepared the salad at the table so the guests could watch the humble ingredients transform into something rather special. Proud of the dish he had created in less than ideal circumstances, Cardini decided to give it his first name, Caesar.

Singer sewing machines

Isaac Merritt Singer, the man behind the world’s most famous sewing machine brand, was a colourful character noted almost as much for his rackety lifestyle as for his exceptional business achievements. The eighth child of impoverished German immigrants, he was born in Schaghiticoke, New York, but left home at the age of twelve.

For many years he had an eclectic career, working when he could as an actor. A dedicated ladies’ man, he became entangled with a succession of women, some of whom he married. Along the way he fathered at least twenty-four children, not always in wedlock.

During a spell in Boston in 1850 he lodged with a man who sold and repaired a type of sewing machine that had an unfortunate tendency to break down. After studying one of these machines, Singer decided that he could improve on its design.

Some 95 days later he had come up with the world’s first practical sewing machine, which he patented in 1851 before forming I.M. Singer & Company.

Singer fled to Europe in the 1860s to escape his increasingly complicated domestic arrangements. In Paris he met and subsequently married another woman, the beautiful Isabelle Boyer who bore him yet more children. In 1871 he relocated to England, making his new home in Devon where he died in 1875. He is buried in Torquay Cemetery.

Isaac Merritt Singer, the man behind the world’s most famous sewing machine brand, was a colourful character noted almost as much for his rackety lifestyle as for his exceptional business achievements

Vaseline: First aid in a jar since 1872

It was recently estimated that a jar of Vaseline is sold every thirty-nine seconds somewhere in the world - pretty good going for a product whose origins lie in a sticky substance found on the drill rods of a Pennsylvania oil rig.
The rise from gloopy petroleum by-product to global bathroom cabinet staple came about thanks to the observational powers of Robert Chesebrough, a young, British-born chemist making a way for himself in nineteenth century America.

Whilst visiting a Pennsylvania oil town on a fact-finding mission, 22-year-old Chesebrough noticed the rig workers’ habit of slathering the matter they called rod wax onto burns and other injuries to speed up the healing process.

It was recently estimated that a jar of Vaseline is sold every thirty-nine seconds somewhere in the world

In 1865 he was able to patent a process for making a clear, pure product which he dubbed petroleum jelly.

Travelling by horse and cart, he demonstrated the product to communities throughout New York State, and in 1872 Chesebrough registered his petroleum jelly as Vaseline, a name arrived at by combining wasser – the German word for water – with élaion, the Greek word for oil.

His hard work paid off and in 1874, 1,400 jars of Vaseline were being sold daily across the USA. Commander Robert Peary used the product to protect his skin when he made his attempt on the North Pole in 1909.

Robert Chesebrough was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1883 he died in 1933 at the age of 96.

Boots the Chemist: Dispensing good health since 1849

There are approximately 2,500 branches of Boots in the UK, meaning 90 per cent of the population is within a ten-minute drive of one of their shops. John Boot opened his small herbal remedies business in Nottingham in 1849, scraping together enough money to open a shop.

John Boot opened his small herbal remedies business in Nottingham in 1849, scraping together enough money to open a shop

There he and his wife Mary sold their home-prepared remedies to customers unable to afford the services of a qualified doctor. After her husband`s death in 1860, Mary ran the business with Jesse, her ten-year-old son, helping wherever possible.

In 1877 Jesse had assumed full control, selling proprietary brands, buying them in bulk to obtain good discounts and then selling on at prices the working classes could afford. In 1884 two new milestones were reached: the first shops outside Nottingham were opened (in Lincoln and Sheffield) and a qualified pharmacist was employed to work within a Boots store.

By 1914 there were 550 Boots shops nationwide, selling everything from pharmaceutical products and cosmetics to stationery and fancy goods.

HMV: Music to our ears since 1921

The origins of the HMV brand lie in the Gramophone Company which used a painting entitled His Master’s Voice by Francis Barraud to advertise their products.

In the original painting a terrier called Nipper listens intently to the sound emanating from the cylinder of a phonograph.

In 1921 it opened its first dedicated shop in London’s Oxford Street. Known as HMV – an acronym for His Master’s Voice – the shop was opened by Sir Edward Elgar.

The origins of the HMV brand lie in the Gramophone Company which used a painting entitled His Master’s Voice by Francis Barraud

It wasn’t until the pop music boom of the Sixties that further shops were opened throughout the London region, spreading out across the country during the Seventies. It was in the Eighties that HMV became a leading national retailer, thanks to the arrival on the music scene of the CD.

A decade later the advent of the DVD had a similar effect in 1997 there were 100 HMV shops nationwide but following the introduction of DVDs, by 2004 the number had more than doubled.
This growth surge came to an abrupt halt when online shopping began to hit sales. Despite various attempts to reverse the trend, HMV Group plc went into administration in 2013, reappearing under new ownership within a couple of months.

Today HMV Retail Ltd has around 120 shops within the UK, a further 110 in Canada and in excess of 40 across Ireland.

Harrods: Supplying the affluent since 1849

When the Qatari royal family bought the world-famous Knightsbridge department store from Mohammed Al Fayed in 2010, the asking price was an eye-watering £1.5bn. The one-room grocery business founded in the middle of the nineteenth century by Charles Henry Harrod has certainly come a long way.

Originally an Essex lad, Harrod first set up shop as a tea dealer in London’s Whitechapel district before becoming a tea wholesaler in Eastcheap. In 1849, keen to capitalise on the influx of wealthy residents into Knightsbridge, he opened the aforementioned one-room shop in the Brompton Road.

As the business prospered he took on larger premises and gradually added new lines. His son, Charles Digby Harrod, assumed control of the business in the 1860s and built on his father’s success so that by 1880 Harrods was an elite department store, offering its affluent clientele luxury goods of every kind.

A destructive fire in December 1883 failed to dent the indomitable Harrod spirit. A palatial new store – designed with gaudy aplomb by architect Charles William Stephens – was promptly put under construction.
When Harrod retired in 1889 the store became a public company, a state which lasted until 1985 when it was bought, together with parent company House of Fraser, by Egyptian businessman Mohammed Al Fayed.

F. Hinds: A bling thing since 1856

Although the jewellery chain F. Hinds has officially been trading since 1856, the Hinds family has been associated with the industry since 1825 when Joseph Hinds set up as a clockmaker in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

His son, George Henry, served an apprenticeship with a watchmaker before moving to London where, in 1856, he opened a shop in Paddington before relocating to Edgware Road. As the twentieth century dawned, control of the company passed to George’s son, William Hinds, with his three sons – William, George and Frank – joining the family concern in due course.

During the First World War, George and Frank served in the trenches while their brother William stayed behind to look after the business, taking sole responsibility for it following the death of their father in 1915. One year later George was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

After the war, William and Frank shared the management of the company until 1924 when they agreed to an amicable split.n After the Second World War, during which F. Hinds produced timing devices for bombs, Frank’s sons Eric and Roy joined the family firm, the fifth generation of Hinds to work in the business.

In the 1980s a sixth generation came into the business when Roy’s sons David and Andrew and Eric’s son Neil started work at F. Hinds. Today there are 114 F. Hinds shop throughout England and Wales, making the business the UK’s largest independent jeweller.

The fact that it has remained in the hands of the same family for nearly 160 years makes it something of a rarity in British retail.

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Dr Eddy Bettermann MD focus on Biological Medicine (Biologische Medizin), Darkfield Microscopy (Dunkelfeld Mikroskopie), Orthomolecular Medicine (Orthomolekulare Medizin), Ayurvedic Medicine (Ayurveda), Psychosomatic Medicine (Psychosomatische Medizin), raw food (Rohkost), fasting (Fasten): Our primary integrative medicine goal is the maintenance of your health and wellness, and we are committed to safe and effective healthcare. Our specialties include online integrative medicine education by alternative doctor: food and allergy management through the use of Integrative medical therapy, Environmental Medicine, General Family Medicine, Ayurveda, Panchakarma, Chronic Fatigue, ADHD, autism, Fibromyalgia, Yeast/Fungus related diseases – Candidacies, mercury dental replacement and detoxification, Natural Thyroid Replacement, Weight loss, Lyme Disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Addiction related programs, Intestinal Dysbiosis, as well as trigger point therapy using Neural Therapy. Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD, physician from Germany, consultant and teacher in biological medicine, especially dark field microscopy known as Live Blood Analysis in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines. But he lecture also in the USA, Canada and the U.A.E. He speaks english and german. “Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food.” — Hippocrates Physician Member of the Medical Board at AOX Singapore, Medical Doctor at Nurse Mobile Clinic and Physician at DrEddy Clinic Our Mission: The mission of the Integrative Medicine is to search for the most effective treatments for patients by combining both conventional and alternative approaches that address all aspects of health and wellness – biological, psychological, social and spiritual. Biological Medicine is a big part of my work and so is Dark field Microscopy, what I use in my daily practice and what I teach more then 15 years in Asia and around the world: Live Blood Analysis in dark field based on Haematology. We utilize Live blood analysis since 2004, conventional as well as specialty laboratories for a thorough diagnostic work up of the disease in question. Our integrative medicine treatment regimens are especially unique and are tailored specifically to the individual needs of each patient. Our Mission: don’t harm, prevent, use food as medicine We are a reliable partner for integrative medicine in Medical Spa & Clinic Development and integrative medicine Education Training for alternative doctors – we bring different holistic approaches, like Integrative Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda Medicine together. On your request we offer our service in your place as well. Heavy metal poisoning Heavy metal poisoning is much more common than most people realize, and if you’re thinking that it doesn’t apply to you because you haven’t been exposed to any, think again. If you’ve eaten fish regularly, had amalgam fillings, received vaccinations, drank contaminated water, or done industrial or agricultural work or pharmaceutical manufacturing, there’s a good chance that you have a fair amount of toxic metals in your system.. We are here to help and to educate! Wishing your health and happiness Dr Eddy Bettermann MD Multimedia library Protect you and your family from harmful radiation More information about 5G and EMF: Protocol View all posts by dreddymd

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The name coconut is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese word coco, meaning 'head' or 'skull' after the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features. [6] [7] [8] [9] Coco and coconut apparently came from 1521 encounters by Portuguese and Spanish explorers with Pacific islanders, with the coconut shell reminding them of a ghost or witch in Portuguese folklore called coco (also côca). [9] [10] In the West it was originally called nux indica, a name used by Marco Polo in 1280 while in Sumatra. He took the term from the Arabs, who called it جوز هندي jawz hindī, translating to 'Indian nut'. [11] Thenga, its Tamil/Malayalam name, was used in the detailed description of coconut found in Itinerario by Ludovico di Varthema published in 1510 and also in the later Hortus Indicus Malabaricus. [12]

The specific name nucifera is derived from the Latin words nux (nut) and fera (bearing), for 'nut-bearing'. [13]


Modern genetic studies have identified the center of origin of coconuts as being the region between Southwest Asia and Melanesia, where it shows greatest genetic diversity. [16] [17] [18] [19] Their cultivation and spread was closely tied to the early migrations of the Austronesian peoples who carried coconuts as canoe plants to islands they settled. [18] [19] [20] [21] The similarities of the local names in the Austronesian region is also cited as evidence that the plant originated in the region. For example, the Polynesian and Melanesian term niu Tagalog and Chamorro term niyog and the Malay word nyiur or nyior. [22] [23] Other evidence for a Central Indo-Pacific origin is the native range of the coconut crab and the higher amounts of C. nucifera-specific insect pests in the region (90%) in comparison to the Americas (20%), and Africa (4%). [4]

A study in 2011 identified two highly genetically differentiated subpopulations of coconuts, one originating from Island Southeast Asia (the Pacific group) and the other from the southern margins of the Indian subcontinent (the Indo-Atlantic group). The Pacific group is the only one to display clear genetic and phenotypic indications that they were domesticated including dwarf habit, self-pollination, and the round "niu vai" fruit morphology with larger endosperm-to-husk ratios. The distribution of the Pacific coconuts correspond to the regions settled by Austronesian voyagers indicating that its spread was largely the result of human introductions. It is most strikingly displayed in Madagascar, an island settled by Austronesian sailors at around 2000 to 1500 BP. The coconut populations in the island show genetic admixture between the two subpopulations indicating that Pacific coconuts were brought by the Austronesian settlers that later interbred with the local Indo-Atlantic coconuts. [19] [20]

Genetic studies of coconuts have also confirmed pre-Columbian populations of coconuts in Panama in South America. However, it is not native and display a genetic bottleneck resulting from a founder effect. A study in 2008 showed that the coconuts in the Americas are genetically closest related to coconuts in the Philippines, and not to any other nearby coconut populations (including Polynesia). Such an origin indicates that the coconuts were not introduced naturally, such as by sea currents. The researchers concluded that it was brought by early Austronesian sailors to the Americas from at least 2,250 BP, and may be proof of pre-Columbian contact between Austronesian cultures and South American cultures, albeit in the opposite direction than what early hypotheses like Heyerdahl's had proposed. It is further strengthened by other similar botanical evidence of contact, like the pre-colonial presence of sweet potato in Oceanian cultures. [18] [21] [28] During the colonial era, Pacific coconuts were further introduced to Mexico from the Spanish East Indies via the Manila galleons. [19]

In contrast to the Pacific coconuts, Indo-Atlantic coconuts were largely spread by Arab and Persian traders into the East African coast. Indo-Atlantic coconuts were also introduced into the Atlantic Ocean by Portuguese ships from their colonies in coastal India and Sri Lanka first being introduced to coastal West Africa, then onwards into the Caribbean and the east coast of Brazil. All of these introductions are within the last few centuries, relatively recent in comparison to the spread of Pacific coconuts. [19]

Evolutionary history

23 to 5.3 million years ago) of New Zealand in 1926. Since then, numerous other fossils of similar fruits were recovered throughout New Zealand from the Eocene, Oligocene, and possibly the Holocene. But research on them is still ongoing to determine which of them (if any) actually belong to the genus Cocos. [30] [31] Endt & Hayward (1997) have noted their resemblance to members of the South American genus Parajubaea, rather than Cocos, and propose a South American origin. [30] [32] [33] Conran et al. (2015), however, suggests that their diversity in New Zealand indicate that they evolved endemically, rather than being introduced to the islands by long-distance dispersal. [31] In west-central India, numerous fossils of Cocos-like fruits, leaves, and stems have been recovered from the Deccan Traps. They include morphotaxa like Palmoxylon sundaran, Palmoxylon insignae, and Palmocarpon cocoides. Cocos-like fossils of fruits include "Cocos" intertrappeansis, "Cocos" pantii, and "Cocos" sahnii. They also include fossil fruits that have been tentatively identified as modern Cocos nucifera. These includes two specimens named "Cocos" palaeonucifera and "Cocos" binoriensis, both were dated by their authors to the Maastrichtian–Danian of the early Tertiary (70 to 62 million years ago). C. binoriensis has been claimed by their authors to be the earliest known fossil of Cocos nucifera. [29] [30] [34]

In attempting to determine whether the species had originated in South America or Asia, a 2014 study proposed that it was neither, and that the species evolved on coral atolls in the Pacific. Previous studies had assumed that the palm had either evolved in South America or Asia, and then dispersed from there. The 2014 study hypothesized that instead the species evolved while on coral atolls in the Pacific, and then dispersed to the continents. It contended that this would have provided the necessary evolutionary pressures, and would account for morphological factors such as a thick husk to protect against ocean degradation and provide a moist medium in which to germinate on sparse atolls. [36]

Historical records

Literary evidence from the Ramayana and Sri Lankan chronicles indicates that the coconut was present in the Indian subcontinent before the 1st century BCE. [37] The earliest direct description is given by Cosmas Indicopleustes in his Topographia Christiana written around 545, referred to as "the great nut of India". [38] Another early mention of the coconut dates back to the "One Thousand and One Nights" story of Sinbad the Sailor wherein he bought and sold a coconut during his fifth voyage. [39]

In March 1521, a description of the coconut was given by Antonio Pigafetta writing in Italian and using the words "cocho"/"cochi", as recorded in his journal after the first European crossing of the Pacific Ocean during the Magellan circumnavigation and meeting the inhabitants of what would become known as Guam and the Philippines. He explained how at Guam "they eat coconuts" ("mangiano cochi") and that the natives there also "anoint the body and the hair with coconut and beniseed oil" ("ongieno el corpo et li capili co oleo de cocho et de giongioli"). [40]


Cocos nucifera is a large palm, growing up to 30 m (100 ft) tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m (13–20 ft) long, and pinnae 60–90 cm (2–3 ft) long old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. [41] On fertile soil, a tall coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30. [42] [43] [44] Given proper care and growing conditions, coconut palms produce their first fruit in six to ten years, taking 15 to 20 years to reach peak production. [45]

True-to-type dwarf varieties of Pacific coconuts have been cultivated by the Austronesian peoples since ancient times. These varieties were selected for slower growth, sweeter coconut water, and often brightly-colored fruits. [46] Many modern different varieties are also grown, including the Maypan coconut, King coconut, and Macapuno. These vary by the taste of the coconut water and color of the fruit, as well as other genetic factors. [47]


Botanically, the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. [48] Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The exocarp is the glossy outer skin, usually yellow-green to yellow-brown in color. The mesocarp is composed of a fiber, called coir, which has many traditional and commercial uses. Both the exocarp and the mesocarp make up the "husk" of the coconut, while the endocarp makes up the hard coconut "shell". The endocarp is around 4 mm (0.16 in) thick and has three distinctive germination pores (micropyles) on the distal end. Two of the pores are plugged (the "eyes"), while one is functional. [49] [50]

The interior of the endocarp is hollow and is lined with a thin brown seed coat around 0.2 mm (0.0079 in) thick. The endocarp is initially filled with a multinucleate liquid endosperm (the coconut water). As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the endocarp up to 11 mm (0.43 in) thick, starting at the distal end. They eventually form the edible solid endosperm (the "coconut meat" or "coconut flesh") which hardens over time. The small cylindrical embryo is embedded in the solid endosperm directly below the functional pore of the endosperm. During germination, the embryo pushes out of the functional pore and forms a haustorium (the coconut sprout) inside the central cavity. The haustorium absorbs the solid endosperm to nourish the seedling. [49] [51] [52]

Coconut fruits have two distinctive forms depending on domestication. Wild coconuts feature an elongated triangular fruit with a thicker husk and a smaller amount of endosperm. These allow the fruits to be more bouyant and makes it easier for them to lodge into sandy shorelines, making their shape ideal for ocean dispersal. [53] [54] [24]

Domesticated Pacific coconuts, on the other hand, are rounded in shape with a thinner husk and a larger amount of endosperm. Domesticated coconuts also have more amounts of coconut water. [53] [54] [24]

These two forms are referred to by the Samoan terms niu kafa for the elongated wild coconuts, and niu vai for the rounded domesticated Pacific coconuts. [53] [54] [24]

A full-sized coconut fruit weighs about 1.4 kg (3 lb 1 oz). Coconuts sold domestically in coconut-producing countries are typically not de-husked. Especially immature coconuts (6 to 8 months from flowering) sold for coconut water and softer jelly-like coconut meat (known as "green coconuts", "young coconuts", or "water coconuts"), where the original coloration of the fruit is more aesthetically pleasing. [55] [56]

Whole mature coconuts (11 to 13 months from flowering) sold for export, however, typically have the husk removed to reduce weight and volume for transport. This results in the naked coconut "shell" with three pores more familiar in countries where coconuts are not grown locally. De-husked coconuts typically weigh around 750 to 850 g (1 lb 10 oz to 1 lb 14 oz). De-husked coconuts are also easier for consumers to open, but have a shorter postharvest storage life of around two to three weeks at temperatures of 12 to 15 °C (54 to 59 °F) or up to 2 months at 0 to 1.5 °C (32.0 to 34.7 °F). In comparison, mature coconuts with the husk intact can be stored for three to five months at normal room temperature . [55] [56]



The palm produces both the female and male flowers on the same inflorescence thus, the palm is monoecious. [57] However, there is some evidence that it may be polygamomonoecious, and may occasionally have bisexual flowers. [58] The female flower is much larger than the male flower. Flowering occurs continuously. Coconut palms are believed to be largely cross-pollinated, although most dwarf varieties are self-pollinating. [24]

Coconuts have a nearly cosmopolitan distribution thanks to human action in using them for agriculture. However their historical distribution was likely more limited.

Natural habitat

The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and is highly tolerant of salinity. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall (1,500–2,500 mm [59–98 in] annually), which makes colonizing shorelines of the tropics relatively straightforward. [59] Coconuts also need high humidity (at least 70–80%) for optimum growth, which is why they are rarely seen in areas with low humidity. However, they can be found in humid areas with low annual precipitation such as in Karachi, Pakistan, which receives only about 250 mm (9.8 in) of rainfall per year, but is consistently warm and humid.

Coconut palms require warm conditions for successful growth, and are intolerant of cold weather. Some seasonal variation is tolerated, with good growth where mean summer temperatures are between 28 and 37 °C (82 and 99 °F), and survival as long as winter temperatures are above 4–12 °C (39–54 °F) they will survive brief drops to 0 °C (32 °F). Severe frost is usually fatal, although they have been known to recover from temperatures of −4 °C (25 °F). [59] They may grow but not fruit properly in areas with insufficient warmth, such as Bermuda.

The conditions required for coconut trees to grow without any care are:

  • Mean daily temperature above 12–13 °C (54–55 °F) every day of the year
  • Mean annual rainfall above 1,000 mm (39 in)
  • No or very little overhead canopy, since even small trees require direct sun

The main limiting factor for most locations which satisfy the rainfall and temperature requirements is canopy growth, except those locations near coastlines, where the sandy soil and salt spray limit the growth of most other trees.


Wild coconuts are naturally restricted to coastal areas in sandy, saline soils. The fruit is adapted for ocean dispersal. Coconuts could not reach inland locations without human intervention (to carry seednuts, plant seedlings, etc.) and early germination on the palm (vivipary) was important. [60]

Coconuts today can be grouped into two highly genetically distinct subpopulations: the Indo-Atlantic group originating from southern India and nearby regions (including Sri Lanka, the Laccadives, and the Maldives) and the Pacific group originating from the region between maritime Southeast Asia and Melanesia. Linguistic, archaeological, and genetic evidence all point to the early domestication of Pacific coconuts by the Austronesian peoples in maritime Southeast Asia during the Austronesian expansion (c. 3000 to 1500 BCE). Although archaeological remains dating back to 1000 to 500 BCE also suggest that the Indo-Atlantic coconuts were also later independently cultivated by the Dravidian peoples, only Pacific coconuts show clear signs of domestication traits like dwarf habits, self-pollination, and rounded fruits. Indo-Atlantic coconuts, in contrast, all have the ancestral traits of tall habits and elongated triangular fruits. [19] [4] [18] [61]

The coconut played a critical role in the migrations of the Austronesian peoples. They provided a portable source of both food and water, allowing Austronesians to survive long sea voyages to colonize new islands as well as establish long-range trade routes. Based on linguistic evidence, the absence of words for coconut in the Taiwanese Austronesian languages makes it likely that the Austronesian coconut culture developed only after Austronesians started colonizing the Philippines. The importance of the coconut in Austronesian cultures is evidenced by shared terminology of even very specific parts and uses of coconuts, which were carried outwards from the Philippines during the Austronesian migrations. [19] [4] Indo-Atlantic type coconuts were also later spread by Arab and South Asian traders along the Indian Ocean basin, resulting in limited admixture with Pacific coconuts introduced earlier to Madagascar and the Comoros via the ancient Austronesian maritime trade network. [19]

Coconuts can be broadly divided into two fruit types - the ancestral niu kafa form with a thick-husked, angular fruit, and the niu vai form with a thin-husked, spherical fruit with a higher proportion of endosperm. The terms are derived from the Samoan language and was adopted into scientific usage by Harries (1978). [19] [53] [62]

The niu kafa form is the wild ancestral type, with thick husks to protect the seed, an angular, highly ridged shape to promote buoyancy during ocean dispersal, and a pointed base that allowed fruits to dig into the sand, preventing them from being washed away during germination on a new island. It is the dominant form in the Indo-Atlantic coconuts. [53] [19] However, they may have also been partially selected for thicker husks for coir production, which was also important in Austronesian material culture as a source for cordage in building houses and boats. [4]

The niu vai form is the domesticated form dominant in the Pacific coconuts. They were selected for by the Austronesian peoples for their larger endosperm-to-husk ratio as well as higher coconut water content, making them more useful as food and water reserves for sea voyages. The decreased buoyancy and increased fragility of this spherical, thin-husked fruit would not matter for a species that had started to be dispersed by humans and grown in plantations. [53] [54] Niu vai endocarp fragments have been recovered in archaeological sites in the St. Matthias Islands of the Bismarck Archipelago. The fragments are dated to approximately 1000 BCE, suggesting that cultivation and artificial selection of coconuts were already practiced by the Austronesian Lapita people. [4]

Coconuts can also be broadly divided into two general types based on habit: the "Tall" (var. typica) and "Dwarf" (var. nana) varieties. [63] The two groups are genetically distinct, with the dwarf variety showing a greater degree of artificial selection for ornamental traits and for early germination and fruiting. [62] [64] The tall variety is outcrossing while dwarf palms are self-pollinating, which has led to a much greater degree of genetic diversity within the tall group. [65]

The dwarf coconut cultivars are fully domesticated, in contrast to tall cultivars which display greater diversity in terms of domestication (and lack thereof). [66] [65] The fact that all dwarf coconuts share three genetic markers out of thirteen (which are only present in low frequencies in tall cultivars) makes it likely that they all originate from a single domesticated population. Philippine and Malayan dwarf coconuts diverged early into two distinct types. They usually remain genetically isolated when introduced to new regions, making it possible to trace their origins. Numerous other dwarf cultivars also developed as the initial dwarf cultivar was introduced to other regions and hybridized with various tall cultivars. The origin of dwarf varieties is Southeast Asia, which contain the tall cultivars that are genetically closest to dwarf coconuts. [19] [46] [66] [65]

Another ancestral variety is the niu leka of Polynesia (sometimes called the "Compact Dwarfs"). Although it shares similar characteristics to dwarf coconuts (including slow growth), it is genetically distinct and is thus believed to be independently domesticated, likely in Tonga. Other cultivars of niu leka may also exist in other islands of the Pacific, and some are probably descendants of advanced crosses between Compact Dwarfs and Southeast Asian Dwarf types. [46] [66]


Coconut fruit in the wild are light, buoyant, and highly water resistant. It is claimed that they evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents. [67] However, it can also be argued that the placement of the vulnerable eye of the nut (down when floating), and the site of the coir cushion are better positioned to ensure that the water-filled nut does not fracture when dropping on rocky ground, rather than for flotation.

It is also often stated that coconuts can travel 110 days, or 5,000 kilometres (3,000 miles), by sea and still be able to germinate. [68] This figure has been questioned based on the extremely small sample size that forms the basis of the paper that makes this claim. [28] Thor Heyerdahl provides an alternative, and much shorter, estimate based on his first-hand experience crossing the Pacific Ocean on the raft Kon-Tiki:

"The nuts we had in baskets on deck remained edible and capable of germinating the whole way to Polynesia. But we had laid about half among the special provisions below deck, with the waves washing around them. Every single one of these was ruined by the sea water. And no coconut can float over the sea faster than a balsa raft moves with the wind behind it." [69]

He also notes that several of the nuts began to germinate by the time they had been ten weeks at sea, precluding an unassisted journey of 100 days or more. [28]

Drift models based on wind and ocean currents have shown that coconuts could not have drifted across the Pacific unaided. [28] If they were naturally distributed and had been in the Pacific for a thousand years or so, then we would expect the eastern shore of Australia, with its own islands sheltered by the Great Barrier Reef, to have been thick with coconut palms: the currents were directly into, and down along this coast. However, both James Cook and William Bligh [70] (put adrift after the Bounty mutiny) found no sign of the nuts along this 2,000 km (1,200 mi) stretch when he needed water for his crew. Nor were there coconuts on the east side of the African coast until Vasco da Gama, nor in the Caribbean when first visited by Christopher Columbus. They were commonly carried by Spanish ships as a source of fresh water.

These provide substantial circumstantial evidence that deliberate Austronesian voyagers were involved in carrying coconuts across the Pacific Ocean and that they could not have dispersed worldwide without human agency. More recently, genomic analysis of cultivated coconut (C. nucifera L.) has shed light on the movement. However, admixture, the transfer of genetic material, evidently occurred between the two populations. [71]

Given that coconuts are ideally suited for inter-island group ocean dispersal, obviously some natural distribution did take place. However, the locations of the admixture events are limited to Madagascar and coastal east Africa, and exclude the Seychelles. This pattern coincides with the known trade routes of Austronesian sailors. Additionally, a genetically distinct subpopulation of coconut on the Pacific coast of Latin America has undergone a genetic bottleneck resulting from a founder effect however, its ancestral population is the Pacific coconut from the Philippines. This, together with their use of the South American sweet potato, suggests that Austronesian peoples may have sailed as far east as the Americas. [71] In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers (also Austronesians) from their homelands in the southern islands of Polynesia. [11]

Specimens have been collected from the sea as far north as Norway (but it is not known where they entered the water). [72] They have been found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America for less than 500 years (the Caribbean native inhabitants do not have a dialect term for them, but use the Portuguese name), but evidence of their presence on the Pacific coast of South America antedates Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. [16] They are now almost ubiquitous between 26° N and 26° S except for the interiors of Africa and South America.

The 2014 coral atoll origin hypothesis proposed that the coconut had dispersed in an island hopping fashion using the small, sometimes transient, coral atolls. It noted that by using these small atolls, the species could easily island-hop. Over the course of evolutionary time-scales the shifting atolls would have shortened the paths of colonization, meaning that any one coconut would not have to travel very far to find new land. [36]

Pests and diseases

Coconuts are susceptible to the phytoplasma disease, lethal yellowing. One recently selected cultivar, the 'Maypan', has been bred for resistance to this disease. [73] Yellowing diseases affect plantations in Africa, India, Mexico, the Caribbean and the Pacific Region. [74]

The coconut palm is damaged by the larvae of many Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species which feed on it, including the African armyworm (Spodoptera exempta) and Batrachedra spp.: B. arenosella, B. atriloqua (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), B. mathesoni (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), and B. nuciferae. [75]

Brontispa longissima (coconut leaf beetle) feeds on young leaves, and damages both seedlings and mature coconut palms. In 2007, the Philippines imposed a quarantine in Metro Manila and 26 provinces to stop the spread of the pest and protect the Philippine coconut industry managed by some 3.5 million farmers. [76]

The fruit may also be damaged by eriophyid coconut mites (Eriophyes guerreronis). This mite infests coconut plantations, and is devastating it can destroy up to 90% of coconut production. The immature seeds are infested and desapped by larvae staying in the portion covered by the perianth of the immature seed the seeds then drop off or survive deformed. Spraying with wettable sulfur 0.4% or with Neem-based pesticides can give some relief, but is cumbersome and labor-intensive.

In Kerala, India, the main coconut pests are the coconut mite, the rhinoceros beetle, the red palm weevil, and the coconut leaf caterpillar. Research into countermeasures to these pests has as of 2009 [update] yielded no results researchers from the Kerala Agricultural University and the Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragode, continue to work on countermeasures. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kannur under Kerala Agricultural University has developed an innovative extension approach called the compact area group approach to combat coconut mites.

Coconut production, 2019
Country Production
(millions of tonnes)
Indonesia 17.1
Philippines 14.8
India 14.7
Sri Lanka 2.5
Brazil 2.3
Mexico 1.3
World 62.5
Source: FAOSTAT of the United Nations [77]

In 2019, world production of coconuts was 62 million tonnes, led by Indonesia, the Philippines, and India, with 75% combined of the total (table). [77]


Coconut palms are normally cultivated in hot and wet tropical climates. They need year round warmth and moisture to grow well and fruit. Coconut palms are hard to establish in dry climates, and cannot grow there without frequent irrigation in drought conditions, the new leaves do not open well, and older leaves may become desiccated fruit also tends to be shed. [59]

The extent of cultivation in the tropics is threatening a number of habitats, such as mangroves an example of such damage to an ecoregion is in the Petenes mangroves of the Yucatán. [78]


Coconut has a number of commercial and traditional cultivars. They can be sorted mainly into tall cultivars, dwarf cultivars, and hybrid cultivars (hybrids between talls and dwarfs). Some of the dwarf cultivars such as 'Malayan dwarf' have shown some promising resistance to lethal yellowing, while other cultivars such as 'Jamaican tall' are highly affected by the same plant disease. Some cultivars are more drought resistant such as 'West coast tall' (India) while others such as 'Hainan Tall' (China) are more cold tolerant. Other aspects such as seed size, shape and weight, and copra thickness are also important factors in the selection of new cultivars. Some cultivars such as 'Fiji dwarf' form a large bulb at the lower stem and others are cultivated to produce very sweet coconut water with orange-coloured husks (king coconut) used entirely in fruit stalls for drinking (Sri Lanka, India). [ citation needed ]


The two most common harvesting methods are the climbing method and the pole method. Climbing is the most widespread, but it is also more dangerous and requires skilled workers. [79] Manually climbing trees is traditional in most countries and requires a specific posture that exerts pressure on the trunk with the feet. Climbers employed in coconut plantations often develop musculoskeletal disorders and risk severe injury or death from falling. [80] [81] [82]

To avoid this, coconuts workers in the Philippines and Guam traditionally use bolos tied with a rope to the waist to cut grooves at regular intervals on the coconut trunks. This basically turns the trunk of the tree into a ladder, though it reduces the value of coconut timber recovered from the trees and can be an entry point for infection. [83] [79] [84] Other manual methods to make climbing easier include using a system of pulleys and ropes using pieces of vine, rope, or cloth tied to both hands or feet using spikes attached to the feet or legs or attaching coconut husks to the trunk with ropes. [85] Modern methods use hydraulic elevators mounted on tractors or ladders. [86] Mechanical coconut climbing devices and even automated robots have also been recently developed in countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. [87] [88] [89] [85]

The pole method uses a long pole with a cutting device at the end. In the Philippines, the traditional tool is known as the halabas and is made from a long bamboo pole with a sickle-like blade mounted at the tip. Though safer and faster than the climbing method, its main disadvantage is that it does not allow workers to examine and clean the crown of coconuts for pests and diseases. [90]

A system of bamboo bridges and ladders directly connecting the tree canopies are also utilized in the Philippines for coconut plantations that harvest coconut sap (not fruits) for coconut vinegar and palm wine production. [91] [86] In other areas, like in Papua New Guinea, coconuts are simply collected when they fall to the ground. [79]

A more controversial method employed by a small number of coconut farmers in Thailand and Malaysia use trained pig-tailed macaques to harvest coconuts. Thailand has been raising and training pig-tailed macaques to pick coconuts for around 400 years. [92] [93] [94] Training schools for pig-tailed macaques still exist both in southern Thailand and in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. [95]

The practice of using macaques to harvest coconuts was exposed in Thailand by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in 2019, resulting in calls for boycotts on coconut products. PETA later clarified that the use of macaques is not practiced in the Philippines, India, Brazil, Colombia, Hawaii, and other major coconut-producing regions. [86]

Substitutes for cooler climates

In cooler climates (but not less than USDA Zone 9), a similar palm, the queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana), is used in landscaping. Its fruits are similar to the coconut, but smaller. The queen palm was originally classified in the genus Cocos along with the coconut, but was later reclassified in Syagrus. A recently discovered palm, Beccariophoenix alfredii from Madagascar, is nearly identical to the coconut, more so than the queen palm and can also be grown in slightly cooler climates than the coconut palm. Coconuts can only be grown in temperatures above 18 °C (64 °F) and need a daily temperature above 22 °C (72 °F) to produce fruit. [ citation needed ]

Production by country


Indonesia is the world's largest producer of coconuts, with gross production of 15 million tonnes. [96] A sprouting coconut seed is the logo for Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia, the Indonesian scouting organization. [97]


The Philippines is the world's second-largest producer of coconuts. It was the world's largest producer for decades until a decline in production due to aging trees as well as typhoon devastation. Indonesia overtook it in 2010. It is still the largest producer of coconut oil and copra, accounting for 64% of the global production. The production of coconuts plays an important role in the economy, with 25% of cultivated land (around 3.56 million hectares) used for coconut plantations and approximately 25 to 33% of the population reliant on coconuts for their livelihood. [98] [99] [100]

Two important coconut products were first developed in the Philippines, macapuno and nata de coco. Macapuno is a coconut variety with a jelly-like coconut meat. Its meat is sweetened, cut into strands, and sold in glass jars as coconut strings, sometimes labeled as "coconut sport". Nata de coco, also called coconut gel, is another jelly-like coconut product made from fermented coconut water. [101] [102]


Traditional areas of coconut cultivation in India are the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and, Gujarat and the islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar. As per 2014–15 statistics from Coconut Development Board of Government of India, four southern states combined account for almost 90% of the total production in the country: Tamil Nadu (33.84%), Karnataka (25.15%), Kerala (23.96%), and Andhra Pradesh (7.16%). [103] Other states, such as Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, and those in the northeast (Tripura and Assam) account for the remaining productions. Though Kerala has the largest number of coconut trees, in terms of production per hectare, Tamil Nadu leads all other states. In Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore and Tirupur regions top the production list. [104]

In Goa, the coconut tree has been reclassified by the government as a palm (like a grass), enabling farmers and real estate developers to clear land with fewer restrictions. [105] With this, it will no more be considered as a tree and no permission will be required by the forest department before cutting a coconut tree. [106]

Middle East

The main coconut-producing area in the Middle East is the Dhofar region of Oman, but they can be grown all along the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and Red Sea coasts, because these seas are tropical and provide enough humidity (through seawater evaporation) for coconut trees to grow. The young coconut plants need to be nursed and irrigated with drip pipes until they are old enough (stem bulb development) to be irrigated with brackish water or seawater alone, after which they can be replanted on the beaches. In particular, the area around Salalah maintains large coconut plantations similar to those found across the Arabian Sea in Kerala. The reasons why coconut are cultivated only in Yemen's Al Mahrah and Hadramaut governorates and in the Sultanate of Oman, but not in other suitable areas in the Arabian Peninsula, may originate from the fact that Oman and Hadramaut had long dhow trade relations with Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Africa, and Zanzibar, as well as southern India and China. Omani people needed the coir rope from the coconut fiber to stitch together their traditional seagoing dhow vessels in which nails were never used. The knowhow of coconut cultivation and necessary soil fixation and irrigation may have found its way into Omani, Hadrami and Al-Mahra culture by people who returned from those overseas areas.

The coconut cultivars grown in Oman are generally of the drought-resistant Indian 'West Coast tall' variety. Unlike the UAE, which grows mostly non-native dwarf or hybrid coconut cultivars imported from Florida for ornamental purposes, the slender, tall Omani coconut cultivars are relatively well-adapted to the Middle East's hot dry seasons, but need longer to reach maturity. The Middle East's hot, dry climate favors the development of coconut mites, which cause immature seed dropping and may cause brownish-gray discoloration on the coconut's outer green fiber. [ citation needed ]

The ancient coconut groves of Dhofar were mentioned by the medieval Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta in his writings, known as Al Rihla. [107] The annual rainy season known locally as khareef or monsoon makes coconut cultivation easy on the Arabian east coast.

Coconut trees also are increasingly grown for decorative purposes along the coasts of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia with the help of irrigation. The UAE has, however, imposed strict laws on mature coconut tree imports from other countries to reduce the spread of pests to other native palm trees, as the mixing of date and coconut trees poses a risk of cross-species palm pests, such as rhinoceros beetles and red palm weevils. [108] The artificial landscaping may have been the cause for lethal yellowing, a viral coconut palm disease that leads to the death of the tree. It is spread by host insects, that thrive on heavy turf grasses. Therefore, heavy turf grass environments (beach resorts and golf courses) also pose a major threat to local coconut trees. Traditionally, dessert banana plants and local wild beach flora such as Scaevola taccada and Ipomoea pes-caprae were used as humidity-supplying green undergrowth for coconut trees, mixed with sea almond and sea hibiscus. Due to growing sedentary lifestyles and heavy-handed landscaping, a decline in these traditional farming and soil-fixing techniques has occurred.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the world's fourth-largest producer of coconuts and is the second-largest producer of coconut oil and copra, accounting for 15% of the global production. [109] The production of coconuts is the main source of Sri Lanka economy, with 12% of cultivated land and 409,244 hectares used for coconut growing (2017). Sri Lanka established its Coconut Development Authority and Coconut Cultivation Board and Coconut Research Institute in the early British Ceylon period. [109]

United States

In the United States, coconut palms can be grown and reproduced outdoors without irrigation in Hawaii, southern and central Florida, [110] and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

In Florida, wild populations of coconut palms extend up the East Coast from Key West to Jupiter Inlet, and up the West Coast from Marco Island to Sarasota. Many of the smallest coral islands in the Florida Keys are known to have abundant coconut palms sprouting from coconuts that have drifted or been deposited by ocean currents. Coconut palms are cultivated north of south Florida to roughly Cocoa Beach on the East Coast and Clearwater on the West Coast.


Coconuts are commonly grown around the northern coast of Australia, and in some warmer parts of New South Wales. However they are mainly present as decoration, and the Australian coconut industry is small Australia is a net importer of coconut products. Australian cities put much effort into de-fruiting decorative coconut trees to ensure that the mature coconuts do not fall and injure people. [111]

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and nonculinary uses virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value. Coconuts' versatility is sometimes noted in its naming. In Sanskrit, it is kalpa vriksha ("the tree which provides all the necessities of life"). In the Malay language, it is pokok seribu guna ("the tree of a thousand uses"). In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the "tree of life". [112]

It is one of the most useful trees in the world. [51]

Culinary uses


Coconut meat

The white, fleshy part of the seed, the "coconut meat" or "coconut flesh", is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons and buko pie. Dried coconut is also used as the filling for many chocolate bars. Some dried coconut is purely coconut, but others are manufactured with other ingredients, such as sugar, propylene glycol, salt, and sodium metabisulfite. Freshly shredded coconut meat, known as "grated coconut" or "coconut flakes", is also used as a garnish for various dishes, as in klepon and puto bumbóng. They can also be cooked in sugar and eaten as a dessert in the Philippines known as bukayo. [113] [114]

Coconut meat can also be cut into strips, salted and baked to make bacon-like fixings. [115]


A special cultivar of coconut known as macapuno has a jelly-like coconut meat. It was first developed for commercial cultivation in the Philippines and is used widely in Philippine cuisine for desserts, drinks, and pastries. It is also popular in Indonesia (where it is known as kopyor) for making beverages. [102]

Coconut milk

Coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut water, is obtained by pressing the grated coconut meat, usually with hot water added which extracts the coconut oil, proteins, and aromatic compounds. It is used for cooking various dishes. Coconut milk contains 5% to 20% fat, while coconut cream contains around 20% to 50% fat. [116] [87] Most of which (89%) is saturated fat, with lauric acid as a major fatty acid. [117] Coconut milk can be diluted to create coconut milk beverages. These have much lower fat content and are suitable as milk substitutes. [116] [87] The milk can be used to produce virgin coconut oil by controlled heating and removal of the oil fraction.

Coconut milk powder, a protein-rich powder can be processed from coconut milk following centrifugation, separation, and spray drying. [118]

Coconut milk and coconut cream extracted from grated coconut is frequently added to various dessert and savory dishes, as well as in curries and stews. [119] [120] It can also be diluted into a beverage. Various other products made from thickened coconut milk with sugar and/or eggs like coconut jam and coconut custard are also widespread in Southeast Asia. [121] [122] In the Philippines, sweetened reduced coconut milk is marketed as coconut syrup and is used for various desserts. [123] Coconut oil extracted from coconut milk or copra is also used for frying, cooking, and making margarine, among other uses. [119] [124]

Coconut water

Coconut water serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during its nuclear phase of development. Later, the endosperm matures and deposits onto the coconut rind during the cellular phase. [48] It is consumed throughout the humid tropics, and has been introduced into the retail market as a processed sports drink. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young, immature coconuts, barring spoilage. Coconut water can be fermented to produce coconut vinegar.

Per 100-gram serving, coconut water contains 19 calories and no significant content of essential nutrients.

Coconut water can be drunk fresh or used in cooking as in binakol. [125] [126] It can also be fermented to produce a jelly-like dessert known as nata de coco. [101]

Coconut flour

Coconut flour has also been developed for use in baking, to combat malnutrition. [119]

Sprouted coconut

Newly germinated coconuts contain a spherical edible mass known as the sprouted coconut or coconut sprout. It has a crunchy watery texture and a slightly sweet taste. It is eaten as is or used as an ingredient in various dishes. It is produced as the endosperm nourishes the developing embryo. It is a haustorium, a spongy absorbent tissue formed from the distal portion of embryo during coconut germination, facilitates absorption of nutrients for the growing shoot and root. [127]

Heart of palm

Apical buds of adult plants are edible, and are known as "palm cabbage" or heart of palm. They are considered a rare delicacy, as harvesting the buds kills the palms. Hearts of palm are eaten in salads, sometimes called "millionaire's salad".

Toddy and sap

The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut is drunk as toddy, also known as tubâ in the Philippines (both fermented and fresh), tuak (Indonesia and Malaysia), karewe (fresh and not fermented, collected twice a day, for breakfast and dinner) in Kiribati, and neera in South Asia. When left to ferment on its own, it becomes palm wine. Palm wine is distilled to produce arrack. In the Philippines, this alcoholic drink is called lambanog or "coconut vodka". [128]

The sap can be reduced by boiling to create a sweet syrup or candy such as te kamamai in Kiribati or dhiyaa hakuru and addu bondi in the Maldives. It can be reduced further to yield coconut sugar also referred to as palm sugar or jaggery. A young, well-maintained tree can produce around 300 litres (79 US gallons) of toddy per year, while a 40-year-old tree may yield around 400 L (110 US gal). [129]

Coconut sap, usually extracted from cut inflorescence stalks is sweet when fresh and can be drunk as is like in tuba fresca of Mexico (derived from the Philippine tubâ). [130] They can also be processed to extract palm sugar. [131] The sap when fermented can also be made into coconut vinegar or various palm wines (which can be further distilled to make arrack). [132] [133]

Coconut vinegar

Coconut vinegar, made from fermented coconut water or sap, is used extensively in Southeast Asian cuisine (notably the Philippines, where it is known as sukang tuba), as well as in some cuisines of India and Sri Lanka, especially Goan cuisine. A cloudy white liquid, it has a particularly sharp, acidic taste with a slightly yeasty note. [134]

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying. It can be used in liquid form as would other vegetable oils, or in solid form similar to butter or lard.

Long-term consumption of coconut oil may have negative health effects similar to those from consuming other sources of saturated fats, including butter, beef fat, and palm oil. [135] Its chronic consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases by raising total blood cholesterol levels through elevated blood levels of LDL cholesterol and lauric acid. [136] [137]

Coconut butter

Coconut butter is often used to describe solidified coconut oil, but has also been adopted as an alternate name for creamed coconut, a specialty product made of coconut milk solids or puréed coconut meat and oil. [113]

Coir (the fiber from the husk of the coconut) is used in ropes, mats, doormats, brushes, and sacks, as caulking for boats, and as stuffing fiber for mattresses. [138] It is used in horticulture in potting compost, especially in orchid mix. The coir is used to make brooms in Cambodia. [139]


Copra is the dried meat of the seed and after processing produces coconut oil and coconut meal. Coconut oil, aside from being used in cooking as an ingredient and for frying, is used in soaps, cosmetics, hair oil, and massage oil. Coconut oil is also a main ingredient in Ayurvedic oils. In Vanuatu, coconut palms for copra production are generally spaced 9 m (30 ft) apart, allowing a tree density of 100 to 160 per hectare (40 to 65 per acre).

It takes around 6,000 full-grown coconuts to produce one tonne of copra. [140]

Husks and shells

The husk and shells can be used for fuel and are a source of charcoal. [141] Activated carbon manufactured from coconut shell is considered extremely effective for the removal of impurities. The coconut's obscure origin in foreign lands led to the notion of using cups made from the shell to neutralise poisoned drinks. The cups were frequently engraved and decorated with precious metals. [142]

A dried half coconut shell with husk can be used to buff floors. It is known as a bunot in the Philippines and simply a "coconut brush" in Jamaica. The fresh husk of a brown coconut may serve as a dish sponge or body sponge. A coco chocolatero was a cup used to serve small quantities of beverages (such as chocolate drinks) between the 17th and 19th centuries in countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, and Venezuela.

In Asia, coconut shells are also used as bowls and in the manufacture of various handicrafts, including buttons carved from dried shell. Coconut buttons are often used for Hawaiian aloha shirts. Tempurung, as the shell is called in the Malay language, can be used as a soup bowl and—if fixed with a handle—a ladle. In Thailand, the coconut husk is used as a potting medium to produce healthy forest tree saplings. The process of husk extraction from the coir bypasses the retting process, using a custom-built coconut husk extractor designed by ASEAN–Canada Forest Tree Seed Centre in 1986. Fresh husks contain more tannin than old husks. Tannin produces negative effects on sapling growth. [143] In parts of South India, the shell and husk are burned for smoke to repel mosquitoes.

Half coconut shells are used in theatre Foley sound effects work, struck together to create the sound effect of a horse's hoofbeats. Dried half shells are used as the bodies of musical instruments, including the Chinese yehu and banhu, along with the Vietnamese đàn gáo and Arabo-Turkic rebab. In the Philippines, dried half shells are also used as a music instrument in a folk dance called maglalatik.

The shell, freed from the husk, and heated on warm ashes, exudes an oily material that is used to soothe dental pains in traditional medicine of Cambodia. [139]

In World War II, coastwatcher scout Biuku Gasa was the first of two from the Solomon Islands to reach the shipwrecked and wounded crew of Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 commanded by future U.S. president John F. Kennedy. Gasa suggested, for lack of paper, delivering by dugout canoe a message inscribed on a husked coconut shell, reading “Nauru Isl commander / native knows posit / he can pilot / 11 alive need small boat / Kennedy.” [144] This coconut was later kept on the president's desk, and is now in the John F. Kennedy Library. [145]


The stiff midribs of coconut leaves are used for making brooms in India, Indonesia (sapu lidi), Malaysia, the Maldives, and the Philippines (walis tingting). The green of the leaves (lamina) is stripped away, leaving the veins (long, thin, woodlike strips) which are tied together to form a broom or brush. A long handle made from some other wood may be inserted into the base of the bundle and used as a two-handed broom.

The leaves also provide material for baskets that can draw well water and for roofing thatch they can be woven into mats, cooking skewers, and kindling arrows as well. Leaves are also woven into small piuches that are filled with rice and cooked to make pusô and ketupat. [146]

Dried coconut leaves can be burned to ash, which can be harvested for lime. In India, the woven coconut leaves are used to build wedding marquees, especially in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

The leaves are used for thatching houses, or for decorating climbing frames and meeting rooms in Cambodia, where the plant is known as dôô:ng. [139]


Coconut trunks are used for building small bridges and huts they are preferred for their straightness, strength, and salt resistance. In Kerala, coconut trunks are used for house construction. Coconut timber comes from the trunk, and is increasingly being used as an ecologically sound substitute for endangered hardwoods. It has applications in furniture and specialized construction, as notably demonstrated in Manila's Coconut Palace.

Hawaiians hollowed the trunk to form drums, containers, or small canoes. The "branches" (leaf petioles) are strong and flexible enough to make a switch. The use of coconut branches in corporal punishment was revived in the Gilbertese community on Choiseul in the Solomon Islands in 2005. [147]


The roots are used as a dye, a mouthwash, and a folk medicine for diarrhea and dysentery. [42] A frayed piece of root can also be used as a toothbrush. In Cambodia, the roots are used in traditional medicine as a treatment for dysentery. [139]

Other uses

The leftover fiber from coconut oil and coconut milk production, coconut meal, is used as livestock feed. The dried calyx is used as fuel in wood-fired stoves. Coconut water is traditionally used as a growth supplement in plant tissue culture and micropropagation. [148] The smell of coconuts comes from the 6-pentyloxan-2-one molecule, known as δ-decalactone in the food and fragrance industries. [149]

Tool and shelter for animals

Researchers from the Melbourne Museum in Australia observed the octopus species Amphioctopus marginatus use tools, specifically coconut shells, for defense and shelter. The discovery of this behavior was observed in Bali and North Sulawesi in Indonesia between 1998 and 2008. [150] [151] [152] Amphioctopus marginatus is the first invertebrate known to be able to use tools. [151] [153]

A coconut can be hollowed out and used as a home for a rodent or small birds. Halved, drained coconuts can also be hung up as bird feeders, and after the flesh has gone, can be filled with fat in winter to attract tits.


Food allergies

Coconut oil is increasingly used in the food industry. [154] Proteins from coconut may cause food allergy, including anaphylaxis. [154]

In the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared that coconut must be disclosed as an ingredient on package labels as a "tree nut" with potential allergenicity. [155]

Topical allergies

Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a surfactant manufactured from coconut oil that is increasingly used as an ingredient in personal hygiene products and cosmetics, such as shampoos, liquid soaps, cleansers and antiseptics, among others. [156] CAPB may cause mild skin irritation, [156] but allergic reactions to CAPB are rare [157] and probably related to impurities rendered during the manufacturing process (which include amidoamine and dimethylaminopropylamine) rather than CAPB itself. [156]

The coconut was a critical food item for the people of Polynesia, and the Polynesians brought it with them as they spread to new islands. [158]

In the Ilocos region of the northern Philippines, the Ilocano people fill two halved coconut shells with diket (cooked sweet rice), and place liningta nga itlog (halved boiled egg) on top of it. This ritual, known as niniyogan, is an offering made to the deceased and one's ancestors. This accompanies the palagip (prayer to the dead).

A coconut (Sanskrit: narikela ) is an essential element of rituals in Hindu tradition. [159] Often it is decorated with bright metal foils and other symbols of auspiciousness. It is offered during worship to a Hindu god or goddess. Narali Purnima is celebrated on a full moon day which usually signifies the end of monsoon season in India. The word Narali is derived from naral implying "coconut" in Marathi. Fishermen give an offering of coconut to the sea to celebrate the beginning of a new fishing season. [160] Irrespective of their religious affiliations, fishermen of India often offer it to the rivers and seas in the hopes of having bountiful catches. Hindus often initiate the beginning of any new activity by breaking a coconut to ensure the blessings of the gods and successful completion of the activity. The Hindu goddess of well-being and wealth, Lakshmi, is often shown holding a coconut. [161] In the foothills of the temple town of Palani, before going to worship Murugan for the Ganesha, coconuts are broken at a place marked for the purpose. Every day, thousands of coconuts are broken, and some devotees break as many as 108 coconuts at a time as per the prayer. [ citation needed ] They are also used in Hindu weddings as a symbol of prosperity. [162]

The flowers are used sometimes in wedding ceremonies in Cambodia. [139]

The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club of New Orleans traditionally throws hand-decorated coconuts, one of the most valuable Mardi Gras souvenirs, to parade revelers. The tradition began in the 1910s, and has continued since. In 1987, a "coconut law" was signed by Governor Edwin Edwards exempting from insurance liability any decorated coconut "handed" from a Zulu float. [163]

The coconut is also used as a target and prize in the traditional British fairground game coconut shy. The player buys some small balls which are then thrown as hard as possible at coconuts balanced on sticks. The aim is to knock a coconut off the stand and win it. [164]

It was the main food of adherents of the now discontinued Vietnamese religion Đạo Dừa. [165]

Myths and legends

Some South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Ocean cultures have origin myths in which the coconut plays the main role. In the Hainuwele myth from Maluku, a girl emerges from the blossom of a coconut tree. [166] In Maldivian folklore, one of the main myths of origin reflects the dependence of the Maldivians on the coconut tree. [167] In the story of Sina and the Eel, the origin of the coconut is related as the beautiful woman Sina burying an eel, which eventually became the first coconut. [168]