The Wall Street Journal wrote a story last month about how the increase in demand for vanilla has not only drastically increased the price for it, but also how farmers in Madagascar – where the bulk of vanilla originates – are affected. Headlined “Why Your Passion for Fancy Vanilla Ice Cream Is Creating World-Wide Havoc,” the story explains how many farmers have to go to drastic measures to protect their vanilla crops from thieves because of its value. “Farmers, who must hand-pollinate each orchid on the single day it flowers, are responding by harvesting early, reducing the quantity and quality of the vanilla,” the Wall Street Journal wrote. The paper interviewed Cream Bean Berry owner Katie Burford (who also is a former Durango Herald city editor) about how the rising vanilla prices have affected her business. Burford said she pays significantly more for vanilla than a few years ago, but she continues to use it for ice cream, even as she has had to cut down on the amount she uses. The good news: Burford, whose local ice cream shop uses environmentally friendly and sustainable practices, has not passed on the increased cost to consumers. Read the story here: http://on.wsj.com/2lKStqo.