Good News Notes:
“The legend says that vanilla was introduced to Europe by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, who had seen the Aztec Emperor Montezuma drink his xocolatl (sort of a chocolate drink) with a bit of vanilla. The Mesoamerican flavoring gained massively in popularity in the 19th century, when botanists found a way to hand-pollinate it, which allowed for it to be grown around the world.
Today, the vast majority of vanilla (some 60%-80%) comes from the African island of Madagascar, and it is the second most expensive spice (only behind saffron) in the world, mostly because it’s difficult to produce. However, at the moment there is a real shortage of natural vanilla, as the vanilla bean cannot meet the demand due to challenging growing conditions, labor exploitation, and deforestation in Madagascar.
Dr. Ian Klein claims he can solve that by producing natural vanilla from the abundant corn fiber.”