Understanding the Vanilla Shortage

Friday, August 4, 2017

Story Description

There is a global vanilla crisis. Recently there’s been a global shortage of vanilla that’s affecting bakeries and ice cream shops across the country. The spice is primarily grown in Madagascar, an island off the southeast coast of Africa. Listen to this story to hear what caused this shortage and the dangers and problems of faced by vanilla growers.

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • What are the causes of the high price of vanilla?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of the vanilla shortage?
  • Why did the national bank in Madagascar run out of cash?
  • What is the process for harvesting vanilla pods?

Classroom Discussion Themes

  • Why do you think people are switching to natural ingredients and avoiding artificial ingredients?
  • Do you think it is important to know where your ingredients come from? Why or why not?

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