By Howard Meyerson
DEARBORN – Julie Craves is picky about her coffee, about its taste and where it’s grown. Given a choice, she’ll take light roast over dark, but only one choice exists when it comes to sun-grown or shade.
Shade-grown coffee is better for birds, biodiversity and the environment, said Craves. She is not one to mince words.
“Folgers is one of the worst coffees you can buy,” proclaims Craves in typical no-nonsense style. “They are owned by Smuckers, one of the top three leading coffee buyers in the world and they buy virtually no certified coffee.”
Certified as “bird-friendly,” that is. That’s what Craves recommends. She is the director of the Rouge River Bird Observatory (RRBO) on the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus here and the author of Coffee and Conservation, an online blog at coffeehabitat.com, about coffee growing and harvesting practices and their effect on the environment.
If Craves isn’t blogging about the caffeine-industrial complex, she may be studying dragon flies, another serious interest. But most likely she will be immersed in the study of urban birds, the resident or migratory species visiting the 290-acre natural area on campus located in the heart of a developed metropolitan area. Continue reading