Coffee Tea?! My Coffee Secret

NCDT (National Coffee Data Trends) have reported that as much as 67% of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis.  That amount increases to 75% when determining the amount of adults who drink coffee on a weekly basis.  One lesser know fact is that the global coffee market is expected to reach 182 billion by the year 2030.  What is it about that little dark bean, available in so many varieties, that cause people to be unable to go about their daily lives without it?  It must be the flavor as some people swear by coffees made in various countries.  If it's not Columbian or Jamaican coffee, some will not even touch the mug.  Then there are the coffee chain fan clubs who must have their daily Starbucks or Tim Horton's signature espresso in the morning.  Let's be real, the taste of coffee isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when dark.  Quite possibly, it may be the alertness that coffee provides after consumption which have some people hooked.   The alertness and

Leave the Sea Turtles Alone: Nine Die from Consuming Marine Turtle Meat

Nine individuals passed away from consumption of endangered marine turtles in Pemba Island, Zanzibar last month.  A total of eight children and one adult died due to chelonitoxism or food poisoning from the contaminated turtle meat.  Death from chelonitoxication is thought to be a rare happening and is mostly associated with consuming marine turtles such as Green sea turtle, Hawksbill turtle, Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtles. 


Consumption of sea turtles is considered a delicacy in remote places and African countries such as Tanzania and Madagascar, French Polynesia and Indo-Pacific regions.  The sea meat is usually consumed at celebratory gatherings.  The individuals who cook and consume marine turtles are unable to decipher if the meat is toxic because the marine turtles appear healthy and do not display any symptoms.  The chelonitoxins cannot be destroyed through heat or cooking.  The chelonitoxism that occurs in marine turtles are due to environmental factors which may include regular ingestion of toxic algae that accumulate in the tissue of the turtles. Due to biological, environmental and situational factors, the sea turtles are able to withstand and survive the chelonotoxins that enter their bloodstream.  Humans are usually unable to survive chelonitoxication.

Laboratory testing was completed on all nine decedents and results revealed that they were poisoned due to chelonotoxins from consumption of the contaminated sea turtle meat.  It is unknown why these individuals were consuming marine turtles but it is plausible that rituals and cultural beliefs concerning sea turtles may serve as a primary factor. 

    Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtle - Dallas Morning

Why Sea Turtles?

Sea turtles are symbolic for protection, longevity and endurance in indigenous and Polynesian cultures. In some tribes, they are also considered to be a symbolic representation of the connection between heaven and earth.  While cultures and beliefs of individuals should be respected, it’s important for tribes or locals to be educated about the dangers of actual consumption of creatures that communities may hold in high esteem.  

Local citizens and inhabitants of these communities need to be educated about the dangers of consuming chelonitoxic marine turtles who will not display symptoms.  These eight children were wiped out en masse all because their caretaker thought it would be good tradition to feed the sea turtles to them.  The adult who died was mother to one of the children.  

Endangered Marine Animals

It’s one issue that sea turtles contain chelonitoxins and locals residents are choosing to consume them.   The other separate and significant issue is that sea turtles are endangered.  They should not be removed from their natural habitats whether for traditional celebratory gatherings or vainglorious pursuits.  World Wildlife Fund has deemed the Green sea turtle and the Hawksbill sea turtle as critically endangered animals.  During this earth month, Green News Guide desires to bring awareness to the endangerment of our marine friend, the sea turtle. Their populations continue on a steep decline due to exploitation for their meat and also as a result of habitat destruction.

If one is going to consume meat, it’s important to stick to normal sources (beef, chicken).  Consumption of wild species of animals have never led to any good--take for instance the pandemic which originated due to a connection between the wild meat market and a research lab based in Wuhan.  One should never consume wild and endangered species of meat for the fact that it can lead to diseases, seizures, paralysis and in the case of these nine individuals---DEATH! 

Leave the sea turtles alone please!

Potter, L. M. (2016, October 5). Think your parents are tough? try being a sea turtle. Conservation & Science. 

The status of Marine Turtles in Tanzania. WWF. (2005, March 6).                   


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