You Can’t Eat Coffee: Addressing Coffee ‘Food Deserts’ in Rural Guatemala

Coffee is an incredible plant. It is a shade tolerant bush that lives for many years, producing a small red fruit whose seed is roasted, brewed, and enjoyed all over the world. Guatemala produces over 200 million kilos of coffee for export each year, and it is a major cash crop in most of the rural highlands of the country. Aside from that, Guatemala also suffers from chronic malnutrition. According to the World Food Programme, one in five children in Guatemala experiences stunting due to malnutrition. A while back, I began to wonder if there was some connection between the rise of coffee production and malnutrition in Guatemala.