Soaring demand for real vanilla is threatening valuable habitats and fuelling a crime wave of thefts and killings in the island republic of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa.
Jonathan Watts, the global environment editor of The Guardian, visited Madagascar recently to see the problems for himself.
"Madagascar is the world's primary supplier of pods used to flavour ice cream, cakes and chocolate. Despite its notoriously bland reputation, a more-than-tenfold surge in the value of the spice over the past five years has aroused dangerous passions." Jonathan Watts in The Guardian