vanilla vanilla

Workers spread "red vanilla" (vanilla that has been treated by special cooking) in the sun to be dried near Sambava, Madagascar, in May 2016. Madagascar, producer of 80 percent of the world's vanilla, has seen huge jumps in the price. It's one of the most labor-intensive foods on Earth. Rijasolo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Rijasolo/AFP/Getty Images

Our Love Of 'All Natural' Is Causing A Vanilla Shortage

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At left, a woman holds the saffron crocus during the saffron harvest in Herat, Afghanistan. At right, saffron flowers are collected in Saint Hippolyte, eastern France. Since the stigmas need to be picked from the flowers by hand, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Majid Saeedi/Getty Images; Maxppp /Landov hide caption

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Majid Saeedi/Getty Images; Maxppp /Landov

The orchids that produce vanilla beans have no natural pollinators in Madagascar; the plant must be pollinated by hand — a labor-intensive process with little margin for error. Courtesy of Madécasse hide caption

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Courtesy of Madécasse