Click here to view newsletter…….June 2017 Precious Timber Newsletter
Click here to view newsletter…….June 2017 Precious Timber Newsletter
Last week the biggest internet story in the health field was the news that coconut oil is supposedly bad for you. This wasn’t just the usual throwaway fodder posted by breathless bloggers, but was picked up by respected news outlets. Shame that they didn’t do their homework before hopping aboard the latest nonsensical nutrition bandwagon.
First off, you would’ve thought that we’d put the outdated and discredited “fat is bad” narrative to the sword by now. A large body of research shows that ketogenic and other high fat diets are effective in minimizing the number and severity of seizures in people with epilepsy and other brain disorders, aiding athletic performance and recovery and, when replacing sugar-derived calories, in reducing the incidence of metabolic, cardiovascular and digestive conditions. Meanwhile, low fat diets that are high in sugar are at the root of many of the health issues that Big Sugar tried to pin on fat for decades (see Gary Taubes’s book The Case Against Sugar).
But yet here we are in mid-2017 with irresponsible stories perpetuating myths that should have been relegated to the bygone low-fat age. It’s not just the fact that this study is bashing coconut, but that it’s promoting vegetable oils as supposedly “healthy.” In her outstanding book Deep Nutrition, Dr. Cate Shanahan makes the case against veggie oils, particularly the mutations that occur in them when they’re heated, which potentially increase the risk of heart disease, cancer and many of the other leading killers in Western society. Not to mention, as her website states, “oxidative stress that leads to impaired cognitive function at every age.”
Another issue with the “coconut bad/vegetable oil’s good” story is its take on cholesterol. As Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey pointed out when reacting to the coconut kerfuffle on his Facebook page, “there’s no cholesterol in coconut oil” and while the lauric acid in coconut can be harmful in high quantities, eating plenty of real vegetables (not the highly processed oils mentioned a moment ago) protects against ill effects. Then there’s the inconvenient truth that, contrary to the report, the kind of fat found in coconut is actually good for your heart.
The story’s headline also states that “coconut oil is as bad for you as red meat and butter.” Now if you ate a lot of farm-raised red meat derived from animals fed a pesticide-laced, GMO corn diet, injected with antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones and who knows what else then sure, you’re not going to be the healthiest person around. But if, on the other hand, you consume organic, grass fed red meat in moderation, you’re eating a food that’s a rich source of cardiovascular health-promoting omega 3 fatty acids, high in muscle-building protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals. And if your butter is also grass-fed and organic, you’re going to be getting heart health-boosting CLA, bone-protecting vitamin K and butyrate, which improves the efficiency of energy production and has anti-inflammatory effects. So again, the “coconut, butter and red meat are bad for you” line is as lazy as it is scientifically shaky.
So if you regularly eat coconut, use coconut oil in cooking or supplement with coconut-derived MCT oil, you’re not going to trash your health (same goes for organic, grass-fed red meat). And if you don’t consume any of these, don’t be scared off. As long as you eat coconut in moderation, you’ll be just fine. Low-fat zealots be darned.
For nearly any product you can think of, there is a market in Nicaragua. Today, as thousands of Nicaraguans who fled the Sandinistas during the revolution return to their native country, they bring with them sophisticated tastes and an appetite for the kinds of goods and services they grew accustomed to while in exile in the United States and in Canada. Their return has proved to be an incredibly stabilizing force in this country–both economically and politically. After all, these were the attorneys, the doctors, the better educated in the society who fled.
And now they understand how a free-market economy works. They understand democracy. They speak English. And, perhaps most critically, they form a true middle class with expendable income to buy the goods and services to which they’d become accustomed in North America. That spells opportunity for you.
Nicaragua has one of the fastest real GDP growth rates in Central America. The country has complied (unlike many other nations) with prescribed IMF demands for cutting its deficit, implementing structural reforms, and maintaining overall monetary stability.
Nicaragua is set to benefit from rapid and sustained economic growth in the years to come, growth it has encouraged with the passage of several laws specifically designed to attract and protect foreign investors. According to the Economic and Commercial Section at the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua, “The in-flow of foreign direct investment has almost doubled [for the most recently-available figures]–from US$97 million in 1996 to US$184 in 1998.” About one-third of that investment comes from the United States…investment primarily in agriculture, construction, services, industry, mining, energy, tourism, and aquaculture.
Investing in Nicaragua Involves Very Few Restrictions
In the last decade, Nicaragua has privatized nearly all its old state-owned monopolies, save for the public utilities, and has thus dramatically reduced the amount of government red tape investors have to contend with when they do business here. In addition, it has opened up all sorts of new markets.
A foreign investment law ensures you can repatriate 100% of your profits and, after three years, the initial investment as well. (Even if you don’t “register” your investment, banks will freely repatriate profits.)
You’ll find no legal grounds for discrimination against you when you invest. The law allows for 100% foreign ownership in every economic sector. And there are no restrictive visa or work permit requirements to inhibit investment.
Please read the full article here…
China puts Nicaraguan Canal plan on hold
Stephen Gibbs, Lucinda Elliott, Caracas
June 19 2017, 12:01am, The Times
The new canal’s proposed route would end at the Brito inlet to the Pacific
BRITTANY PETERSON/TNS VIA GETTY IMAGES
It was billed as the biggest earth-moving operation in history: the creation of a 170-mile canal across Nicaragua, linking the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
The Grand Interoceanic Canal (commonly known as the Nicaraguan Canal) would have been more than twice the length of the Panama Canal, and wide enough for the new generation of 400,000 tonne container ships.
Now, it appears that the £40 billion project is on hold amid rumors that it has been shelved because of China’s improved relations with Panama.
Construction had been due to start this year, but residents along the planned route have reported no signs of any activity. ProNicaragua, the Nicaraguan government’s investment agency, made no mention of the project in its 2017-2021 plan, and President Daniel Ortega, once an enthusiastic proponent of the scheme, has made no statement on it for months.
The proposed canal construction was approved by the Nicaraguan assembly in June 2013. A company owned by Wang Jing, a Chinese telecoms tycoon, was given an extendable 50-year concession to finance and manage the project. The government in Managua said that the canal would transform the economy and provide an efficient link between China and the Americas.
“Since the project was approved, not a single part has been built,” said Carlos Fernando Chamorro, editor of Confidencial. “Not a single piece of land has been expropriated on the canal route.”
One possible reason for the plan being abandoned is that Mr. Wang is understood to have lost a fortune in the June 2015 Chinese stock market crash. Another is that he is acting on behalf of the Chinese government — although he has denied this.
Earlier this month, China and Panama announced new diplomatic relations and that Panama would sever all ties with Taiwan. Supporting a rival to the Panama canal would seem counter-productive. China is its second biggest customer after the United States.
Environmentalists will be relieved. The new canal’s proposed route was through Lake Nicaragua, the biggest freshwater reserve in Central America. It was feared an artificial link between the lake and the sea would pollute water and fisheries for millions.
By Lucy Valenti, General Director of Nicaragua Tourism and Investment
There are some short-sighted minds that question the construction of the coastal road on the grounds that it will only benefit a few. Many people do not imagine the economic and social benefits that will be generated by the construction of this highway. It has a highly productive potential since it will connect industrial, commercial, tourist and agricultural areas in the nation.
Infrastructure investments of this kind provide fast, safe and profitable returns and promote the economic development of the areas. No society can develop without an efficient road infrastructure in place.
The construction of the Pacífic coastal road confirms a strategic decision to make tourism development a national priority. We have always maintained that this road is vital in promoting tourism investments in an area of the country that has all of the resources to become one of the best sun and beach destinations in the world, especially in the South Pacific region.
This area is currently among the top ten destinations in the world for retirees and is also ranked by the experts amongst the top ten surf destinations in the world!
The first stage of the coastal road lies between San Juan del Sur and Tola. This means more investments and a larger supply of high standard tourism products and services that will raise average tourist spending, provide more jobs and opportunities for Nicaraguans and help lower migration. In addition, it will also bring more tax revenues and money to be reinvested in social programs and education.
In conclusion, the coastal road is strategic for the development of tourism in the coastal areas of the country and deserves the support of all Nicaraguans who want to see our country advance along the path of economic growth and sustainable development.