Puerto Rico’s agricultural production and consumption, in comparison to the United States agricultural industry, really surprised me. In the United States agricultural industry production can tend to be wasteful, with several bi-products, and usually many imported ingredients and items. However, in Puerto Rico, there are very few unused bi-products and close to none really imported items; some items have their own Puerto Rican swing to them- but they all tend to be made on the island.
As we toured a coffee plantation on the island, we were really informed of the real way fine coffee, and also how coffee in the states, is created and sold. Personally I cannot stand coffee- no matter how much cream and sugar is added- however, others within the group could really tell the different between the American coffees that they drink at home, and the coffee sampled at the coffee plantation. The processing of American coffees is much different than the final processing Puerto Rican coffees go through. Puerto Rican coffees go through a quality control of sorts- only the best beans are dried and roasted for use in the coffee production. Meanwhile, the remaining beans are dried and roasted and sent to larger scale American coffee companies that mix all the remnants of their different beans to make their coffees.
Delivery and consumption of the coffee in Puerto Rico is also much different compared to the United States. In Puerto Rico, the coffee beans are usually dried, roasted, and then sent straight off to be sold within different areas of the island where they are processed into coffee. The coffee produced on the island is generally fresher with a higher quality taste, compared to low grade United States coffee. American coffee also tends to be more processed ahead of delivery, and since it is older, it tends to be less tasteful. This could easily be applied to the Engineering Open House through a game, or just a coffee comparison tasting in one of the sections for the adults (since somehow I feel as if the younger attendees would not be so interested). Each coffee has their own unique qualities and taste, and it would be an interesting experience for the exploring patrons to be able to realize this in an interactive way.
Many items in Puerto Rico found in local restaurants, kiosks and stands are locally produced on the island; however this does not mean that the items on islands are made exactly how the “same” items in the United States are made. For a prime example, something as simple as scrambled eggs look quite different in Puerto Rico vs America. American scrambled eggs are made with only eggs, butter, and salt, usually, and stirred so that they make little clumps of eggs. The American eggs are highly contrasted by the Puerto Rican eggs that usually contain some sort of meat or cheese and tend to be cooked more like how an omelet would be made, and then chopped into stringy pieces. A huge difference in food, is also the sandwiches that tend to be made with a thinner bread, and almost always toasted unless you say otherwise. Although the American food industry and the Puerto Rican food industry are very similar, there are small differences in the industries that make them unique.
For the most part, I feel like the differences in between Puerto Rico and America are superficial; just a cultural and language class between countries. On a normal basis, both areas work the same way, just with different plants- which need different methods of farming in order to produce and turn a profit for the farmer. I believe the goals of both the farmers of America and Puerto Rico are similar: feed the world and take care of their families; and I believe they accomplish that through their hard work in the fields to produce the crops and money they need to be successful in their goals.