Cochineal (dactylopus coccus): The cochineal insect is parasitic on the nopal cactus (prickly pear).  First domesticated by the Aztecs, the nopal is cultivated in arid land unsuitable for other crops in Peru, Argebtina, Ecuador, and Mexico.  Cochineal beetles produce a deep red color used to tint food, cosmetics and textiles.  Approximately 75% of the cochineal used industrially in the world is harvested by native people.  For more information on cochineal harvesting and how this supports indigenous people, please visit: