How the World’s Most-Consumed Liquor Changed the Corn Market

Because of supply and demand in the U.S. and the world, U.S. farmers are planting less corn and more soybeans and sorghum.

One Reason That Chocolates Are More Expensive

In an econlife post from September 2013, we presented a spending ladder that emerging market nations like the BRICs–Brazil, Russia, India, China–might climb. At each rung, spending surges and then flattens at that higher level until consumers can afford to climb…

How Are French Fries and Airplanes Similar?

The same oil that fried your potatoes might have fueled your airplane. Correctly processed, biofuels made from used cooking oil burn 80% cleaner than fossil fuels. Just add to that the incentive of US subsidies, emission limits and carbon taxes…

Chicken Productivity

Sometimes byproducts can become surprisingly useful. Scraps: Believing that their chickens could be tastier, NYC’s priciest restaurants are sending their table scraps to the farmers who raise their poultry. D’Artagnan, the wholesaler that invented the concept, has divided the chickens, restaurant…

Pork Problems

Announcing the cancellation of this year’s bacon eating contest, Major League Eating (“the world body that governs all stomach-centric sports’) said,  “We cannot, in good conscience, allow [top ranked eater] Joey Chestnut to eat bacon during a global pork shortage,…We…

The US Drought and Pizza

Discussing the impact of this summer’s drought on pizza, Stephen Colbert said, “It is one thing for global warming to make the sea levels rise but nobody told me it could make my cheese levels recede.” Colbert was reacting to…

A Thanksgiving Mystery

Although supply and demand should increase turkey prices at Thanksgiving, supermarkets discount turkeys.

Chinese Pork

The Chinese might be dipping into their Strategic Pork Reserve. Faced with a 57% increase in pork prices, the Financial Times tells us that the Chinese will be “rushing” extra pigs to market to lower the price. Higher feed prices…

Food or Energy?

Biofuels create dilemmas. Whenever nations mandate converting corn or sugar into biofuel, their prices soar. People whose diets depend on these commodities are the first to suffer. What to do? Lower food prices or increase energy conservation? China’s answer was…

Cotton or Corn?

One farmer told the NY Times, “It’s going to be cotton stalks everywhere.” With cotton prices soaring, acreage in Texas and other Southern states that had been used for wheat or corn now has cotton growing.  The result? A smaller…