Between the Grammy huckstering and all the Pontiff pontification, you may have missed this little item – the US and Mexico have cut a trade deal where the price of imported tomatoes will double, and the case of some speciality tomatoes like cherries, the price will soar higher. The official line is that this will “avert a trade war by halting the re-instigation of anti-dumping investigations.”
Fine. What it means is that Obama’s Commerce Department has yet again stuck it to the middle class with higher food costs at the expense of making a very very important voting block in Florida of wealthy tomato growers very happy. And rich.
To quote (either the New York Times or Wall Street Journal – so this comes from both sides of the spin fence):
The Cato Institute’s Daniel Ikenson estimates that winter tomato prices could rise from 41% to 168%, and summer prices 47% to 176%. Specialty tomatoes, such as grape, cherry or heirloom varieties, will see the biggest increases.
In essence, the US has agreed to let Mexico increase the minimum price they charge for tomatoes, called the “price floor”. I don’t know why it’s called that. I’m sure some accounting MBA thought it up in order to make it sound important. It’s a minimum price.
Another little sideline – Mexico employes about 350,000 workers in the tomato industry. I’m sure a few of those folk will be seeing pink slips now that quantity is no longer the issue.
Here is the solution proposed by one blog commenter from California:
How about we all( Mexican And US growers) stop growing so many tomatoes. Let a market be a real market and we wont have to worry minimums.
And from an article in Forbes:
Not only will consumers pay more for foreign and domestically grown tomatoes at the grocery store and for salads and hamburgers at restaurants, but the new price-floor terms provide a strong indication that the specter of uncertainty associated with antidumping administration provides the necessary leverage to induce foreign producers into pricing schemes indistinguishable from collusion and price-fixing.
Get those tomatoes planted early this year….
Another blow to my childhood. Here I am walking around the bastion of safe, suburban white-bread middle America, ShopRite, picking up a few items for the weekend. Just minding my own business, trying to find which aisle they’ve hidden the packages of yeast on (it’s different in every store). Suddenly a familiar strain wafts through the air over the normally wallpaper paste muzak system. One that makes me stop in disbelief, thinking “that’s can’t be what I think it is…” (as a side note and to build suspense further…ever notice how when a song you actually like and sing along to plays over the grocery store muzak system it is always the time they break in to announce some innocuous special on douche or some rare, unheard of species of fish? just when the music was getting good…)
But it was. An Alice Cooper song. I know what you’re thinking…”Sure, I’ve heard School’s Out a dozen times in the stores.” This was not School’s Out. It wasn’t even I’m Eighteen or Elected or Only Women Bleed (which I think would be a great song to play in the personal hygiene aisle, but I digress…again). It was Be My Lover from the Killer LP. The same LP I used to play as a kid in my basement as a sign of rebellion. So rebellious, in fact, that I had an 8-track of the album. How’s that for kickin’ it?
But Be My Lover? In ShopRite? I’m turning in my childhood memories badge…
Filed under food, life, music
Before we commence with this week’s meme drollery…a number…
(the handsome gent on the skins is my kid…he’ll kill me for digging this out of the archives…)
and now for something completely the same…
Welcome to The Queen’s Meme #77
Seven Royal Questions on Tuesdays
The last time her highness went grocery shopping she came home with way too much chocolate. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. She went for mangoes. But the chocolate kept calling her name.
1. Do you make a list when you go grocery shopping?
yes and I check it twice.
wrong list. sorry.
2. Do you buy more groceries when you’re hungry?
I’ve always found that walking around Whole Foods gnawing on an entire roast leg of lamb while I shop to be a deterrent to over buying.
3. Coupons. Use ’em?
To line the gerbil habitat, yes. He likes to read the fine print while snacking.
4. Have you ever complained to the manager of your grocery store?
Bitterly. I don’t see why it’s that big a deal when i drop a fishing line in the lobster tank. I mean, I use frozen butter cubes as bait…
5. Do you like to buy groceries at huge chain stores like Wal-Mart? Or do you shop exclusively at food stores?
It is unimaginable to me that anybody buy groceries at Wal-Mart. I mean what are people thinking? How could anyone go to that department store gone haywire and do grocery shopping? Jeez. I just don’t get it.
I shop at Target.
6. How much time do you spend reading labels in the grocery store?
It’s not so much the time spent as the commotion it causes when I read them over the PA system.
7. Do you push your own grocery cart to the car and return it?
Yeah. I tried pushing other people’s carts to my car but that never went over too well.
8. What is the one food item you always buy at the grocery store that you can’t live without?