Make Tons of Money! Invest in the Higher Cost of Food! Do it Now!

higher cost of food

Food prices must be going up, at least according to headlines. The 101Centavos Gmail inbox runneth over Google's news alerts set to the "rising food prices" keywords. What used to be maybe a weekly update, and mostly concerned with onion prices in India and Pakistan (onions must be a big deal there), now it's a daily ping. For example, from an American newspaper of record, the Wall Street Journal: Rising Food Prices May Cause Consumer Indigestion From the BBC:  Affordable healthy diet 'too expensive for many' And forget about fast food:  Chipotle's price hike may mean pricier burritos for steak lovers Sure, grocery prices at the market are going up and up, with the root causes being both varied and predictable.  From … [Read more...]

Cheetos In China: You Are What You Eat

Somewhat typical canal in China -- water might be used for irrigation and/or fish farming and/or laundry... and as a dump for old bikes

  Goodness gracious, who knows what's in that candy bar. Stay away from that hamburger, and don't even think about those Doritos. It's all going to make you fat, give you diabetes, rickets and high blood pressure, you know. And yet, in Shanghai, Chinese shoppers might actually consider Cheetos and Ding-Dongs and pork rinds as health food. China's toxic harvest: Consumers flock to imported food When Yuri Valazza started a small imported food shop in Shanghai eight years ago, his target consumers weren’t Chinese. "At that time it was almost 90 percent foreigners," recalls Valazza, sitting at a small table in shop in the city's former French Concession neighborhood. Not anymore, thanks to a rising consumer class … [Read more...]

Tamales Will Make You Obese… or Will They?

world's fattest countries

  Based on simple observation from several trips south of the border, we assumed that the population of Mexico can be as portly as any populace, but not according to the headlines.  From breathless headlines, websites and blog posts, it seems that Mexico is breaking all records: This recent one from The Economist's website: Eating Themselves to Death:  Diabetes in Mexico ... Mexico has become one of the most overweight countries on earth, even more so than the United States; a quarter of its men and a third of its women are obese. Indecorously, the country has even come up with figures on figures: the Mexican Diabetes Federation says that among women between 20 and 49, the average waistline is 91.1cm (35.9 inches), more than … [Read more...]

Thirty Year Mortgages and Fish Oil

  Confusion reigns, needlessly so. Interest-only, balloon, 5/1 and 5/5, two-step or fixed home loan rates. Thirty year mortgages, fifteen, or ten. LIBOR and teaser rates, reverse mortgages and investment-backed. There's about as many choices as there as types of cheesecake on a casino dessert buffet:   not a huge number, but enough to confuse and befuddle, and have you end up with what you didn't want, because the red silk cheesecake with whipped topping looks so frickin' delicious, but what would your date think, you'd totally look like a hog, so you settle for the teeny-tiny slice of low carb, and then go home to pig out on Sara Lee Chocolate Fudge Delight, eaten straight from the box standing up at the bar counter... but … [Read more...]

Stupid Labeling Tricks

Good wholesome delicious whipping cream and kefir

    What's not to like from organic whipping cream and kefir? Kefir will keep your gut well-populated with new lactobacillus and saccharomyces probiotic bacteria. Be like Turkish an Greek shepherds, drink a daily glass of kefir with your morning bread and olives, and live well into cantankerous old age (without getting into a border war over a little island.) Organic whipping cream is delicious in coffee, whipped up on strawberries, and guaranteed to come from happy cows.  Or mildly contended or even irritated cows. Hard to know what they're thinking as they're getting  their boobies yanked on milked by humans. Whatever. Labels are confusing though.  On the heavy cream from The Fresh Market:  "Our … [Read more...]

Mid-Week (Organic) Fish Wrap: Whole Foods and Pricey Dates

 Welcome to the Fish Wrap, a semi-frequent collection of commentary, link, topics, served on a platter of fresh green-leaf lettuce with a garnish of cilantro.  How humbling is it to be neatly pigeonholed into a consumer category by a large corporation?  You're just not that special a snowflake. Whole Foods has market resarched  its customers into Conscionables, Organics, Experientals, and Foodies.  Nice little cubbies. The extract in question from Whole Foods' 10-K filing: Unlike shoppers at conventional grocery stores, we believe many of our customers connect with us on a deeper level because of our shared values and, for this reason, continue to shop with us even in uncertain economic times. Based on our research, we … [Read more...]

Investing In Fatties, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Obamacare (Part 1)

"Doctor's Visit" - Jan Steen, 1663  (not that we'll ever see house calls ever coming back)

Obamacare is on its way, no two ways about it. In fact, let's just stop calling it Obamacare, and call it for what it is, GovCare.  Purported conservatives in the political swamp are learning to defend this provision or that measure or this footnote within this mammoth thousand-page (or two-thousand page, whatever it is) piece of ordure legislation, cherry-picking as it suits.  And for good reason, from the logical perspective  of the politician.  Whatever the majority of the people want, give it to 'em:  shovel out the pork and bacon drippings with both hands, lard it up, baby! And people do want it, apparently.  Maybe not all of it, maybe only this bit or that bit, but in the end, it's like getting only a selective part of a … [Read more...]

Why Are Europeans So Skinny?

Crappy Breakfast Foods in Italy.... at least it's in English

Why are Europeans so skinny.  Or rather, why are Italians so skinny? Breaking it down outline style, in no particular order. 1. more walking 2. better food 3. light breakfasts, massive lunches, light dinners 4. less sodas, more fizzy water 5. less snacking 6. smaller portion sizes 7. less hard-core drinking 8. frenetic arm-waving in casual conversation 9. Energetic tax evasion 10. Making da love all da time More walking... Italian towns are teeny tiny, and parking is at a premium. During morning errands, we parked and left our car in one spot. Walk to the bar (cappuccino time!), walk to the bank, the laundry, the newspaper stand, the hardware store, up the hill to the grocery store, and back to the car laden with the … [Read more...]

How To Painfully Save Hundreds of Dollars a Year

"Eat All you Want" ?  Sure, but it'll cost you money....

While we're off on vacation, I'm recycling/re-branding/editing some old posts. This one was originally posted on November 6th, 2010. Save hundreds a year, eh? How? Eat less. Simple enough, right? Food costs money, and fatties put away way more pumpkin pie and buttered sweet potato casseroles than the trim and slim.   On average, about 1,000 calories more each and every day. It's all in the numbers. A moderately active 180-lb male needs about 2,700 calories/day, a moderately active 120-lb female 1,440 (source: University of Maryland Heart Center). A rotund and moderately inactive 275-lb male needs 3,575 calories, while a rubenesquely sedentary  175-lb female would need 1,750 calories per day. The daily calorie … [Read more...]

Shocker: Nutella Is *NOT* A Health Food!

mmm-mmm good (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

What the hell is the world coming to? I’m sure that when Zeus lounges back in his throne, just pooped out from all that hurtling of thunderbolts from the crown of Olympus, he reaches for a Nutella sandwich. They are that good. Out-of-control prison riots have been becalmed with the promise of extra Nutella rations. And today, here’s  news of a certified Mother-of-the-Year, who is suing Ferrero, maker of that most delectable nectar of the gods,  because she was misled to think that that Nutella was “healthy” .... Nutella sets aside $3 mn for US class action Athena Hohenberg, the mother of a preschooler in San Diego, California, launched the class action lawsuit early last year, alleging that Ferrero has pitched … [Read more...]