Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 6, 2008 / 1 Iyar 5768

Banking on food

By Tom Purcell


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "I was upset about the rising cost of food, too. But then I got smart."


"Smart?"


"Look, when food costs began soaring, I complained as much as the next guy. I complained about fuel costs driving up shipping expenses, which drove up the cost of produce and meat. I complained about the emerging middle class in India and China."


"What's wrong with an emerging middle class?"


"Nothing, except that middle class folks have the means to eat well. They're driving up the demand for decent grub, which is also driving up costs. I spent a lot of time complaining about Congress."


"What does Congress have to do with rising food costs?"


"Our esteemed politicians are pumping big subsidies into ethanol production. Ethanol is made from things such as corn. Today, nearly a quarter of our corn production is being used to make fuel. That has increased the demand for corn, which has driven up its cost. It's driven up the cost of beef, too — cows eat corn."


"That's no good."


"But the thing that really got my goat is the speculators. According to The Washington Post, they've pulled their money out of the housing market and pumped it into grain futures. On top of all the other food woes we've been having, there is a drought in Australia, which means there is a wheat shortage, too."


"Let me get this straight: The same investors who helped create a housing bubble are now driving up the cost of grain futures?"


"That's right. And if Americans think they have it bad, imagine how hard it is for the world's poor to afford dinner nowadays. Riots are breaking out all over the world as frustrated folks struggle to feed themselves."


"That is terrible. Could you explain what you mean when you say you got smart?"


"Oh, that's easy. You see, I'm just an average Joe trying to feed my family. I concluded there is no way I can beat the conditions that are driving up food costs, so I may as well join them."


"Join them?"


"I read an article by Brett Arends in The Wall Street Journal. He encouraged folks to load up their pantries with food — that with food inflation running at 4.5 percent a year, food was a better investment than keeping your money in money-market funds. That gave me a great idea."


"Go on."


"Well, I pulled all my money out of the bank and bought food — lots and lots of food. I built a giant refrigeration unit in my back yard and packed it full of ground beef and chicken. With ground beef and chicken up more than 5 percent, I sold it for a nice little profit."


"You are buying and selling meat?"


"For starters, I took my profit and invested in cereal. With grain costs skyrocketing, I got an 8 percent return on a few thousand boxes of Lucky Charms. And then I poured those profits into milk, cheese, bananas and peanut butter. Those investments are growing 10 percent a year."


"You're a regular General Mills."


"I was rolling now and used my profits to invest in flour and rice. Both are shooting up more than 13 percent a year, and I found myself sitting on a pile of cash. It was about then that I struck the mother lode."


"The mother lode?"


"Eggs. The wife and I built a barn out back and stocked it with hundreds of chickens. The cash began really rolling in then. The cost of eggs has shot up more than 30 percent this year."


"Didn't your neighbors complain about all those chicken in your backyard?"


"My neighbors are my biggest investors. The point is the sky is the limit. Arends says the trend is for food costs to get even worse. That will be good for business."


"I have to praise you for your ingenuity. What do you plan to do with your profits?"


"Invest in gasoline. The wife and I are clearing just enough to fill our tank once a week."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR Contributor Tom Purcell's column, by clicking here. To visit his web site, click here.


ARCHIVES

© 2007, Tom Purcell

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles