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Is the Economy Suggesting Container Gardening? – Yes!

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Touch the Soil News #589 (feature photo – Carlos Delgado CC-BY-SA) We are doing a News piece here that also includes an endorsement for Kelp4Less products. But before we go there, there have been a number of mega-trends that we noticed in 2016. Trends that suggest the economy may have improved for some, but the economics of the larger portion of the American citizenry is going sideways or retreating. Most everyone out there is having “economic” jitters. If not for themselves, then for friends or someone in their extended family. Growing food is becoming a necessity much like it was for the Americans of 80 years ago.   Trend #1…

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Nation Unable to Adequately Feed its College Students?

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Touch the Soil News #513 The nation’s food chain continues to be one of the richest sources of economic insight. In a never-before-attempted-report called “Hunger on Campus” investigators try to get a handle on college hunger. The producers of the report include four (4) nonprofits – College and University Food Bank Alliance, National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, Student Government Resource Center and Student Public Interest Research Groups. The report polled almost 3,800 students at 34 community and 4-year colleges across 12 states. While the report focused on food insecurity and hunger, it also found that 13 percent of students at community colleges are homeless. In a nutshell, here…

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The Economic Value of Agricultural Toxins?

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Touch the Soil News #477 If we mention the organization Copa Cogeca most people would just shrug their shoulder. Copa Cogeca is one of the world’s largest farmer organizations. It represents 23 million European farmers which serve a population of 500 million Europeans. The consuming public in Europe (and the world)is increasingly wary of toxins in food. Recently some 60 members of the European Union Parliament – in protest against the renewal registration of glyphosate – had their urine tested. Every one of them showed positive to levels of glyphosate in their bodies. Now, several months later, it seems the Copa Cogeca felt obliged to defend the use of toxins…

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Ruby Tuesday Says Goodbye to 95 Restaurants

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Touch the Soil News #460 The food chain is a great place to take the pulse of the economy. Unfortunately, the Ruby Tuesday Restaurant chain of some 724 restaurants is painfully showing a down pulse. The company just announced that it was closing 95 restaurants (13 percent of its locations) as early as next month (September). Talk is that they might close another 5 to 10 more. The reasons given were drops in sales over the past two years. Ruby Tuesday closed 30 of its restaurants in 2014 and another 12 in 2015. All in all from two years ago, Ruby Tuesday may end up closing close to 20 percent…

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Pushing the Frontiers of Economics

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Touch the Soil News #390 Do you ever wonder where dollars come from? The technical accounting acrobatics that banks and the Federal Reserve engage in to invoke dollars are too much for this short news piece. However, there is another sister question that also needs answering. How effective are dollars as a medium of exchange – or, more simply – how well do dollars circulate? Like a body’s circulatory system that takes oxygen and nutrients to the outer limbs, the circulatory system of dollars falls far short of reaching the outer limbs of American society. The U.S. circulatory system that distributes dollars is primarily the activities surrounding employment and the…

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Economic Intelligence – Is the Nation out of Touch?

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Touch the Soil News #389 Feeding America is the nation’s food-banking coordinator. Through their organizing efforts and sourcing donations, the system works through 60,000 non-profit local agencies that run soup kitchens and food banks. Recently, Feeding America partnered with Nielsen (a data research company). Together they put together an interactive map of the all the counties in the U.S. and their level of food insecurity. The map is identifies county-level rates of food insecurity. Many people, who are food insecure, earn too much to qualify for federal or state nutritional assistance. According to the data, 26 percent of food-insecure Americans are above the threshold of qualifying for federal assistance. High…

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