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The Cost of Thanksgiving

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Touch the Soil News #547 In our world of access to food, it is money that reigns supreme. Every individual must scramble to find ways in which to translate work ethic and skills into dollars. This reality is a constant even though the volume and velocity of dollars circulating falls short when covering the entirety of the American citizenry. Each year, the American Farm Bureau Federation does a price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table. The survey looked at the costs of the primary thanksgiving dinner items necessary to feed a group of 10 people. The list of things includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes,…

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What is a Holiday Club?

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Touch the Soil News #450 (feature logo courtesy of Trussell Trust) It is hard to tell what the message is when it comes to helping out food-insecure families. Is it about food, or is the universal message about teaching people how to work together? Holiday clubs are a new form of working together that is emerging in the United Kingdom (UK). The clubs center around helping alleviate issues associated with hunger and an inability of families to do activities on the roughly 170 non-school days a year. When school is out, 40 percent of parents in the UK worry about the extra costs of paying for childcare, meals that were…

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Food Tremor – A Spooky Thing

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Touch the Soil News #441 The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a division of the United Nations. The FAO sits on the pulse of world food. The FAO maintains a Food Price Index. The Index follows the fluctuations in food prices. The flow of food to people only happens to the extent that there is money to facilitate the connection of supply and demand. The FAO Food Price index is the first warning signal that in a world organized around monetary mediums – price escalations can quickly overwhelm global resources (distribution and acquisition). The efficiency of money to connect supply with demand falls far short. Hence, over the past…

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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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Is the World Daydreaming When It Comes to Ending Hunger?

Casual Laborers with the WFP (World Food Program) load food rations onto a truck in the Free Port of Monrovia.
Official USMC photo by Corporal Marcus L. Miller

Touch the Soil News #318 We hope not. However, when looking at the theories put forth to solve hunger – one can just scratch their head. By now, most of us have heard it all: In theory, there is enough food to feed everyone – but it is in the wrong location. In theory, the world has enough farmland and water to adequately feed 9.5 billion people (population today is 7.3 billion). In theory, we can end hunger by stopping food waste. Unfortunately the food we waste is often not in the location where there is starvation. In theory, if all the starving families had money, they would not starve.…

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23.5 Million Reasons to Rethink the Economy

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Touch the Soil News #222 The following news piece is partly a satire on the present economic system using a serious food issue as the point of discussion. This is not a criticism of America, as much as it is poking fun at economic dilemmas that really require new thinking and approaches. If there is insufficient purchasing power in the hands of Americans, they can be starving and the grocery stores will still move out of town. This has become a big issue at the USDA, the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Health and Human Services. They have identified more than 23.5 million people who live in food deserts. A…

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Almonds & Farmland – Hang On to Your Checkbook

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Touch the Soil News # 178 One of the trends we like to follow is how Wall Street is warming up to farmland. Gladstone Land Corporation is a publically traded company NASDAQ: LAND. Gladstone’s field of operations is in purchasing farmland and leasing it back to pre-qualified farmers. Last week, Gladstone announced it purchased three irrigated farms in Kern County, California for $19 million. The three farms make up a total of 850 acres – that’s a whopping $22,350 per acre. But that’s just the beginning. The farms are presently in wine grapes, which will be removed. The leasing farmer is going to convert the land to Almond orchards. Gladstone…

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