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Contortions in the Food Chain

Touch the Soil News #709 (feature photo – CC SA 4.0) We’ve been following the restaurant scene as part of our larger food-chain awareness efforts. In an earlier news piece (#632-Restaurants in Trouble) we reported that overall, approximately 93 new restaurants opened every day in America, but 128 restaurants were closed every day. That is a net loss of 35 restaurant locations a day. Technomic, a foodservice research and consulting company, has also been crunching the numbers. According to Technomic, the bottom line is that fewer customers are visiting restaurants less often than they were a few years ago. Technomic is scratching its head – if the economy is improving…

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Oregon and New Mexico State Retirement Funds – Headed to Brazil Farmland – May the Universe Have Mercy

Touch the Soil News #192 A theme we cover frequently is the massive flow of monies into farmland. Our research shows that the world has far more investment dollars than there are investment opportunities. For example, on September 28, 2015, the U.S. Treasury was looking to borrow $18 billion for a period of 91 days. When the U.S. Treasury put the word out, there was $69 billion that lined up to lend the money to the United States. In other words, there was 3.8 dollars willing to lend for every 1 dollar the U.S. Treasury needed. This means that $51 billion dollars – that wanted to invest in the U.S…

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Stalking Farmland Around the Globe

Touch the Soil News # 150 The flow of money from America’s workforce into investment and retirement accounts has created one of the largest pools of capital ever to assemble itself in the world. Retirement assets alone in the U.S. today exceed $24 trillion. Combine this with wealth accumulation in other parts of society and you have an army of dollars whose appetite for more money far exceeds what the world’s borrowers and workers can deliver. As this phenomenon grows, Investors must look farther and wider for a place to extract a return. Recently, one of the world’s largest retirement and wealth investing companies TIAA-CREF announced its success in attracting billions…

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