As a lover of Italian food, who enjoys cooking with garlic, I heard an amazing story abot how Chinese investment in garlic has proved to be as valuable as gold!
I did not know, until this weekend, that China is the world's largest producer of garlic. NPR's "All Things Considered" featured a thought-provoking and humorous story about what appears to be a "Garlic Bubble" in China.
Here's the short scoop: When the world economy went south, farmers began to produce less garlic---50% less, which is a significant amount. Then two things happened....
First, the H1N1 flu broke out. Chinese believe in the healing properties of garlic, and its ability to prevent illness. So schools wanted to order truckloads of this humble bulb. Second, the Chinese banks started freeing up funds and loaning money to stimulate their economy...and some crafty people saw an opportunity with the garlic shortage: borrow money to buy stockpiles of the stuff, so thast its scarcity would drive up the price, and then sell it when the price maxed out. One guy, according to the story, bought a Toyota with his proceeds.
Next time I review my retirement investment....Instead of real estate, I might look into flipping garlic!
And now from Italy: Not fast-food, but Slow Food! (click for full story)
Again, thanks to NPR for making me aware of a sensible and somewhat amusing answer to Fast Food Nation..."In Praise of Slow Food".
Carlo Petrini founded the Slow Food movement initially as a protest against McDonald's setting up a shop at the base of the Spanish Steps in Rome.....(they opened, but without the Golden Arches).
Petrini's manifesto can be summarized as follows: