Food

U.S. economy rebounds thanks to huge growth of farmers markets

WASHINGTON– In a surprising turn of events, new financial data from the Federal Reserve brought jubilation to both Main Street and Wall Street yesterday as the economic picture for job growth, new business starts and overall household income improved markedly improved since last month. But financial analysts were bewildered about the source of this sudden economic rebound: farmers markets reopening for spring with fresh produce.

“The looming economic recession that kept Americans on the edge of their seats for the past months has been entirely and unexpectedly averted by an infusion of revenue generated at local farmers markets,” said a grinning Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, at an appearance with President Bush at a farmers market in suburban Reston, Virginia. “We should never have underestimated the economic prowess of public markets simply because of their small size, lack of business experience, or previously tiny share of the commodity system.

 clip_image003_0004_large.jpg George Bush and Ben Bernanke

The outlook is even rosier for April and May, as farmer’s markets reopen in many states outside the Sun Belt. Concerns were raised by many economists about what happens late next fall when local farmers markets shut down at the end of harvest season, but Congress was busy all day yesterday drafting emergency legislation to construct thousands of indoor year-round public markets.

The Clinton-McCain-Obama Act, named for its chief sponsors, passed unanimously in both the House and Senate yesterday and was signed by President Bush in a special ceremony at Washington’s Eastern Market this morning. It appropriates more than $37 billion dollars to construct and manage indoor public markets in every county seat and community of more than 2500 people across America.

“Obviously, these sources of local food, public gathering places, and intra-neighborhood commerce are the engine that will drive the economy of the United States,” Bush said as several members of the White House press corps fainted in shock.

While this marks a sudden and fundamental shift in the Bush Administration’s policy, press secretary Dana Perino reminded reporters, “George Bush and Dick Cheney have always been true believers in market economics.”

“This administration may have devoted too much attention to large businesses in our first seven years,” Perino admitted. “But in our last ten months we will do everything possible to level the playing field by boosting small-scale farmers and enterprises that serve Americans right in their communities. Farmers markets are just the beginning. We also intend to boost small, independent neighborhood businesses.”

Economic analysts attribute this huge growth in farmers markets to consumers’ newfound interest in eating locally-sourced food, improving public health, boosting their local economies, creating community gathering places and supporting small, environmentally-friendly farmers everywhere.

“We must publicly acknowledge the new power of farmers markets in the U.S., and admit that we have so far missed the boat on what consumers want: healthy, locally-grown food,” said Alice Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. “We cannot stand in the way of progress. We plan to add organic farmers markets to each Wal-Mart store and will look into tearing up the parking lots to plant heirloom tomatoes.”

Interest in locally produced food is expected to grow substantially, fueled in part by a report to be released next week by the federal Centers for Disease Control that unearths long-buried research establishing clear links between eating locally and wildly prolonged human life expectancy.

Read this and all the other April 1 News at Faking Places. Hope your day was a pleasant one…

March Update – The REAL cost of living

We reported in January about the food prices at area stores. It seemed like a good idea. 

Today, with oil prices going as high a $105/barrel, we felt that it was time to do an update on our local cost of living.  

We added Walgreens to the mix because their outside sign is advertising milk prices this week. We also added eggs after discussing how much we all use eggs each week in our menu planning.

2-eggs.jpg  milk-gallon.jpg

Wed 3/5/08

Aldi Bi-Lo Food Lion Walmart Walgreens
           
Whole Milk $3.69 $4.19 $4.09 $3.78 $3.59
2% Milk $3.59 $4.19 $4.09 $3.78 $3.59
Skim Milk $3.49 $4.19 $4.09 $3.78 $3.59
           
White Bread $.75 $1.15 $1.07 $1.16  
Wheat Bread $.99 $1.59 $1.89 $1.52  
           
1 doz, Large Eggs $1.75 $2.19 $1.99 $1.82  

 bread.jpg

We appreciate the competition between the chain stores on these particular staple food items. But the obscene amount of displayed food at Walmart puts all the other stories to shame and our editors to tears. Our one Walmart over in Montcross has more food on the shelves in one day than many stores in Haiti or Pakistan can display in a year.

We live in a land of plenty and we are thankful for the options and choices that we have in this community.

It pays to think outside the box

Forwarded email is funny sometimes:

It pays to think outside the box!

 

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We went to breakfast at a restaurant where the “senior special” was two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast for $1.99.

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“Sounds good,” my wife said. “But I don’t want the eggs.”

“Then I’ll have to charge you two dollars and forty-nine cents because you’re ordering a la carte,” the waitress warned her.

“You mean I’d have to pay for not taking the eggs?”, my wife asked incredulously.

“YES!”, stated the waitress.

“I’ll take the special then”, my wife said.

”How do you want your eggs?”, the waitress asked.

“Raw and in the shell,” my wife replied.

She took the two eggs home.

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DON’T MESS WITH SENIORS!!!      We’ve been around the block more than once.

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The REAL cost of living in Belmont

bread.jpg     milk-gallon.jpg

While the Gaston Gazette tracks gas prices, the Belmont Front Porch watches for things that we consider to be closer indicators of cost of living and quality of life: Milk and bread prices.

We tracked milk and bread prices from four local outlets of national/regional chain stores:

Wed 1/16/08

Aldi Bi-Lo Food Lion Walmart
         
Whole Milk $3.79 $4.79 $4.19 $4.52
2% Milk $3.69 $4.79 $4.19 $4.08
Skim Milk $3.59 $4.19 $4.19 $3.73
         
White Bread $.75 $1.09 $1.07 $1.16
Wheat Bread $.99 $1.49 $1.69 $1.52

All prices reflect the “house brands” of each store, not the name brands.

Oh, and you can get unleaded regular gas at the station on Pole Branch Road (Hwy 273) just over the state line below Seven Oaks for $2.84/galllon (Friday  1/18/08 prices).

Conference Championship Sunday

   giants.png   VS.   packers.png       

AND

chargers-white-away.png   VS.   patriots.png

On the Belmont Front Porch, Conference Championship Sunday is actually a bit bigger than the Super Bowl. The reason? There are TWO games and a lot more emotion wrapped up in the outcomes — plain and simple.

There is a split in the factions, so this year it seems that everyone will be rooting for someone else. This makes for an interesting evening.

No school on Monday and with MLK holiday on top,  it is all working well for a wonderful get-together.

There were some stores sales the past week to help with party planning. The food prep is pretty easy — with two games back-to-back — there is time for two complete meals. Nobody really stresses out over it all.

Ok, well, one for the kids, and one for the gamers. The rest of us just sorta come and go.  

We will have chili, hotdogs, chips (lots of ’em), wings, and a lot of pickups like the smokie sausage thingy’s. Since we have too many cheese-heads in Belmont, we have to grill out Brats — they are sooo picky with their food choices during ball games.

Right now it appears that overall, people are predicting the Pats and the Pack in the Super Bowl.

It has been a great football season.

   

Ahh, Canvassing – The Best Part of Local Politics

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The best and most intimate form of political work is the old-fashioned, door-to-door, canvassing for votes.

Kudos to Belmont City Council candidate, Richard Turner for recognizing and putting out his platform in the door-to-door format.

 Turner’s Platform: richard-turner-platform.pdf

Irl Dixon’s format is to mail something to everyone. Of course, it helps that his office is located on the corner of Myrtle/McLeod and Main Street (Coldwell Banker Realty office). He has a chance to talk to everyone who walks by him. Irl also has a record to run on for this election.

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Irl Dixon’s flyer: irl-dixon-mailing.pdf

Our editorial board has not agreed on any endorsement at this point. We will be meeting on Saturday evening for our annual Endorsement Dinner Party and will report the results on Sunday night.

To fill in the newbies to our blogsite, the Endorsement Dinner Party is an unpretentious (ok, just a bit pretentious), intimate gathering of the BFP Editiorial board and their significant others for great food, libation, and humorous discussion (We often have these dinners, this just happens to be prior to this election).

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Yeah, Right

It is more like this:

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This year’s Endorsement Dinner will be to discuss the candidates, and try to achieve a concensus on who to recommend to our friends and neighbors.

Coffee Break

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Ahh, yes, about half of the editiorial board are not that all knowledgeable about coffee. We all know that we like it.

In Belmont, Nichols, Caravan, White’s, Jerry’s, Shirley’s, McDonald’s, and Hardees are good places for a cup or two, and conversation.

The Belmont Police hang out at Nichols. A lot of business people catch up and read papers early in the AM at McDonald’s, moms and preschool-age kids seem to have playdates there as well. People on the go, and those who have a bit less to do in the AM wander into Caravan. The high school students cruise through Jerry’s; and White’s, Hardees, and Shirley’s seem to have the senior crowd pretty much wrapped up.

You have seen us hanging out at Caravan, McDonald’s, and White’s just in the past few days.

We sure do like our coffee – even the plain old “large cup” kind…

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