In the news: Tuesday, the stuff-that-can-be-ingested edition

Finally, cheap bread soon to grace Israeli supermarket shelves once again
 – After a bitter struggle between the Israeli government and its country’s bakers over using price ceilings on bread as a conduit to fight economic inequality, the government has agreed to back down through increasing the ceiling by 12.5%. Israelis on social security will receive monthly allowances to compensate for the increase, a crutch that undermines the 35-40% increase in the price of flour and other inputs in recent months. In an even wilder turn of events, a committee formed in reaction to the bread shortages may prompt the state to refrain from fixing the price of bread completely –though, not at the behest of the public, 77% of which believe that “basic foods such as bread should remain under government controlled price regulation.” [Jerusalem Post]

Onion exports backlogged due to Middle Eastern rains
Recent rains responsible for halting the onion trade supply chain between two cities somewhere in the Middle East have resulted in the loss of approximately 800 tons/week of onion that would have otherwise found their way to generally any place hosting both Indians and food. The monetary losses are expected to continue through monsoon season, and have reached several hundreds of thousands of dollars per week, which forgive us, but doesn’t seem particularly troubling.[Khaleej Times]

Diet soda and obesity: which causes the other, researchers duke it out – For every medical study that claims diet soda drinkers are more likely to be obese (31% according to this one), there’s inevitably a researcher that will say otherwise, and sometimes you won’t have to pay him. This study claims that health problems common to soda drinkers occur at the same rate of incidence despite whether the soda being consumed is sugared or sugar-free. So, depending upon your gullibility in the face of medical practitioners’ use of statistics, you may as well opt for the sugared variety –unless of course you prefer the taste of a beverage that evokes about as much sensory pleasure as a homeless man doused in Pine Sol. Though the study makes no claims of causation, “nutritionists say the study should be a wake-up call for soda drinkers, noting that a zero-calorie beverage can’t undo the damage of an unhealthful diet.” [WSJ]


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