Friday, April 25, 2008

Rationing news hits overseas. Rationing??

Frequently I post on the BBC's food forums. It's interesting to see what folks in the other parts of the world are eating, as well as to get their takes on their attempts to make American cuisine. Some of the oddities I've encountered include the fact that Europeans use about six different increments to measure things: they have scales for dry goods, they have cylinders for liquids, and recipes can have in them everything from grams, kilograms, liters, milliliters, "knobs" of butter...

It's exhausting trying to decide if an ingredient calls for a "volume" measuring device or a "weight" measuring device. Give me a 1-cup scoop, anytime.

The discussion of U.S. food habits brought to mind a recent story on the Guardian (a British paper) Web site that said: "Spectre of U.S. Food Rationing Looms."

Right. The country whose idea of "rationing" means limit two on the 39-cent-per-pound turkeys at Thanksgiving is being portrayed overseas as in penury, "the wolf's at the door."


What is happening is that rice suppliers are starting to speculate that the cost of the global food staple is going to spike -- a fact that is no doubt helped along by their efforts to speculate and buy as much of it as possible. Ergo, Sam's Club and Costco are limiting customers to how many 20-POUND BAGS customers can buy in one trip.

If that's rationing, people in World War II should be so lucky.