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Des moines the dish

THE DISH – A flurry of activity

By Jim Duncan The fourth quarter of 2015 was a perplexing disappointment to food consumers. Despite the continued drop in energy prices, food prices rose. That’s not supposed to happen. The United States Department of Agriculture found that the consumer price index for food rose 1.4 percent from November of the previous year. It was […]

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Des moines the dish

THE DISH – Curses new and old

By Jim Duncan It was a most anxious third quarter of the year in Iowa. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted that farmer incomes would drop this year by more than one-third compared to last year. That has depressed the value of agricultural and chemical companies like DuPont Pioneer, John Deere and Monsanto. Earlier this […]

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Des moines the dish

THE DISH – Honors, milestones, transitions and more

By Jim Duncan It has been a quarter of surprises, mostly pleasant. Bird flu virus seemed to level off after a horrific first quarter. The percentages of fresh, local and organic foods in American diets rose considerably over previous years. Food trucks made their long-awaited debut in the prime real estate of downtown. The Greek […]

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Des moines the dish

THE DISH – Free-range breweries yes; fish and chips no

By Jim Duncan The winter quarter brought a perfect storm of food chaos to the world. For the first time in history, the number of people living in cities outnumbered those living in the countryside. Food inflation reared its ugly head in the third world. The Goldman Sachs commodity index soared by 77 percent in […]

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Des moines the dish

THE DISH – Falling Arches and Other Food News

By Jim Duncan The previous quarter was baffling. As oil, gas and corn prices fell precipitously, food inflation continued mysteriously to rise. Fast food in general, and McDonalds in particular, remained in long slumps. Mickey D’s CEO Don Thompson, who took over a thriving company from Iowan Jim Skinner two-and-a-half-years ago, finally admitted a problem […]

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