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The Dish: Our restaurant bubble grows

By Jim Duncan   The second quarter of 2016 was deceiving, at least to people who only read headlines. Casey’s first-quarter earnings may have disappointed some analysts, but it remained healthy at more than 5 percent growth, in a national economy stuck at less than 2 percent for eight years. Meanwhile, the Ankeny chain worked […]

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Spring comes in like a lion

  By Jim Duncan   The first quarter of the new year was a time of taking things literally. Bandits robbed at least eight different local Git-N-Go stores in the last month, inviting speculation about motives for their exclusivity of targets. Was it a disgruntled customer or former employee? Or were thieves just doing what […]

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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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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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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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