Author Topic: Lentil and Rice Crisis  (Read 2456 times)

Offline toddg

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Lentil and Rice Crisis
« on: January 13, 2008, 11:59:35 PM »
The Great Lentil Crisis of 2006 brings back painful memories for many of us.  Now there's alarming news in tomorrow's Metro: the Lentil Crisis has returned, and now the price spikes are spreading to rice, spices, and other commodities.  The Jackson Heights economy teeters on the brink...

http://ny.metro.us/metro/local/article/Rising_lentil_spice_costs_worry_South_Asian_eateries/11408.html
Rising lentil, spice costs worry South Asian eateries
by Amy Zimmer / Metro New York
January 14, 2008

MANHATTAN. The lunchtime Lower Manhattan crowd flocks to the Pakistani Tea House for chicken makhani with dal saag (lentils and spinach) or saag paneer (spinach and cheese) over basmati rice for $6.

Many South Asian eateries like this one, however, are struggling to keep prices down amid rising costs for ingredients.

...

Just a few months ago, 10 pounds of wheat flour jumped from $7 to $17. Other prices have risen steeply since 2005: A bag of basmati rice that cost $16 now costs $29; 30-pound bag of paneer (cheese) jumped from $65.40 to $95.92; and cumin rose from $2 to $3.50 per pound. A 50-pound bag of lentils jumped from $21 to $55.

Indian lentil prices had spiked two years ago when India banned their exportation due to supply shortages and inflation. But the price of lentils that Delhi Palace in Jackson Heights buys jumped $15 in the last few months, said manager Vincent Crasta.

The staple in “Little India” for 30 years already raised prices by $1 or $2 before the recent increases. But since flour and sugar have gone up, too, its sweets shop recently increased prices by up to a $1.

...

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« Last Edit: April 23, 2008, 11:57:40 PM by toddg »

Offline toddg

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Re: Lentil and Rice Crisis
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2008, 11:59:59 PM »
Hoarding epidemic hits U.S., New York
As prices of rice and other staples soar, stores resort to rationing
by patrick arden / metro new york
APR 24, 2008

JACKSON HEIGHTS. For 34 years, Patel Brothers has catered to the city’s South Asian households. Starting yesterday, though, the supermarket decided to restrict bulk purchases of some varieties of rice, limiting customers to two 20-pound bags.

Though shortages of the staple have led to hoarding in recent weeks around the globe, soaring prices have now sparked fears of a coming shortage in the U.S., leading to stockpiling by restaurants and small stores.

...

Patel Brothers’ decision to limit rice purchases follows actions by larger chains Sam’s Club and Costco, which restricted purchases in some stores, though not in New York. Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart, limited 20-pound bag purchases to four yesterday.

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Offline ECG

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Re: Lentil and Rice Crisis
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 08:21:22 PM »
Jackson Heights featured on tonight's NBC Nightly News concerning this. The reporter was on 74th speaking to restaurant owners and people on the street. I believe the 7:00 news on Ch. 4 also had a JH report on the same topic.

Offline toddg

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Re: Lentil and Rice Crisis
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 11:22:50 PM »

Offline toddg

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Re: Lentil and Rice Crisis
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 10:02:55 PM »
After all that South Asian coverage, here's a Latino-flavored report on the rice crisis...

The New York Times
New York Up Close - In Latino Enclaves, Less Arroz, More Beans
By ALEX MINDLIN
Published: May 18, 2008

HOW important is rice to Dominicans?

The food is so ubiquitous that the national lunchtime staple of rice, beans and meat is known as the Dominican flag. Some Dominican families hang decorated rice balls on their Christmas trees, and the grain shows up in appetizers, main dishes and desserts, among them the sweet, clove-scented rice pudding known as arroz con leche....

Latinos of almost every nationality in New York have been hit hard by the climbing price of rice. The price of a ton of Thai jasmine rice, the most popular American import, has risen to $1,175 from $559 over the last year....

The impact can be readily seen in neighborhoods like Washington Heights, home to a large Dominican population, and Jackson Heights, Queens, the heart of several South and Central American communities....

At El Guayaquileño, a violet and mint green Ecuadorean lunch truck parked on Roosevelt Avenue at 80th Street in Jackson Heights, Marco Mendez is serving his customers more lentils and beans to compensate for the lack of rice.

“Ecuadoreans love rice,” Mr. Mendez explained during a lull, with the air of one imparting a secret. “The client is used to seeing the rice, and they know. So the reduction has to be minimal.”

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Jackson Heights Life

Re: Lentil and Rice Crisis
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 10:02:55 PM »