IST Saturday News Dump–20May23

Mercifully the work week has ended and the jocularity of the weekend can begin.

Let us jump into the meat of this post.

On the food front….I true enjoy using olive oil when I cook….but there may be a pricing problem on the horizon….

If you’re on a Mediterranean diet kick, you might want to be judicious with how much olive oil you use in your meals. That’s because the monthslong drought and sweltering temps in the Mediterranean, especially Spain, have dried out olive trees, causing prices to spike and a looming shortage of the condiment. Quartz cites stats from the International Monetary Fund that put the worldwide price tag for olive oil at about $6,000 per metric ton—a level not seen since 1997, when the price hovered at around $6,225.

In Spain the top olive oil producer on Earth, churning out a million-plus tons of the stuff in a typical year—the most recent five-month olive harvest that ended in February eked out just half of what it usually does. The driving factor behind the current slippery scene: “exceedingly poor” weather, a Mintec analyst tells CNBC, which notes that olives thrive when the mercury is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Per the Telegraph, recent temperatures in the south of Spain recently broke the 100-degree mark. Farmers union officials in Spain say lack of rainfall is also hurting crops, with barely a drop since January—and it doesn’t look like it will be getting better anytime soon.

“Looking at the forecasts, it’s almost a given—it’s going to be another grim year,” Rafael Sanchez de Puerta, who heads up the Spanish olive cooperative Dcoop, tells the paper. One farmer who belongs to the UPA union in Andalusia says he hasn’t seen things this bad in the two decades he’s been working the fields. “If something doesn’t change radically in the next few weeks, it’s going to be a catastrophe,” he says. Quartz notes that while olive oil production has also dipped in other parts of western Europe, including Italy, nations with better weather are trying to pick up some of the the slack, including Greece and Turkey, the latter of which nearly doubled its olive oil production last year.

Have you ever wondered if your food is past the “use by” date can it still be consumed….here is a guide for you concerned….

When that bag of languishing lettuces starts to go a little limp or an old carton of yogurt is discovered in the depths of the fridge, most Americans will look for guidance from the date printed neatly on the food label.

But with the exception of infant formula, these labels are not actually a gauge of food safety. In the US, the marked dates are only intended to indicate quality and they are not regulated by any federal agency.

“Food date labels are really like the wild west – there are no standards,” said Jeffrey Costantino, a spokesperson at ReFed, a non-profit advocacy organization working to reduce food waste.

Consumer confusion can take a toll on the climate and on household budgets.

Here is one for the books….those self-checkout units in stores….now some are asking for tips…..

Consumers already contending with a squeeze on their bank accounts due to inflation are now facing more pressure as businesses introduce new tipping features at self-checkout machines.

Companies, including airports, bakeries, coffee shops and sports stadiums, have now introduced the self-serve tipping option, where customers can leave tips including the typical 20%, despite facing minimal to no interaction with any employee, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal.

Customers report feeling obligated to leave a tip as they question where and to whom the extra money is actually going, but businesses are increasingly embracing the option to boost pay for workers outside of salaries, according to WSJ.


I do the work and I am expected to tip?

My response to that is….BITE ME!

I live in a small town in Coastal Mississippi and it was recently given an honor by…..

A Mississippi Coast city was recently rated the most affordable beach town in the United States. Gulfport topped’s 2023 list of the most affordable beach towns, beating out cities like Newport News, Virginia; Corpus Christi, Texas; and Navarre, Florida. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes was thrilled to see the city recognized. “Our ability to offer affordable housing options – whether beachfront properties or homes nestled in our charming neighborhoods – alongside a high quality of life is a testament to our commitment to sustainable growth,” he said. “Gulfport stands out for its natural beauty and affordability and thrives as a dynamic community enriched by a deep cultural heritage, historical significance and a pervasive spirit of unity.”

Read more at:

It use to be a sleepy city on the Gulf of Mexico….but since casinos have moved into the area and we have become a mini Vegas it has become more popular….but it is good to see it get a bit of recognition.

Time for me to go out and tend to the garden….enjoy your Saturday and Be well and safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”