In the Bigger Picture….

6 Recommended Agricultural Links ○ ○ ○


1 . TREND SPOTTING: Have a few pounds to lose after the holidays? Because this counterintuitive high animal fat and minimal carbs diet makes people feel better while curbing food cravings, expect it to continue to grow in popularity. This is bad news for anti-meat advocates, for wheat and legume growers, and for sugar and processed food companies.

by Gregory Ferenstein for VOX (Thanks to rjs for submitting this.)


2 . GLOBAL INCREASING MIGRANT UNREST: In the UK, fresh produce is being destroyed when migrant stowaways are found on the cargo trucks which carry it from as far away as Spain. This article includes video.

By James Slack for the Daily Mail


3 . RURAL DEMOGRAPHICS: While the majority of us take our broadband and wireless internet services for granted, in rural areas of Texas, Nebraska, Iowa and Kentucky, there is still very limited, slow access to the internet.

By Brian E. Whitacre, Tyler B. Mark, and Terry W. Griffin for Choices


4 . LOWER AND LOWER FOOD PRICES: 2014 was the third consecutive year of falling global food prices. All commodity groups except for meat declined.

from the FAO Newsroom


5 . COTTON SURPLUS: Add cotton to the list of commodities which are currently in oversupply. (My question is, “Why is almost all the clothing on the racks these days made of synthetics?”)

from the International Cotton Advisory Committee


6 . IN-YOUR-FUTURE: You just might see and buy more “Baby bananas” at your local grocer.

Barry Newman reports in this WSJ Video


These links were selected by Kay McDonald. For continually updated news about agriculture, please utilize the news feeds on the right sidebar here, and on the “Latest Ag News” tab above. Also, see.

Food and Agricultural Images This Week January 12, 2015


Kiyoshi kimura, president of Kiyomura K.K, poses for photos with a 180.4 kilograms (397 pounds) fresh tuna after this year’s first auction at Tsukiji Market on January 5, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. A fresh whole tuna weighing 180.4 kilograms (397 pounds), sold for 4.51 million yen (approximately $37,500) by Sushi Zanmai, a Tokyo-based sushi chain operator. Photo by Ken Ishii / Getty Images.



People wait to receive a slice of traditional Rosca de Reyes (king’s cake pastry), which is distributed to celebrate the Epiphany, commemorating the arrival of the three Magi to visit baby Jesus Christ, in Mexico City, Mexico on January 05, 2015. The distribution of the ‘Mega Rosca de Reyes’, with a length of 1.440 meters and a weight of 9 metric tons, was organized by the Governorate of Mexico City at the Zocalo Square. Photo by Manuel Velasquez / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images.



A man arranges oranges at a fruit store in the Peoples Park area of Singapore, on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. In a culture that traditionally expects children to look after elderly parents, Singapores employment rate for those between ages 55 and 64 is now 66 percent. The government has made it mandatory for companies to offer three more years of work to those turning 62, the official retirement age, and plans to extend that to five years by 2017. Photographer: Nicky Loh / Bloomberg.



Employees of the AIM (Abattoirs industriels de la Manche) slaughterhouse house, listen to their lawyer in front of the trade court of Coutances, northwestern France, on January 6, 2015. Several hundred AIM employees gathered outside the trade court of Coutances on January 6 during a liquidation hearing of the slaughterhouse which employs 600 people in France. Photo credit: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP / Getty Images.



Handwritten euro price signs sit on display on a vegetable stall at an open air market in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. As European Central Bank policy makers gather for their first meeting of 2015 today, the backdrop is a 0.2 percent annual drop in consumer prices, the first in more than five years. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi / Bloomberg via Getty Images.



Steam Whistle brewery in downtown Toronto will now be able to sell its beer in The Beer Store. The rules governing who could sell in the locations was limited, with micro brewery’s often shut out. But now, things have changed. Staff work on the production line on January 7, 2015. Photographer: Rick Madonik / Toronto Star via Getty Images.



In this photograph taken on January 7, 2015 an employee milks a cow on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Jalalabad. Afghanistan’s economy has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 largely because of the infusion of international assistance. Despite significant improvement in the last decade the country is still extremely poor and remains highly dependent on foreign aid. Photo credit: Noorullah Shirzada / AFP / Getty Images.



Indian villagers pass through a mustard field in the Jushi area, near Allahabad on January 7, 2015. Mustard is an annual herb, cultivated as an oil seed crop or as vegetable or as fodder. Photo credit: Sanjay Kanojia / AFP / Getty Images.



An employee restocks a display of Hovis bread, produced by Premier Foods Plc, inside a Tesco supermarket store, operated by Tesco Plc, in the Kensington district of London, U.K., on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Tesco said it’s cutting the prices of hundreds of branded products — part of Chief Executive Officer Dave Lewis’s plan to turn around a business whose earnings are set to drop to the lowest in at least a decade amid an accounting scandal and a competitive onslaught from German discounters Aldi and Lidl. Photographer: Simon Dawson / Bloomberg via Getty Images.



Farm owner Neil Oldroyd shows a crop of forced rhubarb at Oldroyd’s Farm, in Carlton, east of Leeds in northern England on January 8, 2015. The area of England is known as the ‘Rhubarb Triangle’ because of the number of farms growing rhubarb in indoor sheds, where the Oldroyd family have been growing the vegetable since 1930. During it’s first season, the rhubarb is grown in fields outdoors and is subjected to frost to speed up the growth cycle, before being dug up and re-planted in heated sheds in total darkness. The plants thrive indoors without lighting and are hand-picked under candelight so as not to affect the rhubarb’s growth. The rhubarb is sweeter and brighter in color than outdoor grown rhubard. Photo credit: LINDSEY PARNABY / AFP / Getty Images.



Volunteers of the Lebanese Red Cross distribute bread at a camp housing Syrian refugee families who fled their war torn country on January 8, 2015 in the southern Lebanese village of Debbine. Many refugees in Lebanon were trapped in their tents by snow, struggling to stay warm in temperatures hovering around zero degrees. Photo credit: MAHMOUD ZAYYAT / AFP / Getty Images.



Pedestrians walk past a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant in Tokyo on January 9, 2015. A Japanese woman discovered fragments of ‘dental material’ in a McDonald’s burger in 2014, the food chain said on January 9, the latest in a series of food contamination woes for the fast-food giant. Photo credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP / Getty Images.



An ice-cream vendor pushes a cart at Victory Monument in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. Thailands former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra defended herself against impeachment charges today, telling the junta-appointed legislature that allegations of negligence over a money-losing rice program were politically motivated. Photographer: Dario Pignatelli / Bloomberg via Getty Images.



Grass fed cows on Raymond Palmer’s beef cattle farm on January 9, 2015 in Lifford, Ireland. Irish beef has been approved for sale in the United States for the first time in almost 16 years following the lifting of the ban on European beef imports in place since the BSE outbreak in the late 1990s. Ireland is the first European country granted access to the US market. Photo by Charles McQuillan / Getty Images.



Beau Green from the ‘Mean Green’s BBQ’ team, sprays his meat with some vinegar, sugar, and garlic as he prepares for the BBQ competition. It’s opening day for the 109th National Western Stock Show in Denver with a brand new event for this year’s show, the National Western BBQ Throwdown. A group of judges sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society will judge the meat on taste, texture, and appearance. Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler / The Denver Post via Getty Images.



Agriculture personnel collect the carcasses of dead geese at a local farm in Taiwan’s southern Chiayi county on January 11, 2015. Taiwan ordered the slaughter of 16,000 geese and ducks to try to curb a bird flu outbreak that has already led to the culling of 120,000 chickens. Photo credit: STR / AFP / Getty Images.



A customer browses chickpeas for sale at a farmer’s market in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. The political impasse and the prospect of Syriza and 40-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras taking the helm rekindled concern about Greeces future as a euro member. Photographer: Konstantinos Tsakalidis / Bloomberg via Getty Images.