Category Archives: The Secret Financial Life of Food

Order Cocktails for a Crowd for Christmas, New Year’s

Cocktails_for_a_Crowd_COVERWhew! November and December were remarkably busy – book promo parties, events, signings, the occasional press interview. It’s been a glorious whirlwind. But now I’m ready for a looong winter’s rest.

But one final gift-list reminder:  Now’s the time to order “Cocktails for a Crowd”  – whether the party’s at your home and you’re seeking drink inspiration, or you’re celebrating elsewhere and need a host/hostess gift or holiday gift.  Throw in a bottle of booze or bitters, and you’re officially the best guest in the world.

–>Order “Cocktails for a Crowd” from Amazon.

 
Book Cover–>As long as you’re browsing online, you can also buy a copy of my other book,  The Secret Financial Life of Food: from commodities markets to supermarketsfor the history-minded foodies on your gift list.

 

Many thanks and happy holidays!

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Order Cocktails for a Crowd for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah gifts

Cocktails_for_a_Crowd_COVER

Now’s the time to order “Cocktails for a Crowd”  – whether the party’s at your home and you’re seeking drink inspiration, or you’re celebrating elsewhere and need a host/hostess gift or holiday gift.  Throw in a bottle of booze or bitters, and you’re officially the best guest in the world.

If you’d like a personalized gift, email me: kara AT karanewman DOT com to obtain a signed bookplate, at no additional charge.

–>Order “Cocktails for a Crowd” from Amazon.

–>As long as you’re browsing online, you can also buy a copy of my other book,  The Secret Financial Life of Food: from commodities markets to supermarkets, for the history-minded foodies on your gift list.

Many thanks and happy holidays!

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Come out and see me sometime – classes, book parties and more

Lots of events coming up in the next few weeks! Please mark your calendar and come out to say hello.

Sunday, October 27 – “Foodie & the Beast” show on Federal News Radio, Washington DC:  I’ll be making drinks (for the entire studio!) and talking about Cocktails for a Crowd with charming host Nycci Nellis on the “Foodie and the Beast” show on Federal News Radio. (11 am-noon. If you’re in the DC area, listen live at 1500 AM; if not, find the audio online here. ) 

Monday, October 28 – Lecture on The Secret Financial Life of Food, at The World Bank, Washington DC:  Q&A with moderator Yurie Tanimichi Hoberg, Senior Economist in the Agriculture and Environmental Services Department of the World Bank. (12:30-2 pm,  at The InfoShop at The World Bank in Washington, DC. Open to the public; bring your ID.)

Tuesday, November 5 – Fresh Ideas for the Holidays cocktail party, with Erica Duecy, The Beacon Bar, NY:  Don’t settle for the same-old mulled wine at your holiday party. Join Erica Duecy, author of the newly-released book Storied Sips and me for fresh cocktail ideas to spice things up. We’ll have live jazz, passed nibbles and cocktails from both of our books, so come thirsty! (6-8 pm, Hotel Beacon NYC, 2130 Broadway at 75th St. Please RSVP: shari@bayerpublicrelations.com.)

Friday, December 6 – Cocktails for a Crowd – Holiday Entertaining class at Astor Center, NY:  A hands-on cocktail-making class! Whether you’re planning an elegant holiday soiree or a laid-back New Year’s Eve gathering with friends, learn how to make big-batch cocktails to impress your guests, without breaking a sweat. Don’t wait too long to sign up, the August class sold out quickly.  (6:30-8 pm, December 6 at Astor Center. Purchase tickets here.)

Saturday, December 14 Holiday Cocktails for a Crowd class at Mohonk Mountain House:  As part of Mohonk’s annual “How To” Holiday Weekend (Dec 13-15), learn to mix and make traditional holiday cocktails to get everyone in the spirit. (5 pm, December 14 at Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY. For reservations, please call 855-883-3798.)

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History or hooch? Chicago – I’m coming your way!

 Chicago area friends:  I’m so excited to be heading to the Windy City next week! Here’s my schedule – whether your taste runs to history or hooch, please mark your calendar.  I hope to see you while I’m in town.

Monday, April 22:  Lecture on The Secret Financial Life of Food, with the Culinary Historians of Chicago. 

I’ll be giving a talk about my book, The Secret Financial Life of Food, at an event presented by The Culinary Historians of Chicago.

Since so much of agricultural commodities history took place in Chicago, I’m especially thrilled to have an opportunity to talk about grain, cattle and other food-related futures here. And I fully expect to learn a thing or two from this particular group!

Location:  Kendall College (900 N. North Branch St., Chicago, IL)  at 6:30 pm.

Tuesday, April 23: Drink.Think heads to Chicago!

I’ll be hosting Drink.Thinka literary reading event about all things drink. Come out and hear your favorite Chicago-area beverage and food writers read from their work. We have a great line-up of writers, authors and industry pros coming out for the event. Admission is free, plus we’ll have some complimentary whiskey tipples on hand. (Win-win!)

Location:  Tavernita, 151 W. Erie St, Chicago, IL. Come out at 6pm to drink; the reading starts at 7pm.

See you in Chicago!

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My guest post on A Life of Spice

It’s always a good day when I get to talk with Monica Bhide — food writer, author, spice expert, inspiring writing instructor, cocktail contest conspirator, friend.

Monica is particularly skilled at persuading others to tell their stories (check out her book of interviews with exceptional women). And her question to me was:  How did I –a journalist of the booze– come to write a book about food & finance & history?

Here’s the answer – my guest blog post for Monica’s popular site, A Life of Spice.

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Happy Repeal Day! A look at the American Liquor Exchange

liquorexchange

Today, December 5, celebrates the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition – one of the best and booziest “holidays” in the tippling calendar. In honor of Repeal Day, I’m sharing my favorite find from The Secret Financial Life of Food:  the all-but-forgotten American Liquor Exchange.

The 1933 image above shows a group of distillers and importers gathered in a Park Avenue office, in the act of setting prices for wines and spirits after the repeal of Prohibition. Technically, this group was not an exchange, but a firm dealing in warehouse receipts (financial instruments that pledged as collateral certain commodities – such as barrels of whiskey).  Take a look (click on the image to enlarge it):  the chalkboard behind the auctioneer lists the bid and ask prices for various whiskeys – rye, Scotch – as well as other spirits (gin, Cognac, “Cuban rhum”) and Champagne and other wines. Most of the deals called for delivery in 30, 60, or 90 days after repeal went into effect.

Shout out to Ryan of the informative Trading Pit Blog, who owns this photo and kindly granted permission to use it in the book. Here’s another look at the same scene, from a different angle.

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to buy The Secret Financial Life of Food.

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Secret Financial Life of Food on “Hot Grease” radio

Hot Grease show

Butter and Egg women unite!

Last week I had the opportunity to talk about my new book with the ebullient Nicole Taylor, one of my favorite radio hosts. Her show, Hot Grease, airs on the awesome Heritage Radio Network.

Listen to the episode here: Hot Grease – Episode 128 – The Secret Financial Life of Food

A comment from the show: “I think that commodity prices are not going to be based entirely on American eating habits… It’s my belief that we’re going to see commodities being traded on a more global basis.” [26:00]

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Introducing my new book – The Secret Financial Life of Food

CUP-topThe team over at Columbia University Press has done a bang-up job this week introducing my new book, The Secret Financial Life of Food:  from commodities markets to supermarketsIf you haven’t been over to the CUP blog this week, here’s what you missed:

Trading Places Video:  Remember the film Trading Places, with Eddie Murphy? Watch a YouTube clip of financial bigwigs  Randolph and Mortimer Duke (played by Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) explaining to Billy Ray Valentine (played by Eddie Murphy) how their commodity brokerage works. (I quoted a portion of this scene in the introduction to the Produce Futures chapter)

Book Giveaway!  Best hustle if you want to win a free copy of The Secret Financial Life of Food – CUP will be picking a winner TODAY at 1:00 pm ET. (hint – e-mail pl2164@columbia.edu with your name and address.)

3 Predictions for the Future of Food-Based Futures:  Although my book focuses on the history of food-based futures, most questions I’ve been asked center around the future of futures. (And with food prices on a breakaway tear, who can blame people for wanting to know what’s next?) So I’ve gazed into my crystal ball to offer three predictions for what’s next.

Enjoy! And while you’re surfing, don’t forget to buy a copy of The Secret Financial Life of Food (or two, or three….) for those on your holiday list who enjoy reading about food, finance, or history.

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The Secret Financial Life of Food featured on ZesterDaily!

Let the countdown commence! The Secret Financial Life of Food is officially scheduled to drop on Nov. 20 – one month from today!

Last week, ZesterDaily.com ran a Q&A with yours truly:  The Economics of Food with Author Kara Newman — the very first piece of press coverage about the book! My favorite part? Writer/editor Ruth Tobias brilliantly looped in the recent scare over a possible bacon shortage.

An excerpt:

Q: Given the recent scare over a bacon shortage, I found the chapter on pork bellies quite enlightening. Can you elaborate on why pork bellies are no longer traded, and what it means for the average consumer and the ethically conscious consumer?

A.  At the most basic level, traders buy and sell based on scarcity and anticipated demand. When that scarcity diminished thanks to better technologies in agriculture and refrigeration, as well as improved bacon-making techniques, trading eventually stopped. It’s now a more stable market.

I’ve asked economists: What does it mean for consumers that we don’t have pork-belly futures to kick around anymore? And the answer across the board is: “Not much.” Pork-belly contracts were a vehicle that outlived their usefulness, like egg futures and onion futures and many other contracts before them. Without the pricing mechanism that the futures market provides, prices might edge slightly higher at supermarkets — and for a little while, that might make pork from smaller producers a bit more attractive. But the average bacon lover probably hasn’t noticed even a blip at the checkout counter.

Read the full Q&A on ZesterDaily.

“Like” the book on Facebook.

Pre-order your very own copy of the book.

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How much do YOU know about the secret financial life of your food?

My new book, The Secret Financial Life of Food: from commodities markets to supermarkets, officially drops on November 20. Still a few weeks away (sigh). In the meantime, the folks at Columbia University Press have put together a light-hearted quiz to help reinforce some of the concepts in the book.

Take a look….How much do YOU know about the secret financial life of your food? Test your knowledge with this fun 10-question quiz!

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