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.

My new book – coming Nov. 20

Exciting news! My new book, The Secret Financial Life of Food, will be available in bookstores on November 20, 2012.

…If you’d like to pre-order a copy, you can do so on Amazon (and thank you!)

…If you’re a journalist or blogger and would like a review copy, galleys are now available! Please go to this link and click the “Request!” button. 

…If you’d like to hear more about the book, I’m giving a brief preview talk at the Culinary Historians of NY’s season opener meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Event details are posted here. 

…If you’re a fellow boozehound and you’re wondering, “Hey! Where’s the hooch?” Let me assure you, spirituous history abounds in this book. In brief, The Secret Financial History of Food focuses on commodities markets from a culinary perspective, and chapters focus on topics such as the former “Butter and Egg Men” and the rise and fall of pork bellies. But this book also gave me an excuse to talk about whiskey trading (grain and corn chapters, thank you), wine futures, and perhaps my favorite discovery during the long research months: the nearly-forgotten American Liquor Exchange, which set prices for wine and spirits post-Prohibition.

…Last but not least:  if you’d like to arrange for an interview or speaking engagement related to the book, please email Meredith Howard at Columbia University Press (mhoward AT columbiauniversitypress DOT com) or me (kara AT karanewman DOT com).

Whew! That was a lot of information. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.