Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Radio and Maple Syrup

Turned on CHUM FM 104.5, the station with "45 minutes of continuous music," at 9:03 AM. Commercials were running at 9:03; commercials back on at 9:41. Now, in my old math, 41-3=38...hmmm...in the new math is 38 now really 45, like in that FedEx ad, today is tomorrow, or is it tomorrow is today?

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When I wrote about maple syrup -- that quintessential Canadian food I'm astonished anyone thinks can be replaced with pancake syrup -- Ugh! -- I didn't think about supply and demand. If there's so much in storage, why is the price still high? Apparently to offset an off year.

Jennifer Bain at The Toronto Star received a lot of e-mail on the subject. Some actually compared fake maple syrup with the real stuff. That's like using vanillin instead of vanilla. My tongue curls at the very thought!

But others asked why is it still so expensive when so much is in storage? And why do you have to go to the farmer's markets to get the decent stuff at decent prices? And why, as one reader (Mike Brassard) wrote, do grocery stores stiff us "for the touristy bottles of inferior grade syrup at outrageous prices." The bottles are way too small for way too high a price. Bain doesn't really answer these questions, other than to point out that we've gotten used to cheap food prices and that "we buy this cheap food at the expense of our farmers. maple syrup and otherwise."

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