Thats 10 times the comparably meager $4 billion in cuts included in the Senate farm bill. They point to the programs dramatic growth to $80 billion in 2012, up from to $35 billion in 2007. Whether significant cuts to SNAP are needed remains a hotly debated subject, but there is little argument over the need to reduce fraud in the program. Especially not after the USDAs report , released in August, found retailers willing to pay cash in return for the government food credit stole $858 million annually from government coffers from 2009 through 2011. Thats nearly triple the $330 million stolen annually from 2006 through 2008. Only about 15% of all the food stamps used by shoppers in the U.S. are spent at small stores, but they are also the source of 85% of the fraud, according to the USDAs report . The USDA report is essentially a follow up to a Government Accountability Office report released several years ago that told the USDA it needed to focus on small convenience and grocery stores in order to cut down on food stamp fraud. USDAhas good reason to see these small-scale, privately owned stores as a significance source of food stamp fraud. These stores are often short on the fresh fruit, vegetables and meat that SNAP vouchers are intended to purchase, the GAO report said. The USDA isnt waiting for further marching orders from Congress, having just wrapped up a five-city listening tour aimed at hearing the publics complaints and suggestions regarding SNAP fraud. The department also has issued what it calls a request for information in the Federal Register. The document, which is essentially a precursor to a new federal rule proposal, reveals that USDA is considering such measures as disqualifying smaller grocery stores and convenience stores from accepting food stamps if they sell large quantities of alcohol and tobacco or banning them from the government program if their primary business isnt selling food.
7. Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid Mercado de San Miguel is housed in a 1916 Beaux-Arts building that was abandoned for years until the market renovated the iron and glass building in 2009. Within walking distance from Plaza Mayor, the building is now a lively food destination, with 33 shopping and dining stalls and a central cafe area. Each booth is operated independently, and vendors sell everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to frozen yogurt. Guests can enjoy quality Spanish products like tapas, wine, and pastries at iron picnic tables throughout the market. The market is open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and late-night visitors create long lines at vendors like Daniel Sorlut, an oyster and champagne bar. 8. Torvehallerne Market, Copenhagen This new, upscale market is the first of its kind in Copenhagen, and has quickly become a hot spot in the capital city. The market is actually composed of two glass and steel halls on opposite sides of the square. The fare is both local and international, and includes foods like organic sausage, artisanal honey, red velvet cupcakes, and olive oils. The structures are home to more than 80 vendors, with dishes like fish and chips (available at Fiskerikajen fish market), beer, and sushi (check out Sushi Lovers) available to visitors. A local favorite is found at Ma Poule, a French-inspired poultry shop selling a duck confit sandwich that people are eager to wait in long lines for. 9.
Fast-food giants want pizza the action in Africa
The FAO index averaged 199.1 points in September, 1% lower than in August and 5.4% lower since the start of the year. Global cereal production, which includes wheat and corn, is expected to be 8% higher over 2012s level, at 2.49 billion tons. The U.S., the worlds largest corn producer, is responsible for the bulk of the increase, expected to harvest a record crop of 348 million tonsthats 27% higher than the previous year. U.S. corn supplies have been tight since the size of last years harvest was hit by severe drought. But after high acreage seeded with corn this spring and largely favorable summer weather, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts record U.S. corn output this year. That should push corn prices lower. Current levels mark a drastic turnaround since food prices soared to new heights in early 2011 amid global supply constraints for cereals, sugar and cocoa. Rising food prices helped spark the unrestknown as the Arab Springthat analysts say ultimately ousted the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
HIDE CAPTION Fast Food Continent – Burger King Fast Food Continent U.S. fast food brands are increasingly opening branches across Africa KFC has outlets in 14 African countries, with over 700 KFCs in South Africa Pizza chain Domino’s plans three more African branches by the end of this year African branches often introduce new dishes to cater to local tastes (CNN) — Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic renaissance is fueling an investment drive by fast food joints looking to tap the continent’s growing middle class. The likes of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Domino’s pizza are opening up in African growth markets from Nigeria to Angola to give consumers a taste of U.S. cuisine. Elias Schulze, managing partner of The Africa Group , a boutique Africa-focused investment consultancy, said U.S. takeout stores are rapidly becoming “aspirational brands” for cosmopolitan Africans with disposable income. He said: “An upwardly mobile, confident, Western-leaning and young consumer class bodes well for an American burger boom.” And the battle for the African market is well underway. This year, Yum! Brands — owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut — is expanding into Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. An upwardly mobile, confident, Western-leaning and young consumer class bodes well for an American burger boom. Elias Schulze, The Africa Group The Louisville-based restaurant giant already has outlets in 14 African countries , with more than 700 KFCs in South Africa and plans to open a further 45 stores in 2013. Read this: South Africans thirsty for craft beer And with growing political and economic stability, Western fast food brands are approaching the region with a renewed sense of optimism, according to Schulze. He said KFC is an established brand on the continent today, adding: “My general sense is that markets beyond South Africa in sub-Saharan Africa are in the investing phase given their level of infancy and may not have reached a payback point quite yet.” And more big players are beginning to follow suit.