Archive for July, 2007

It’s not what you eat, but where you eat

If you had to pick between dining out in a fancy restaurant in a rich country or a rundown establishment in a poor country, where would you go?

For most people, the answer would be obvious. But Tyler Cowen, a professor at George Mason University in Washington D.C. and the author of Discover Your Inner Economist says that’s not a wise decision.

“If the quality of food is the sole mission, Cowen argues, look for contrary indicators. “Iron bars on the windows,” he writes, “and barbed wire on the fences, however bad for the residents or your own safety, are both good signs for the food.” The magic ingredient, he elaborates, is extreme income inequality, which ensures a large reservoir of cheap labor to grow and prepare the food, as well as a sufficient number of rich people who, being rich, must eat well.”

Read the full story here: Discover your inner economist

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Hungry kya? Why isn’t India on the Big Mac index?

Every year, The Economist, London, publishes the Big Mac Index, a light-hearted computation of how overvalued or not a currency is, based on the price of a McDonald’s hamburger. It’s another way of looking at the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), which says that exchange rates should equalise the price of a basket of goods in any two countries. In other words, in dollar terms,the price of a Big Mac should be the same everywhere.

But India doesn’t figure on the Big Mac Index although Pakistan and Sri Lanka do. Why?

# Because there aren’t too many McDonald’s outlets in India?

# Because McDonald’s isn’t doing too well in India despite its trade-marking the AlooTikki?

# Because our per capita consumption of Big Macs is too low to register on the Richter scale?

# Because not too many Indians know that a hamburger isn’t made of pork?

# Because The Economist doesn’t want to insult vegetarians in the world’s largest democracy?

# Because its correspondent is on leave?

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uoıʇɹodɹoɔ s,plɐuopɔɯ ǝɥʇ ɟo ʞɹɐɯǝpɐɹʇ pǝɹǝʇsıƃǝɹ ɐ ʇǝʎ puɐ pooƃ ʎpoolq ʇnq ʎʇɹıp ‘ʎsɐǝɹƃ ‘uɐıpuı :ıʞʞıʇ oolɐ sı ıʞʞıʇ oolɐ ˙uıɐʇıɹq ǝpısʇno ǝɹoɯ sllǝs ʇɐɥʇ ɹǝdɐdsʍǝu ʎlʞǝǝʍ ɥsıʇıɹq ɐ sı ʇsıɯouoɔǝ ǝɥʇ ˙ʎɐʍ ʇɐɥʇ ʇı dǝǝʞ uɐɔ ʎǝɥʇ puɐ uoıʇɐɹodɹoɔ s,plɐuopɔɯ ǝɥʇ ɟo ʞɹɐɯǝpɐɹʇ pǝɹǝʇsıƃǝɹ ǝɥʇ sı s,plɐuopɔɯ

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Cross-posted on churumuri

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Which passport does chicken tikka masala have?

Is Britain’s favourite dish, the chicken tikka masala an Indian dish with a British touch? Or a British concoction with Indian characteristics? Or a Bangladeshi production to help both Britons and Indians in Britain?

Read the full story: Does food have to have a nationality?

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