Bad weather, increased demand, and dwindling supplies are causing peanut prices to skyrocket-and that could lead to a shortage of peanut butter, a household staple that more and more people are relying on in a struggling economy.
"We have quite a peanut shortage this year," Tiffany Arthur, an agricultural economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, told NPR. "Things are snowballing and prices are sharply rising."
"Our first problem was [that] we didn't plant enough peanuts," Peanut broker Richard Barnhill told NPR. The price of cotton was higher than usual, which prompted peanut farmers to change their planting plans.
Also, thousands of acres of peanut fields in Georgia, Texas, and South Carolina went unplanted this year or were destroyed by high temperatures and droughts in the Southeast. Some of the crops that did make it to harvest time developed aflatoxin, a toxin triggered by fungus which requires more-and more expensive-processing in order to make
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Shine Food – Sat, Oct 1, 2011 12:04 AM EDT
Bad weather, increased demand, and dwindling supplies are causing peanut prices to skyrocket-and that could lead to a shortage of peanut butter, a household staple that more and more people are relying on in a struggling economy.Read More »from Higher peanut butter prices? A peanut shortage could affect your grocery bill
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Love + Sex – Fri, Sep 30, 2011 10:45 PM EDT
Officials in Mexico City are considering a new way to address the city's high divorce rates: by making marriages temporary.Read More »from I do... for now? Mexico City considers temporary marriages
Couples would be allowed to decide on the length of their marriage (minimum license: two years), and the contracts would contain prenup-like legalese about financial support, how marital assets would be divided, and who gets custody of the kids. At the end of the contract, happy (or semi-happy) couples could opt to renew for another two years, while those who are tired of being together could simply walk away without a legal hassle.
"The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends," Leonel Luna of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, who co-authored the bill, told Reuters. "You wouldn't have to go through the tortuous process of divorce."
Mexico has the second-largest Catholic population in the world (after Brazil) and, needless to say, the Catholic Church isn't too keen on the idea
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Thu, Sep 29, 2011 10:24 PM EDT
Denmark has come up with an innovative way to address their obesity crisis: A tax on fatty foods.Read More »from Denmark starts taxing fatty foods. Would you pay more to eat cheese or chips?
"It's the first ever fat-tax," Mike Rayner, Director of Oxford University's Health Promotion Research Group, told The Telegraph newspaper. "It's very interesting. We haven't had any practical examples before. Now we will be able to see the effects for real."
About 10 percent of Denmark's population is obese, which is a little less than the European average. The fat tax will tack on a fee of 2.5 kroner for every kilgogram of saturated fat in various types of products, from butter and cheese to potato chips and ground beef. It works out to a few pence per package, but there's no way for shoppers to avoid paying the tax since it'll be levied at the point of sale from wholesalers to retailers, the newspaper reported. Consumers will just see slightly higher prices at the market.
The tax is expected to increase revenue for the country while whittling away at its citizens' waistlines:
Are any of your favorite books on the banned lists?
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- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Wed, Sep 28, 2011 9:04 PM EDT
Pop star Rihanna was asked to stop production of her music video after the farmer on whose land she was shooting took offense to her skimpy outfits. (Photo: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com via CNN)Alan Graham, 61, said that he had never heard of Rihanna before one of her people called to ask if the sexy pop star could shoot part of her "We Found Love" video on his farm in Northern Ireland.Read More »from Irish farmer asks Rihanna to stop shooting her video in his field and put some clothes on
"Someone explained she was as big as it gets as far as pop stars were concerned," he told British newspaper The Telegraph. "I am a bit illiterate about those issues."
Graham, who owns 60 acres just outside of Bangor, Ireland, said she could. He even pitched in to help the crew, using his tractor to pull some recording equipment out of the mud and filling in a hole in his field with some straw. The field in which they were filming is near a busy road, and traffic quickly came to a standstill as fans stopped to gawk at the 23-year-old sexy superstar.
But when Graham was heading home later that day, he spotted the singer sashaying through the barley wearing a barely-there red bikini. And that was too much for the devoutly Christian father-of-four and local political representative to put up
Photo: LamaG6/YouTubeJust two days after Saudi Arabian King Abdullah declared that women would be allowed to participate in local elections, a Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a woman to 10 lashes with a whip for driving a car.Read More »from Saudi woman to be flogged for driving a car
"Flogging is a cruel punishment in all circumstances but it beggars belief that the authorities in Saudi Arabia have imposed lashes on a woman apparently for merely driving a car," Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, Philip Luther, said in a statement Tuesday.
"Belatedly allowing women to vote in council elections is all well and good, but if they are still going to face being flogged for trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement then the King's much-trumpeted 'reforms' actually amount to very little," he added.
Other women have also been charged with driving by themselves and now face the possibility of flogging as well. "They called me in for questioning on a charge of challenging the monarch on Sunday," Najla Hariri, who was
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Mon, Sep 26, 2011 9:39 PM EDT
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at his Riyadh Palace in April. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesIn his annual speech broadcast Sunday on Saudi Arabia's state-run television station, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia said that women would be allowed to nominate themselves or other candidates for the next set of local elections, effectively giving them the right to vote in the Arab nation.Read More »from Women in Saudi Arabia to be allowed to vote in 2015, but still not allowed to drive
Though other nations and women's rights activists hailed the announcement as "good news," the move may be largely symbolic: Women will be able to participate in the next round of municipal elections, not in the one that is slated to take place on September 29-but no one knows when the next one will be held. This week's municipal election is only the second one that's taken place in nearly 50 years. And even though they'll be able to hold local office and serve as members of the King's group of advisers known as the Shura council, women still aren't allowed to hold cabinet positions, travel outside of the country without permission from a male relative, or drive a car.
The same religious rules that
You may think you're doing a good job of shielding your kids from your anxiety and stress. But research shows that your children are probably picking up on it anyway-and it's affecting them, physically and emotionally, more than you could imagine.Read More »from Can your kids 'catch' your stress?
"Parental stress can weaken the development of a child's brain or immune system, increasing the risk of allergies, obesity, or mental disorders," says David Code, author of "Kids Pick Up on Everything." Research shows that kids can "catch" their parents' stress, overloading their systems until they act out or exhibit mental and physical illness, he says. "Stress is highly contagious between parent and child, even if the parent is unaware of his or her own anxiety."
Parenting expert Lori Lite, a mother of three, author, and founder of the "Stress Free Kids" line of books, CDs, and lesson plans, agrees. "I do believe that children feel their parents' stress," she says. "Children that do not know how to manage stress in a healthy manner will
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Thu, Sep 22, 2011 10:45 PM EDT
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Wed, Sep 21, 2011 11:03 PM EDT
With the school year in full swing, parents are bracing themselves for the unofficial start of kids' birthday party season-and the budget-busting, anxiety-inducing party planning that goes along with it. Where's the perfect party location? To goody bag, or not to goody bag? Do you foot the bill for uninvited siblings? And how much should you spend on the whole event, anyway?Read More »from Over-the-top birthday parties for kids: Are we over them?
In spite of reports of $5,000 parties for 1-year-olds or a mind-blowing $32,000 bash for a spoiled little princess (though she insisted that it was actually for her 6-year-old daughter), a look through the Yahoo! Shine archives shows that a couple hundred dollars is the average that parents are willing to spend on a birthday party for their young children-and that the kids are fine with it.
"My parents TOTALLY spoiled me at my last b-day party," Katy Nash, 11, commented on this 2008 post about a $100 birthday party. "Each of my guests got the goody bag of a lil' kinz webkinz, which are $12 each. I was very