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The Dish

Economies and their enemies

12/5/2018

November was a weird and scary month for Iowa. U.S. farm debt climbed, sitting just 8 percent below the peak in 1980 when adjusted for inflation. The strength of farmland values has been key in helping farmers through the recent economic downturn. Land values fell 63 percent in the 1980s to about $787 an acre in 1986, an ISU land survey shows. Last year, values were at $7,326 an acre, 16 percent below a 2013 peak. Rural unemployment hit 9.1 percent in 1983; today it’s 2.5 percent.

In a not-unrelated matter, methamphetamine became purer and less expensive, according to the Governor’s Office of Drug Control.

TRANSITIONS

Steve and Kristy Little sold their Chef’s Kitchen to Jason Simon (Alba, Eatery A and Harbinger). New Year’s Eve will be their last night of Chef’s… BAH Brazilian Steakhouse and Teddy Maroons both raced to open before year’s end in the Soll complex on Ingersoll. BAH’s dinner-only price was quoted at $38.50 for all-you-can-eat salad bar and barbecue… Kleber de Souza announced that Brazil Terra Grill hoped to open in West Des Moines at the end of November. The Brazil native plans to debut the restaurant in Clocktower Square next to Gusto Pizza Co. Diners can opt for a “full experience,” which includes the all-you-can-eat salad bar and barbecue ($18.99 for lunch and $38.99 for dinner) or choose smaller portions with limited meat choices… Hy-Vee reopened its MLK store, which had closed after June flooding… Kum & Go opened its marvelous, Renzo-Piano-designed headquarters building downtown… The Gusto at Clocktower Square added deep dish pizza to its menu. The store gained market share… Cracker Barrel no longer advertises 100 percent pure maple syrup. “100 percent natural” is the new name for an obviously new product. For years Cracker Barrel consumed a majority percentage of U.S. maple syrup.

BAD NEWS

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Blue Apron was sued by West Liberty Foods for not fulfilling an alleged contract to partner on the purchase of Crystal Lakes Farms… The Kaleidoscope gave all tenants notice that the building is coming down for a taller one. Goodbye to Sally’s excellent old fashioned burgers and JJ Jasmine Thai Cuisine… Chad Lovan closed Lemongrass on Eighth St. in West Des Moines… Harvey’s of Redfield took over the David’s Grill in Hotel Pattee in Perry… Bordenaro’s closed their Bordi’s store in the Drake neighborhood.

DIABETES UPDATES

$327 billion: Estimated cost of diabetes in the U.S. in 2017 ($237 billion in direct medical costs, $90 billion in nonmedical costs).

$9,600: Average annual diabetes-related health care costs for patients.

2.3: Number of times by which a diabetes patient’s health care costs increase.

14 and 18 years: Reduction in the average male and female type 1 diabetes patient’s life expectancy, respectively.

THE REALLY BAD NEWS

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 25 key metrics, ranging from share of overweight and obese population to sugary-beverage consumption and obesity-related health care costs:

THE 20 FATTEST STATES
1. Mississippi
2. West Virginia
3. Arkansas
4. Kentucky
5. Tennessee
6. Louisiana
7. Alabama
8. South Carolina
9. Oklahoma
10. Texas
11. Indiana
12. Ohio
13. Delaware
14. Georgia
15. Michigan
16. Missouri
17. North Carolina
18. Iowa
19. Maine
20. Kansas

NEW FAST FOODS

KFC added waffles to its menu with a national advertising campaign… Arby’s brought back deep-fried turkey and cinnamon apple crisp for the holidays… Hardee’s introduced honey butter biscuits and breakfast sliders… McDonald’s introduced made-to-order quarter pounders… Subway now has a Southwest crunch bread option… Taco Bell brought back the double chalupa… Wendy’s introduced Harvest chicken salads.

NEW CANDY

Candy magazine announced these new products this fall, the big launch period due to Halloween: Smash flavored marshmallows, four new flavors from Dagoba organic chocolate, truffle three packs from alter Eco, Chocodates, Loackini hazelnut bars, three flavors of Trident vibes chewing gum, and a few Halloween only items. ♦

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