The intersection of US and China at Thanksgiving

Was your Thanksgiving missing a little something this year? Was that something a pecan pie? Well, apparently you can blame it on China! According to the New York Times, it’s a bit difficult and more expensive to get your hands on pecans this year in the U.S., not least of all because of the Chinese people’s insatiable appetite for pecans:

A rare collision of ill-timed rain, marauding animals and a growing love affair between the Chinese middle class and the pecan has resulted in the worst pecan supply in recent memory. As a result, grocery store prices are up by about 30 percent, which is causing Thanksgiving bakers to think twice about their menus. …

In the mid-2000s, the market for pecans in China began to grow rapidly. China now consumes more than a third of the American pecan crop, a development that followed the country’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization in 2001. …

They are sold by the bagful and are particularly popular around the Chinese New Year, which is coming in January — earlier than last year, and soon enough to elbow out the Thanksgiving nut supply.

We hear a lot about the rise of China and increasing competition for scarce resources. Who’d have thought that this would extend to something that is so small, and yet is such an important piece of Americana? First, they took our jobs, then they took our money, now they’re taking our pecan pies on Thanksgiving!

Despite this apparent tragedy, I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving at home (not the mall). Boyfriend and I both had to work overtime, but then we enjoyed some leftovers from our earlier celebration. Now it’s all things Christmas until the end of the year!

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