Hummus Over Humidors: Farmers Reportedly Turning To Chickpeas Over Tobacco

170px-Nicotiana_Tobacco_Plants_1909px230px-Hummus_from_The_NileThere is a truly healthy development occurring in tobacco country. It appears that farmers are pulling up tobacco plants with the falling market in order to plant a crop in higher demand: chick peas. Why? Hummus, my friend, thar’s gold in them golden dips. It is the ultimate healthy trade off and one of the more promising signs of the successful campaign against tobacco use.


I just had to share some pretty remarkable statistics.

Hummus continues to rise as a favorite new dip across the country. Now here is the wild stat: roughly 26% of Americans now say that they eat hummus and 70% are familiar with it. It was not that long ago when hummus was largely unknown. I loved it as a kid but my father spent a great deal of time in the Middle East as an architect and used to make it for us in the 1970s. Now, consumer spending on hummus has reached $1 billion a year — a growth rate of 18% a year over the past five years.

The switch is not only good for farmers for a more valuable crop but obviously reflects a decline in tobacco use that produces high social costs.

Source: Today

21 thoughts on “Hummus Over Humidors: Farmers Reportedly Turning To Chickpeas Over Tobacco”

  1. Yeah, this ethanol subsidizing was & is a bad move but is still smaller and far less damaging than subsidizing that harmful practice called psychiatry. Each year there are 90,000 emergency room visits due to taxpayer subsidized psychiatric drugs in this country.

  2. Chickpeas are on my list of things to try in my garden. What great news for farmers.

    I wonder what they’d rotate them with? Cotton?

  3. Dust Bunny Queen

    You are right about that. Also when you look at the amount of energy, and especially water, that goes into the process of harvesting corn for ethanol it magnifies the environmental impact markedly.

    Also, I read some stats on the effect of the cash for clunkers program. It was also found that the macroeconomic benefit by purchasing the vehicles was negligible. People could have saved money greatly by continuing to use their current vehicles.

    I’ll bet there were those who upon announcement of the Cash for Clunkers program went to a wrecking yard and bought a clunker for $200, titled it, and dragged it to the dealership and cashed in on the offer, having the government finance their purchase.

  4. Not just the crappy fuel mileage it is the damage that ethanol does to some engines and to small motor type equipment. Lawn mowers, string weeders etc.

    It shortens the life of the engines and actually destroys the tools. So instead of being able to use a tool or car for many many years, with proper maintenance, the items have to be replaced, which means NEW raw materials have to be mined, refined, manufactured etc.

    It is terrible false economy. The CO2 burden of having to replace what used to last for decades is huge. The smug greenies, eco nazis never think about the unintended consequences of their false economy ideas.

    Just like Cash for Clunkers. A terrible program that removed useable cars from the market that the poor and lower middle class could have continued to use. Instead. Destroy perfectly good older cars and force the people to buy new cars that require even higher levels of toxic chemicals and new materials that have to be gotten from somewhere. Now the price of what used vehicles remain is even higher than before. Supply and demand. But who cares…Right? It felt good even though it was so extremely counter productive.

  5. Yeah, that ethanol in the gas gets lousy mileage even in my Prius. Corn fuel with price discounts is a failure. You have to buy Super north of Utah if you don’t want ethanol; its only used because of price fixing or discounts

    1. Traveling Limey,

      I believe that ethanol is not a viable option for fueling cars.

      E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) running in cars produces around 20% less fuel mileage and produces nearly equal the amount of carbon within exhaust. Any initial savings in price is lost in the lower mileage.

  6. Who has a problem with hummus? Michele O’s food requirements have deemed it too fatty:

    http://eagnews.org/illinois-2nd-largest-district-drops-michelle-os-menu-after-hummus-is-deemed-too-fatty/

    That’s one of the reasons why many schools have just ditched the federal reimbursements. It’s pointless to chase a reimbursement program if the food just gets thrown in the trash.

    Personally, I like roasted red pepper hummus, and some of the other blends, rather than the straight hummus.

  7. Happy to see that demand is falling for cigarettes.

    And, look, the farmers started growing something else to meet market demands instead of the government wading in and “fixing” it. Win-Win!

    Len – Hemp is a wonderful product, one of the plants with the most uses that I know of, and it has zero use as a narcotic. It’s my understanding that it has not been allowed to grow here because it looks so much like pot it would be difficult for law enforcement to figure out which plants in a 25,000 plant field were hemp and which were pot.

    But that seems to be taking care of itself as the laws relax, or at least oscillate back and forth in the legal or illegal Pong game.

  8. Growing hemp (if only the feds would get their heads out of their asses) would also be a healthier and more ecological crop.

  9. This is a good sign. Growing food crops instead of crops that are used for unhealthy purposes. There IS a place in the medical arena for ‘some’ nicotine, but smoking at the levels that Western society has been doing is just unhealthy. The Indians who smoked tobacco used it much less often in more ceremonial ways.

    Chickpeas/garbanzos are delicious and can be used in applications in the culinary arts including that disgusting Hummus crud. In addition, the dried chick peas make fabulous Wrist Rocket ammo to shoot at the deer and ground squirrels. Big plus…….We don’t have to pick up the ammo because the birds eat it. ūüôā

    Now if we could just stop the industry of growing corn to burn up in our gas tanks. Ethanol is a curse on the land and a curse to all of your small engine parts. Shortening the lifespan of your equipment and causing an even larger CO2 footprint (if you really care about this) by forcing the re-manufacture of items that used to last 10 to 15 years and which now are destroyed and useless in 5 years or less. What a waste of corn/food and materials to needlessly replace tools.

  10. Paul, The govt. started phasing out tobacco price supports a decade or so ago. I believe they are totally gone, or will be very soon.

  11. Farmers change crops with a changing market. Not sure if tobacco is a price support product or not.

  12. Markets that include monopolies, scams, corruption, exploitation, tax evasion, bribery, destruction of the environment and human health might be “free” but they are certainly destructive.

  13. Gene, Amen. I live in the Dairy State and the price supports are a way of life w/ farmers. And, in this dairy state where cheese spreads and dips w/ sour cream have been a staple, hummus is making a big dent. We Eyatalians love ceci beans as we call them. My grandmother sent me to the store once to get a can of “ceci beans.” The young Jewish clerk didn’t know what I meant when I asked where the ceci beans were. His dad overheard me, knew my grandma, and took me right to them.

  14. Hummuss hummuss bo bummus
    banana fanna fo fumus
    Hummuss!

    If the first two letters are ever the same
    Ya drop them both and say the name
    Like Bob, Fob f ing Rob
    Or Mary Mary, is contrary

  15. I am happy about the hummus. Great development.

    However, there is no free market in the United States. Big corporations get to do whatever they want and the don’t pay taxes and many enjoy massive benefits from the government. The change in what is being grown in tobacco country is a result of litigation to force tobacco companies to stop marketing to children, be upfront about the hazards of tobacco use, pay for the damage they have done to people’s health and more regulation of tobacco. All of this was government action that took place before the complete capture of our government was successfully executed by a combination of SCOTUS , congress ands big money. Again there is no free market in the US. Corporations only like “free markets” when they are pushing for less regulation or international trade treaties that will allow them to abuse and take advantage of humans world wide. Corporations love monopolies. They hate free markets.

  16. In a “free market” money will flow to where it’s most efficiently used. Only when government intervenes to “control” pricing and “protect” an industry will capital be mis-allocated. My opinion.

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