VOL MCL ISSUE 2908  Agribusiness

While helping clean up at the Bumphus family cookout at which Auntie Ruby’s and Cousin M.K.’s birthdays were celebrated, Teeny Bumphus dumped out the sizable sodden mass of uneaten coleslaw and wiped out the scant remnants of the potato salad tray—and then had the Eureka! moment that has forever changed food distribution. “Ya know, there is always leftover coleslaw,” she said, “maybe next time we should serve half the usual.” While the Bumphus elders excitedly processed and agreed with this insight, Teeny continued, “And the potato salad is always gone—maybe we should serve about 25% more.” Just a few short months later, after the Bumphusses enacted their Cookout Sides Servings Policy, the state of Iowa had accepted the guidelines, followed by several other states and in turn trumpeted in the name of conservation by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. As global demand plummeted for cabbage, carrots and mayonnaise (and therefore eggs, oil and vinegar), China, India, Russia and Korea—the world’s largest cabbage growing countries—were forced to pivot into potatoes, dill and mayonnaise, more than offsetting slaw-related mayo losses. At press time, hundreds of container ships carrying cabbage are idling in international waters, awaiting instruction, and beginning to stink to high heaven. Secretary Vilsack is reportedly considering supporting massive subsidies to encourage the production of ethanol with cabbage. In a related development, Idaho has annexed half of Washington State in order to lay down more potato fields. Lastly, the Bumphusses are planning the next get together, where Teeny intends to take a good look at the baked beans.