Test Your Knowledge of Food Finances!

Kara Newman, The Secret Financial Life of Food: From Commodities Markets to Supermarkets

We conclude our week-long feature on The Secret Financial Life of Food: From Commodities Markets to Supermarkets, by Kara Newman, with a quiz that tests your knowledge of the finances food (Click here for the answers):

1. Where is the first written reference to the treatment of food as a financial commodity to be traded for future delivery?
a. New York Times
b. The Bible
c. Phoenician clay tablets
d. French newspaper Le Monde

2. Which spice accounts for nearly 35 percent of the world’s spice trade and is the only spice to have been traded on the futures market in the United States?
a. Pepper
b. Salt
c. Paprika
d. Cinnamon

3. Traders in corn futures use a loose formula to determine how much corn they will need in the coming season. According to the rule, feeding it five pounds of corn results in a pig gaining ______ pound(s).
a. Ten
b. Seven
c. Five
d. One

4. Atop the historic Chicago Board of Trade building sits a statue of Ceres, the goddess of what foodstuff that the board was created to trade?
a. Salt
b. Cattle
c. Grain
d. Olives

5. What city never had a grain exchange?
a. Portland, Ore.
b. San Francisco, Calif.
c. Omaha, Neb.
d. Tallahassee, Fla.

6. In the early twentieth century, the “butter and egg man” was a common stereotype of a merchant who traded in receipts for dairy products. A 1925 play by George S. Kaufman and a 1926 song by Louis Armstrong portray the “butter and egg man” as
a. A gullible, philandering nouveau riche
b. A pious churchgoing family man
c. A rich gentleman who parties every night
d. A country bumpkin

7. The War of 1812 shut down ports in the United States and caused Americans to seek alternatives to the tea and alcohol they had been importing from Britain. To what trendy French beverage did American tastes turn?
a. Absinthe
b. Bubble tea
c. Coffee
d. Sparkling water

8. What popular image was derived from the great cattle drives throughout Texas in the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s that rounded up feral cattle for market to meet the post–Civil War demand for beef?
a. Lone Ranger
b. Battle of the Alamo
c. Trail of Tears
d. Cowboy

9. What agricultural commodity futures play a starring role in the plot of the film Trading Places (1983)?
a. Apple juice
b. Potatoes
c. Orange juice
d. Pork bellies

10. Which famous American businessman saw great potential for the industrial use of soybeans, ordering his scientists to undertake more than $1 million in research on soy and showcasing the results at a World’s Fair?
a. Henry Ford
b. John D. Rockefeller
c. Bill Gates
d. Ray Kroc

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