The Onion as Currency?

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I was having a discussion about economics with Stanza over at CookingOnSundays, who mentioned the Big Mac Index, which is a method of measuring the purchasing power parity of various currencies by comparing the price of a Big Mac in each country. This got me thinking (of course) about the global infiltration of onions (contained within the Big Mac).

It occurs to me that no matter the nationality, if you go look through all the cook books in a book store, unless you are looking at desserts, somewhere in the neighborhood of 90-95% of the recipes contain some form of onion. Unlike the Big Mac, the onion has no branding or sacred cow liabilities, no foreign connotations, and as unbelievable as it may seem,  has managed to infiltrate more places than McDonalds and Starbucks combined.

Onions like to keep a low profile. They don’t like to be mentioned on labels. As much as my eyes water just thinking about it, perhaps if we could get them more recognition as the perfect purchasing power parity predictor, we could get them noticed for the overused sub-par filler they are.

Update: Due to the attention this post has getting, I did  a bit more looking into it and had some interesting findings:

In 1958, Congress passed the Onion Futures Act, proposed by future president Gerald Ford; the first and only ban on the trading of futures contracts of a specific commodity in U.S. history.

According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, onions are grown in at least 175 countries.

I’ve been unable to find a list of onion prices around the world anywhere. I’d be shocked if it doesn’t exist, but I bet the Onion Futures Act has something to do with it, since the U.S. is one of the biggest exporters.

4 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. stanza

    That’s because onions are tasty. :)

    I still promise not to include onions if you come over, or if I cook at your house, however.

    Not sure about the variance of the price of onions across the world, however. That is not something I’ve noticed in my travels.

  2. admin

    Heresy! q:

    Updated the post.

  3. So onions are even toxic to currency? I’m not really surprised to find that out! Maybe other intelligent planet species refuse to communicate with us because we have and eat onions! If we get rid of all the onions on the planet, maybe we’ll discover that we have a very friendly extraterrestial neighborhood! I’m willing to try!

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