Canadian Maple Syrup Heist
Maple syrup is one of the most expensive things you can pour on your pancakes. A bottle generally retails for well over $20. Part of the expense involved in the syrup is the great inefficiency in producing it. It requires anywhere from 5 to 13 gallons of maple sap to make just one quart of syrup. To make sure that it has enough to meet the international demand, the Canadian province of Quebec maintains a Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve. In 2012, during an audit, it was discovered that 6 million pounds of the syrup (worth about $18 million wholesale) had been stolen in a daring heist. This was not some smash and grab theft; it would have taken dozens of trucks to move so many barrels. In the subsequent months, several arrests were made, and some two-thirds of the missing syrup was recovered.
Most Stolen Food
Asked to guess the most frequently stolen food on the planet, some might guess candy or alcohol or even steak. But according to multiple studies, up to 4% of the cheese put up for sale ends up pilfered. Next time you’re in the market, pay attention to the way the store displays cheese, particularly the valuable imported kinds. Generally, it is centrally located and well lit to keep thieves from scampering off. The phenomenon is not completely understood, though researchers indicate that cheese is relatively expensive, easy to conceal, and can be resold to other stores or restaurants. Black market cheese is big business.
American and Canadian tourists traveling outside their respective countries are often astonished to see eggs sitting out at room temperature. They would probably be even more shocked to find out that in the countries of the European Union, the eggs they are getting are straight from the chicken—they have not be sanitized or washed in any fashion. A chicken actually imparts a liquid coating around its egg called a cuticle, which protects against contamination. The layer is mostly removed by cleaning, which involves washing the egg with water of at least 90 degrees and an odorless detergent. The washing actually makes the egg more porous and susceptible to contamination, so it must be kept in a refrigerator. The counter-productivity and expense of this process is astonishing, but American shoppers do not seem soon to relent.
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