USDA ERS Special Outlook Article on Fresh-Market Limes

    Recall last week one of the assignment questions was about how US lime production, consumption, and imports have changed over time. If you looked at the data closely, you might have noticed that domestic lime production plummeted right while consumption of limes was skyrocketing. What would cause this to happen? If you read the footnotes in the food availability spreadsheet, they give some clue – Hurricane Andrew in 1992 didn’t help the industry. But the story is more complicated.

    While focusing on just a single crop, the article highlights the myriad ways in which different aspects of the food system are intrinsically linked. Some of the aspects the article touches on are crop physiology and disease, culinary trends and cultural preferences, land use pressures, geography and climate, international trade, economics and pricing, storage logistics, and processing.

    Based on the reading, select three examples of places where multiple factors intersect to influence the characteristics and behavior of the lime industry. For each, use one factor as an ‘entry point’ and then expand to others that intersect. Two to three sentences per example should be sufficient. Complete the assignment by uploading or entering your three examples of intersections in the text box.

    For example: Infrastructure – Limited cold storage in Mexico favors heavier domestic use of key limes, which have a longer shelf life. Key limes also tend to be prefered in Mexican cuisine. Here we see the interrelationships between refrigeration infrastructure, culinary preferences, and crop variety features including fruit flavor and storage capacity (you could also go on to include climate and growing regions).

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