Hummus has been in the news a lot lately, causing controversy over its origins (Israeli? Arab? Who knows?) but for all the hummus lovers out there, the worst news is yet to come.
A global chickpea shortage has struck the world, driven by poor crops in some of the chickpea producing countries of the world. The price of hummus has soared recently, increasing by 12% since January 2017, and habitual hummus devourers (perhaps with some crispy pita, chips or falafel) have find cause to weep.
Last year, buying a 10 oz. tub of hummus would set you back £1.14, or $1.62. This year, buying hummus will cost you £1.47, or $2.08, according to UK site The Grocer. Demand for hummus has increased all over the world but supplies have not been able to match demand. The average American ate about 1.85 pounds of chickpeas in 2017, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. Will the average American this year have to suffer by only consuming half a pound of hummus? Why are we being punished like this?
So how should the Jews prepare themselves for a future without hummus and without hope?
First, begin stockpiling hummus while you still can, before the inevitable market inflation takes even more of a toll on America. Second, memorize the taste of hummmus so you can tell your grandchildren about the food that once ruled the earth. Third, look into growing your own chickpeas. They require about 100 days to grow, some tender, loving care and patience.
Shira Feder is a writer at the Forward. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org