The Shmooze

Hummus Shortage Looms in Israel

By Allison Kaplan Sommer

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It’s a crisis sure to rock Israel and devastate the quality of life for Jews and Arabs alike: a possible hummus shortage.

The past year’s scorching and drought-plagued weather has already taken a toll on fruit and vegetable crops in the Middle East. Prices for salad ingredients have skyrocketed and now there are signs that legumes may be affected as well, threatening the supply of the central item of Middle Eastern sustenance.

Hummus manufacturer Moshe Kauftell, CEO of Miki Delicatessen, has issued a dire warning regarding the upcoming shortages and is calling on the government to lower taxes on imported chickpeas: “in light of the local farmers’ inability to supply the food industry with the necessary produce, we are prevented from producing enough to satisfy market demands.”

This not only means the prospect of less hummus, but the hummus that is available will be more expensive. Considering the amount of hummus- and chickpea-based falafel consumed by the average Israeli household, get ready for numerous bankruptcies.

Fun fact: The last time the hummus supply was threatened in Israel, it had nothing to do with agriculture. In 2005, intruders broke into Kibbutz Einat and made off with 75 tons of chickpeas.


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