The Shmooze

Israel Feels the Effect of a Butter Recession

By Nathan Jeffay

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It is said that Israel is a land flowing with milk and honey. Well I can tell you it isn’t. And that’s not simply my opinion, it’s a factual observation — Israel’s dairy production has been down as a result of a scorching hot summer, and the supermarket shelves here are all the lighter because of it.

In order to keep the nation enjoying milk in their breakfast cereals and cappuccinos, Israeli dairy farms held off from their normal butter production. Of course, they could have cut non-essential items, like chocolate milk (ironically, profit margins on those luxury items are far higher than on butter).

But I digress. So now, here we are, almost butter-less. In fact, things have gotten so desperate in my sandwich-loving household that when my wife and I went out for coffee today, she insisted that we ordered some bread… just so we could take home the minuscule carton of butter the waiter brings with it.

The dairy market is highly regulated, and it’s only now, as a result of a special allowances by the government, that imported butter is starting to arrive. And guess what is leaving Israel on the planes that bring it? A clue – during a recent visit to London, I saw in the kosher shops Israeli chocolate milk.


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