What the Christmas tree shortage means for your holiday

If picking out a fresh Christmas tree is part of your annual festivities, make sure you pad your pocket with a bit of extra cash this season. The U.S. is facing a holiday tree shortage this year, according to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), which may run up prices for shoppers. The shortage can be blamed on the Great Recession the country faced, which began a decade ago. The economic downturn forced some farmers to limit their crops to save money during this time of decreased demand for discretionary items like trees. Christmas trees can take around 10 years to reach full size, so we’re only now seeing the impact the economic downturn had on the industry. “In those years, we were in a recession and tree sales were down, prices were down, and we weren’t planting as many trees,” Doug Hundley of the NCTA told News 12, Long…

A surprising number of adults think brown cows make chocolate milk

Seven percent of all adults in America believe that brown cows produce chocolate milk, according to an online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy. That’s about 16.4 million misinformed folks who don’t know that chocolate milk is made of milk, cocoa and sugar. It’s jaw dropping for most of us, but for decades, educators and observers of all things agriculture have been telling us that we’re basically illiterate when it comes to what’s on our kitchen table. Many people don’t stop to consider where their food is grown or how it gets to the store โ€” or, like chocolate milk, how it’s made. On study commissioned in the early ’90s found that nearly 1 in 5 adults didn’t know hamburgers are beef. Even more adults didn’t know basic farming facts and practices such as what animals eat or how big a U.S. farm typically is. Seemingly, not…