Morning Advantage: The Economic Roots of the Horsemeat Scandal

Writing in The Guardian, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett finds an array of economic forces to blame for horsemeat finding its way into British beef. Among them: supermarkets putting the squeeze on farmers and local butchers, whose shorter, simpler supply chains have suffered as a result; rising housing costs, which have cut sharply into family food budgets; low minimum wages that don't leave working people with enough money for decent food; and the work-long, eat-quick culture that has been ingrained in Britain since the first fish and chip shops sprang up to feed factory workers during the Industrial Revolution. In case that sounds like so much left-leaning folderol, the right-leaning Telegraph also ran a piece about attempts by big supermarkets to "bully" farmers into selling their meat at nearly break-even prices. It sounds like we're going to have to get used to paying higher prices to make sure what we're buying is, well, what we're buying. (See "Bonus Bits" below for more stomach-churning news.)

iWANT

A Sneak Peek at Apple's iWatch

Looking at a patent filing (complete with sketches), AppleInsider provides a preview of the loosely guarded secret of Apple's next big product: a watch with a flexible touchscreen. According to the patent, users will be able to secure it to their wrists with a slap bracelet-esque mechanism. And in related news: the New York Times reports on the challenges that Google is facing making its wearable technology offering, a pair of internet-enabled spectacles called Google Glass, look "cool."

THE GLOBAL AVERAGE IS GRIM, TOO

Employee Engagement in China Is Rising, But Still Very Low (Gallup)

The proportion of workers in China who are emotionally engaged in their jobs has tripled in the past three years, but that's not saying much: The figure stands at just 6%, well behind the global average of 11% that Gallup measured in 2009. Engagement, or lack thereof, has an impact on outcomes: Employees in China whose survey results show them to be engaged in their work are 18% more likely to report being extremely productive than employees who are not engaged.—Andy O'Connell

BONUS BITS:

Stories of the Stomach

59 Percent of America's Tuna Isn't Actually Tuna (Quartz)
38,000 Pounds of Sausage Recalled; May Contain Plastic (Christian Science Monitor)
People Are Lining Up to Buy Horsemeat in France (Business Insider)

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