What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us
By The Numbers

Would like a little grated wood on your pasta?

Tobin Low Feb 16, 2016

You’ve made it through another Tuesday, and we applaud you. As a reward, here are some need-to-know numbers to end your day.

via GIPHY

Tuesday saw a joint announcement from Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, stating the four oil producers would freeze oil output. The move comes as prices hover around $30 a barrel. As the New York Times writes, it’s an interesting turn of events on a couple fronts, as Saudi Arabia will have to reverse its increase in production in recent months, as well as unify with Russia  (the two backed different sides of the Syrian civil war).

Speaking of Russia, it was announced that the Kremlin intends to raise more than $12 billion by selling off state-owned assets. Among the corporations possibly for sale: the airline Aeroflot, the oil giant Rosneft, the diamond miner Alrosa and Russian Railways. While some analysts say the privitizations make sense, others worry that the the move won’t actually bring in as much money as hoped.

And here’s a fun fact to think about as you sprinkle shredded Parmesan onto your pasta this evening: it might just be wood. Cellulose, to be exact, is an “anti-clumping agent” made from wood pulp. It’s allowed in grated cheeses up to 2 to 4 percent. But as Bloomberg found, products labeled “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese” had as much as 7 to 9 percent wood pulp.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.