A massive rise in demand for garlic is making plenty of people in China stinking rich. Prices in China—the world's largest garlic producer by far—have risen 15-fold in big cities and even more in far-flung regions. Two key factors seem to be behind it: garlic's reputed powers to ward off the flu—some schools are hoarding it in fear of H1N1—along with old-fashioned speculators, reports the Independent.
"You need a warehouse, a lot of cash and a few trucks," one analyst tells the Financial Times. "Basically, what you do is try to arrest as much supply as possible, then you bid up the price. Moving garlic from one warehouse to the other, you make millions of dollars." (Read more garlic stories.)