Breakdown of U.S. Money Spent at the Supermarket
It appears Americans spend less of their money on groceries than they did 30 years ago. In 1982 grocery expentiture was 13%, today groceries take up a bit more than 8% of an American's spending.1 Yet, if you factor in the 18 billion on average the U.S. spends yearly on farm subsidies, the current 8.8% figure is higher.** Feed grains (mostly corn) take 35.4% of that 18 billion. The result is cheaper meat and processed foods sweetened with corn syrup leading to numerous health issues.
Since 1982 Americans taste for processed food and sweets has doubled, no doubt due to their newfound addiction to subsidized corn, i.e., corn syrup.
Total per capita meat and poultry consumption is just slightly higher today than it was in 1982.The step down in cost of meat can be attributed to American farm subsidy dollars at work - since 1982 the U.S. has brought the price of meat down by corralling antibiotic filled animals en mass into factory farms and feeding them subsidized corn as food, versus a free range lifestyle while eating a natural diet of grass. But the good news is that U.S. meat consumption was at its peak from 2002-2007 and has fallen 12% since then. (Animal agriculture farms are not hurt by this as they quickly learned they could export that which is not put on U.S.shelves. i.e., pork exports jumped by 40% in 2008.)4
Figures are in Kilos 1 k = 2.2 lbs. Source: www.economist.com
These are the most recent statistics for worldwide comsumption (268m tonnes a year total) and do not take into account the recent drop in meat consumption in the United States. Yet Americans, on average, still eat half a pound of meat each and every day.2
Chicken legs are 35% cheaper today, than they were in 1982, yet fresh peppers are 34% more expensive. Lettuce and tomatoes are grow differently today then they were thirty years ago.
The developed world's inexpensive processed food and meat costs are maintained due to subsidies and chemical ingenuity.
How much of the world's spending goes toward food. Indonesia 43%, India 35%, China 33%, UK 8.8%.
Unstable food prices have a much more serious impact on those citizens who pay out the largest percentage of their spending on food. Developing world citizens are hit the hardest when it comes to food price spikes. The above map is interactive at the Cicil Eats site. civileats.com
Worldwide food prices have remained fairly steady for many years, but drought, severe weather, armed conflicts and displacement have caused spikes in the past few years.
*80 percent of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are given to animals.
1) Source of Graphs- What America Spends On Groceries, NPR.www.npr.org
2) Mapping Global Food Spending. civileats.com
3) We’re Eating Less Meat. Why? by Mark Bittman. blogs.nytimes.com
4) www.dailylivestockreport.com Daily Livestock Report
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