Thursday, June 14, 2012

Americans’ Food Spending at All-time Low

A recent report from NPR, based on numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that food spending, as a percentage of household income, has declined drastically over the last 60 years due to declining food costs. At first glance, that may sound like a good thing, but unfortunately, when it comes to food, you get what you pay for— sort of!

I’ve written many articles in this space explaining that while the rise of factory farming may be lining the coffers of Big Food, it is actually contributing to the health decline of our nation. And while this latest research shows that factory farming has “worked” as a means of bringing down food costs, it fails to connect the dots to the real costs involved with poor health over the life of someone who may be suffering from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or any other number of diseases brought on by the poor diet perpetuated by the factory farming model.

Need proof? Note that the medical care expenditures shown in this same data have more than doubled since 1949.

In addition, this research also fails to point out that a large part of the reason for the decline in food prices is government subsidies granted with your tax dollars to factory farms and producers of cheap livestock feed across our country. Thanks, Uncle Sam, but I’d rather just keep the money and use it towards more nutritious foods of my choosing!

Don’t be fooled by the data. Your household may be paying less for food than an average household in decades past, but as a society, we are paying the ultimate price— the health of our loved ones.