Let me give you a couple of sources that *may* help:
"Cole, Ralph" wrote:
> USA per capita food budget vs. the rest of the world,
"The proportion of income spent for food varies widely by household income. For
example, households with incomes of $5,000-$9,999, before taxes, spent about 34%
of their after-tax income for food. Households with before-tax income of
$15,000-$19,999 spent 21% of their after-tax income for food. Households with
incomes of $30,000-$39,999 spent 15% of after-tax income for food. The average
for all houesholds was 14.1%. This figure, based on the consumer survey data,
is higher than the estimates using total food expenditures adn disposal personal
income." -- Food Cost Review, 1950-97 produced by ERS/USDA.
"The proportion of income spent for food varies widely among households of
different sizes and incomes (table 100). Data from the 1996 Consumer Expenditure
Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor showed that the percentage of
aftertax income spent for food varied from 8.7 percent for households with
incomes of $70,000 or more to 34.2 percent for households with incomes of
$5,000-$9,999." (From Food Consumption, Prices and Expenditures 1970-97.
USDA/ERS Stat. Bulletin #965)
When you consider that median household income is something around $46,000 (help
me out here), then lots of households are paying a high percentage of their
income for food. Again, who gets to eat cheap food?
> Farm gate prices 1900 vs. today adjusted for inflation,
The first report quoted above says that in 1929, 23.9% of disposal income was
spent for food. From the ERS/USDA stats: 1952 the retail price of food (using
1982-84 as 100) was 34 and in 1997 160. Farm value in 1952 was 44 and in 1997
106. Farm to retail price spread in 1952 was 28 and in 1997 189. Farm value
share of retail price (in percentage terms) was 47% in 1952 and 23% in 1997.
Of course these are not great numbers since USDA does not do a good job of
separating out farm value -- live chickens processed by ConAgra count as net
farm income for instance.
> % of retail food dollar going to farmer vs. going to processors,
Supposedly, from USDA:
21% goes to fam value, 38.5% to labor, 8.5% to packaging, 4% to transportation,
3.5% to energy, 3.5% to profits, 4% to advertising, 3.5% to depreciation, 4% to
rent, 2.5% to interest, 1.5% to repairs, 3.5% to business taxes and 2% to oter
costs -- out of $1 spent on food in 1997 in the US.
Farm value is greatest in meats and least in grains. Again, same problem as
stated above, how do you separate out what goes back to firms like ConAgra for
their live birds from actual value going to what many on this list would
consider farmers? Notice those numbers never separate out a statistic for
Just for grins: After-tax profits as a percentage of stockhold equity for food
manufacturers in 1980 was 14.7 and 24.2 for 1997 (3rd quarter). For retail food
chains it was 13.7 in 1980 and 20.7 in 1997 (4th quarter). For farmers?
> Estimates of the 'real' cost of food production including all resources and
> How much of the food produced (or imported) is wasted post-harvest vs.
> consumed in the USA.
If you ask, people at NASS will help you out on these statistics. You can
access stuff at:
Also, the reports I quoted are on line at:
Also just go to http://www.econ.ag.gov/Prodsrvs/research.htm for lots of
information -- but it's really important to know how they arrived at their
-- Mary Hendrickson, Ph.D. Network Coordinator Food Circles Networking Project University of Missouri Outreach and Extension Department of Rural Sociology Columbia, MO 65211
Tele: 573-882-7463 Fax: 573-882-1473
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