Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nice graphics showing the change in prices in the last 30 years of foods we commonly purchase. Do you think it is more or less today?

Here are some quick to read graphics (ALL from NPR) that will give you "food for thought" when, well, you have thoughts for food. 

The first one compares the percentage of money the average household spent on the various major food categories in 1982 and 2012. Amazingly consistent EXCEPT for we spend 31% LESS on meats (driven by subsidies?) and slightly MORE  than 100% on processed foods/sweets (driven by technology?).

In regards to the category "Meats" this does not mean that we eat less meat. The next chart shows we can consume more of it because a broad range of meats are significantly  CHEAPER today relative to 1982 (Prices are adjusted for inflation).  The same can be said for many other food items as well.

Here is the same data in bar graph format.

Lots of foods considered healthy have become less expensive over time. However, they have to compete with the category "processed foods/sweets"---tastes good, more filling... 

I can tell you from personal experience, the latter category wins every time over the former.
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