While times are tough for most Americans today, the United States is still a land of abundance. Nowhere is that as evident as in the grocery store. Food prices may be rising, but U.S. food is still the best value on the market.
According to USDA, the average U.S. consumer spends just 10 percent of his or her income on food. By comparison, in the 1960s, Americans spent 15 percent of their income on food. In some developing countries today, consumers can spend up to 50 percent of their income on food.
As for those who provide the food, every day, 2.2 million U.S. farmers battle uncontrollable factors such as flooding, drought, pests, and plant and animal diseases to help provide food for today’s world population of nearly 7 billion. Still, U.S. farmers receive less than 12 cents of each dollar spent on food in the United States. According to USDA, the majority of food costs cover things such as the cost of petroleum for transportation, and costs associated with processing and packaging the food.
The United Soybean Board has released a new video, featuring soybean farmer and USB Director David Hartke discussing U.S. food prices. “Every day, consumers rely on farmers to provide a bountiful and safe food supply. Farmers continue to do this, day in and day out, regardless of the challenges and risks they face,” he notes.
As for those farmers, USB surveys have shown that more than 80 percent of U.S. soybean farmers feel an obligation to help feed the world. USB remains committed to this charge by supporting U.S. soybean farmers through research on better farming practices and new U.S. soybean varieties that could produce higher quality and greater amounts of U.S. soy, USB officials note.
Through this research, U.S. farmers have been able to increase yields sustainably and will continue to do so to meet the challenge set by the United Nations to increase food production by 50 percent by 2030. This increase will be necessary as the world population grows and as people in developing countries can increasingly afford to improve their diets by adding meat.