Food Costs Soar Here in the U.S. Why Do Americans Spend Less to Feed Themselves Than Any Other People On the Planet? TIME Has Th
Posted Dec 18 2008 7:35pm
Food costs are on the rise, as various news outlets have reported. But we need to look deeper into this whole phenomenon, something that TIME magazine's John Cloud helps us do. The intrepid reporter offers a wonderful perspective on our food spending patterns.
In fact, he says that despite the recent price increases, "Americans still spend less to feed themselves than any other people on the planet--probably less than any monetized society in history."
What's up, Americans? Why don't we Americans care about feeding ourselves well? Why do we fork over only 9.9 cents of every dollar we spend on food when people in Britain spend 16 % of their household expenditures on food; Brazilians, 23 percent, Thais, 29 percent?
TIME magazie's John Cloud also observes that these rising food costs are due to our food being shipped great distances and gas being high. He also cites demand for ethanol triggering the price of corn to spike, and thousands of processed foods containing such derivatives like high-fructose corn syrup. (Of course, as you'll read here and in my book SUGAR SHOCK!, I'm not a fan of HFCS nor other refined sweeteners.)
In the fascinating TIME story, you'll also learn about U.S. subsidies of corn, which lead corn-dervied snacks to be well prices and convenient; "Engel's law" about how "as you get rich, you spend proportionately less to eat"; etc.
And then, a big hurrah for reporter John Cloud, because he suggests: "In short, we should stop subsidizing junk [food]." What's more he points out that healthy food, on a dollar-per-nutrient basis is not more expensive and more satiating than processed junk food. Read the TIME article now.