August 7, 2012

Podcast: We’re spending 30 percent less of our money on food today than 30 years ago

In this podcast recorded in July, Steve Nelson, a farmer from Schuyler and a member of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, discusses a report from National Public Radio’s Planet Money that noted Americans are spending less today on food than they did 30 years ago.

Using Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, Planet Money pointed out that in 1982 Americans spent nearly 13 percent of their money on groceries. Thirty years later, in 2012, Nelson said, we spent less than 9 percent of our money on food.

That’s a 30 percent decrease in what we spend on food over a 30-year period.

This is a significant decline that comes even though the price of oil and other energy costs are so much higher. Nelson noted that energy costs have a significant impact on food prices but the efficiency and production of farmers and food producers have overcome it over time.

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