Where does the food dollar go?

An illustration showing the food dollar in 2008.

A new ERS food dollar series measures annual expenditures on domestically produced food by individuals living in the United States and provides a detailed answer to the question "For what do our food dollars pay?" Farm share (15.8¢ in 2008) is measured as the average payment from each food dollar expenditure that farmers receive for their raw food dollar commodities. The food marketing bill (84.2¢ in 2008) is measured as the average value added to the raw food dollar from each consumer food dollar expenditure and includes all other costs associated with food production including processing and distribution. This figure is from the ERS report, A Revised and Expanded Food Dollar Series: A Better Understanding of Our Food Costs, ERR-114, February 2011.

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