Interactive Charts and Highlights

This page provides interactive charts on various aspects of food availability:

Food consumption patterns change over time. Most consumer surveys of dietary intake cover one or several years of consumption, and many are not representative of the total U.S. population. So how do we track U.S. consumption patterns over time?

ERS has developed a unique data system that provides proxies for actual consumption. The ERS Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System includes three separate but related data series that look at different aspects of U.S. food consumption:

  • Food availability data,
  • Loss-adjusted food availability data, and
  • Nutrient availability data.

These series are constructed using a wide array of data, such as annual production, imports, exports, nonfood uses, and beginning and ending stocks for each commodity along with information on serving weights, data on the nutrient composition of foods, and the number of residents in the United States.

The Food Availability Data Series estimates consumption trends over time, with data extending back to 1909 for many commodities. The data are most commonly used to do:

  • Measure the average level of U.S. food available for consumption,
  • Serve as a proxy for food consumption,
  • Show year-to-year changes in the food availability of major foods,
  • Identify long-term consumption trends,
  • Permit statistical analyses of effects of prices and income on food consumption, and
  • Make custom graphs of the availability of particular food groups or foods.

For more information on the data, see: Food Availability Documentation and Loss-Adjusted Food Availability Documentation.