Publications

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  • Price Trends Are Similar for Fruits, Vegetables, and Snack Foods

    ERR-55, March 12, 2008

    Evidence suggest that a wide class of unprepared fresh fruits and vegetables-those that have not been combined with labor-saving attributes-display declining prices along with prices of commonly consumed dessert and snack foods

  • Converging Patterns in Global Food Consumption and Food Delivery Systems

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    U.S. and international trends in food spending, food consumption, and food delivery systems. Across countries and income levels worldwide, consumers are choosing to spend their additional income on some combination of increased quality, convenience, and variety of foods. Food delivery and consumption patterns in middle-income countries are converging to countries with higher income levels. Income growth has been a primary force behind converging global consumption patterns.

  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup Usage May Be Leveling Off

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Since peaking in 1999 at 63.7 pounds per person, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) availability has dropped to 59 pounds per person in 2005. Decreasing use of HFCS is partly due to bottled water and diet soft drinks taking sales from HFCS-sweetened soft drinks. Food manufacturers are using a combination of sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, and bulking agents in more foods, also contributing to decreased use of HFCS.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Research area charts from the February 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Household Food Security in the United States, 2007

    ERR-66, November 17, 2007

    Eighty-nine percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2007, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (11.1 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year. About one-third of food insecure households (4.1 percent of all U.S. households) had very low food security-meaning that the food intake of one or more adults was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food. Prevalence rates of food insecurity and very low food security were essentially unchanged from those in 2005 and 2006.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Research area charts from the November 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Research area charts from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Food Spending Depends on Age and Income

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    By 2030, about 24 percent of the U.S. population will be 65 or older. An aging population will affect how much and what types of food are purchased.

  • Coffee Consumption Over the Last Century

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    ERS's food availability data show a rise and fall in coffee consumption over the past century. Per capita availability of coffee in the U.S. peaked in 1946 at 46.4 gallons per person compared with 24.6 gallons in 2004. Per capita coffee availability is up 22 percent since its low in 1995, due to the increase in coffee consumed away from home.

  • In The Long Run

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    The growing popularity of ready-to-eat packaged salad greens, introduced in the late 1980s, has contributed to the dramatic growth in the amount of romaine, leaf lettuce, and spinach available for consumption in the United States. Spinach availability rose 240 percent between 1985 and 2005, from 0.7 to 2.3 pounds per person. Romaine and leaf lettuce availability rose 269 percent from 3.3 to 12.1 pounds per person. While head (iceberg) lettuce is still the dominant salad green, its availability decreased 14 percent to 20.3 pounds per person between 1985 and 2005.

  • Data Feature: ERS Food Availability Data Look at Consumption in Three Ways

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    ERS calculates annual per capita amounts of foods and commodities available for consumption in the U.S. One time series is unadjusted for spoilage and other losses, and the other is adjusted for these losses. A third time series looks at the annual per capita availability of calories and 27 nutrients and dietary components.

  • On The Map

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Most U.S. households can consistently afford enough food for active healthy living. But 11 to 12 percent of households struggled at times to put adequate food on the table in recent years. USDA classifies such households as food insecure.

  • Struggling To Feed the Family: What Does It Mean To Be Food Insecure?

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Food security-consistent access to enough food for active healthy living-is strongly associated with income, but household circumstances and State-level policies and economic conditions also matter. Health problems are more prevalent among members of food-insecure households than among otherwise similar individuals living in food-secure households. Food security statistics provide reliable information on the hardships households face in meeting basic food needs.

  • Insidious Consumption: Surprising Factors That Influence What We Eat and How Much

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    The prevalence of obesity and diet-related illnesses is rising, despite evidence that Americans are aware of the positive effects of a balanced diet and exercise. Standard tools of economics can only go so far in explaining these trends, but findings from behavioral economics can shed light on several factors which could help economists and policymakers better understand food choices.

  • In The Long Run

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2007

    The total amount of fruit and vegetables (fresh and processed) available for consumption in the United States reached 690 pounds per person in 2005, up 113 pounds, or 20 percent, since 1970. In 2005, per capita availability stood at 275 pounds for fruit and 415 pounds for vegetables.

  • In The Long Run

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2007

    The prevalence of food insecurity—the lack of consistent access to adequate food for active, healthy living—in U.S. households declined in the late 1990s, then increased following the recession in 2001.

  • In The Long Run

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    From 1970 to 2005, the total amount of fruit (fresh and processed) available for consumption in the U.S. increased 14 percent, from 242 pounds per person to 275 pounds per person between 1969 and 2004.

  • Coffee Bean Price Changes Pass Through to Grocery Shelves

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    ERS analysis of coffee industry data found that changes in coffee bean costs are passed through to wholesale and retail coffee prices. Over the past 10 years, coffee bean prices have varied between 3 and 20 cents per ounce. A change in coffee bean prices that persists for several quarters will be fully incorporated into both wholesale and retail prices. A 10-percent change in coffee bean prices translates into about a 3-percent change in retail prices. Retail coffee prices were found to respond the same to both increases and decreases in coffee bean prices.

  • Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Dietary Recommendations

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    If Americans were to consume the number of servings recommended in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, daily fruit consumption would need to increase by 132 percent, requiring U.S. producers to increase annual harvested fruit acreage from 3.5 million to 7.6 million. Daily vegetable consumption would need to rise by about 31 percent, and the mix of vegetables would need to change. Annual harvested acres of vegetables in the U.S. would need to increase from 6.5 million to 15.3 million.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2007

    Research area charts from the February 2007 issue of Amber Waves