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What Are We Eating?

Per capita consumptionĀ of selected food items, 1980 versus 2005.

Item

Beef (lbs)

Chicken (lbs)

Whole Milk (gal)

Reduced Fat Milk (gal)

Cheddar Cheese (lbs)

Mozzarella Cheese (lbs)

Swiss Cheese (lbs)

Ice Cream (lbs)

Flour (lbs)

Corn (lbs)

Coffee beans (lbs)

Peanuts (lbs)

1980

72.1

32.7

16.5

3.1

6.8

3.0

1.3

17.5

116.9

12.9

10.3

5.1

2005

62.4

60.4

6.6

5.6

10.1

10.2

1.2

15.4

134.1

31.4

9.5

6.6

Read the entire table. Quite frankly, I was surprised by most of it. Sadly, I can’t help but think, “the pizza and fried chicken lobbies must be really powerful.” A better exercise for my intro students is to compare these data with relative price (and income) data for each item. And of course, we must include non-pecuniary costs in the prices — what else could explain the decline in ice cream consumption? I am certainly not contributing to that trend šŸ˜•

One Response to “What Are We Eating?”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    Interesting, a few things I hadn’t really expected.

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