The numbers released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics don’t lie. We Americans now spend more of our after tax dollars on processed foods that any other food group on the charts, including meat. Which is pretty weird since three decades ago, meat was the mainstay of the average meal, and we spent over 30 percent of our food budget buying it.
I’m not sure this is a reason for vegetarians to rejoice, since in prepared and chemically processed food stuffs have taken its place in our bellies.
It’s important to note, however, that those items cost more than meat. Yes, that’s right. I was surprised to read that meat actually costs less today than it did in 1980. For instance, back then steak averaged $7 a pound and today, it costs $4.90, a whopping drop of 30 percent. And economists note that this could explain why the two food groups have swapped places.
Either way, it’s all disturbing to me. Not to lecture, but I am in the group that believes our current problem with obesity as a nation stem from our shift in diet over the past several decades to incorporate more of these foods. Look at other countries struggling with obesity–such as Qatar, recently labeled the world’s fattest nation where 17 percent of the population has diabetes. American fast food has become integrated into the culture and is taking its toll.
NPR has put together some interesting charts based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. Click here to read more.