Right down to the fraction of a cent, here’s the breakdown of where the money you spend on food goes.
The USDA regularly analyzes just where all the money we spend on food goes by industry and it’s a good look at just what you’re really buying when you pick up a tomato or a pound of hamburger from the grocery store. Yes, you’re buying the actual tomato and hamburger (and also hopefully some buns, red onions, blue cheese, and maybe some bacon — it is almost summer after all), but you’re also buying a lot of other things: You’re buying the plastic wrap around the burger, the bag to weigh the tomatoes, the water it took to grow them, the cold storage for the meat, and that circular stuffed into the bottom of your cart.
Also, of note is that the most recent numbers from 2013 are pretty stable with what we saw in the last few years. The one big exception? A rise in farm production costs, which are up 8% over the last two years, and climbing.
Image: USDA, Economic Research Service.