Why Does Your Food Cost So Much?

You know how much money you spend on buying food, but just where does that money go? This graphic shows you exactly where your dollar ends up.

The USDA has put together a series of "Food dollars" showing how the costs of your food breakdown. More than half of the average dollar that you spend actually goes into preparation (processing $0.18, service $0.34, and packaging $0.04) vs. $0.12 that ends up back on the farm.


The above graphic is an aggregate for 2008, but you can also further narrow down the data by separating it into the data for food consumed at home and food consumed outside of the home.

As you can see in the breakdowns for 2012, separating home and outside foods makes the sums diverge pretty wildly, with at home food costs made up mostly of processing and trade costs, while outside food costs is mostly service. Also notable is the contrast of how much money farms make from at home food costs versus outside, with home cooking devoting 13 cents of every dollar to the farm, and outside only 3 cents.

At Home


Outside Of Home


Via Food Politics

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