Food Check-Out Week, Feb. 20-26, America celebrates having the safest, most abundant and affordable food supply in the world. It takes just five weeks for the average family of four to earn enough disposable income to pay for his or her family's food supply for the entire year. In comparison, Americans must work even longer to pay for health care (50 days), housing (60 days) and federal taxes (74 days). According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans spend approximately 10 percent of their disposable income on food each year, which is far less that most other developed countries.
With rising energy prices and other consumer goods also increasing, it has become even more imperative for everyone to stretch their food dollars even further. Some tips for smart food shopping include: planning ahead by making a list and sticking to it, reading food labels, taking some time to compare prices for different brands/sizes and always avoid shopping for food when you are hungry as that often leads to impulse shopping.
As farmers, it is our job to provide consumers with the highest quality, healthiest food possible. Growing and raising wholesome, safe food is our top goal. Even through these tough economic times, America has a lot to be thankful for not the least of this is our abundant and affordable food supply.
(signed) Ann Stillman