In my quest for better data on food prices, I got sidetracked exploring the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. They have an impressive quantity of food-related data, and I’ll probably be exploring it for quite a while. Some interesting things I’ve found:
- The per-capita availability of chicken in the U.S. has steadily doubled over the past 30 years, to 87 pounds per person per year in 2006. Pork has been pretty much constant and beef has decreased by about 12%.Source (Excel spreadsheet)
- North Dakota is responsible for 20% of U.S. honey production, more than double the share of any other state. Source (PDF)
- In 1996 the USDA commissioned a survey to determine how Americans prefer their hamburgers to be cooked, as a part of studying foodborne illness. I assume that internally it was known as “The Hamburger Study.” Source
- “U.S. Cabbage Statistics” would be a great name for a prog rock band.