NPR's food blog, The Salt, the average American ate nearly one ton of food last year, much of it as cheese, sweets, potatoes, and corn. The data, compiled by the US Department of Agriculture, estimates that, per person annually, we consume on average a whopping 630 pounds of dairy (including 31 pounds of cheese), 141 pounds of sweeteners, and 185 pounds of meat. The 273 pounds of fruit and 415 pounds of vegetables may seem to make up for all that, but unfortunately most of the fruit figure is water weight and a large portion of the vegetables are comprised of corn and potatoes, two of the least healthy vegetables out there. All of this accounts for a grand total of 2700 calories per person per day on average, quite a bit more than we need. Of course, you might be well below that number, but these averages speak to a very clear consumption problem in the United States and a heavy reliance on subsidized and processed foods.
This winter, skip the prepackaged and processed foods and buy a bag of produce from your local winter farmers market. It will taste delicious, will be easier on your budget than you think, and will help your local economy, the environment, and your health. Check out our Winter Food Project webpage for details.
Wishing you a healthy and sustainable new year!