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Feast Your Eyes: 16 Cents of Each Dollar You Spend on Food Goes to the Farm. What Happens to the Rest?

A new report from the USDA reveals the economic underpinnings of our food system.


This month, the USDA's Economic Research Service issued a new report in its Food Dollar series, which "measures annual expenditures on domestically produced food by individuals living in the United States and provides a detailed answer to the question 'For what do our food dollars pay?'"

The report slices the food dollar three different ways, to shed light on "different aspects of evolving supply chain relationships." The most straightforward data set, pictured above, shows that in typical dollar’s worth of US-produced food, 84.2 cents pays for food marketing, while just 15.8 cents is spent on the raw farm commodities themselves.

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