Daily News Editorial – Wednesday is Food Check Out Day
Maybe you didn’t realize it, but Wednesday, Feb. 6 is Food Check Out Day for those of us lucky enough to be living in America.
So what is Food Check Out Day?
It’s the day when Americans will have paid their food bill in full for the year. Unlike health care, which takes 52 days of the year to pay, and housing, which takes 62 days to pay, and federal income taxes, which take 77 days to pay, it takes just 37 days for people to pay off their food bill for the year.
Beyond that impressive statistic, though, is the fact that American farmers are by far the most efficient in the world.
All you have to do to see the proof of that is to look at how your food dollar is spent.
For every dollar you spend at your grocery store, 38 cents goes for labor. Another 24 cents goes for packaging, transportation, and advertising. The farmer, the person who actually produces the food you eat, gets just 19 cents of that total food dollar.
If you want to get down to real terms, realize that the $4 box of corn flakes you buy actually has just a nickel’s worth of corn.
If you’re old enough to remember getting the old Weekly Reader in school, you probably remember when the average farmer produced enough food to feed 25 people. Every year, that number increased. Now, the average farmer feeds hundreds. That’s a whole lot of people to have over for dinner!
Not only that, farmers are on the forefront of technology. It was farmers who were on the cutting edge of using GPS to determine fertilizer and herbicide applications.
We as consumers can do our part to help our local farmers too. We can patronize our local farmers markets where the freshest food around is available during the growing season. We can also buy meat that we know comes from local producers.
We can also buy flex-fuel vehicles that greatly reduce our nation’s reliance on foreign oil.
So the next time you eat, put on your clothes, or crawl between your sheets for the night, think of who made it all possible.