A Snapshot of Food in America

Percentage of households in America that are “food insecure”:


Percentage of food in the country that goes to waste:


Amount the average American household spends on food each week per person:


Amount companies spend advertising food, beverages, and candy in one year:


Percentage of Americans who grow a vegetable garden:


Percentage of food and beverage sales that are organic:

less than 3%

Percentage of 12-17 year olds who say they eat dinner with their families at least 5 times a week:


Percentage of Americans who regularly watch TV while eating dinner:


Average number of miles produce travels before it is sold:


Number of calories the average American eats per day:


Number of calories the average Guatemalen eats per day:


Adult obesity rate in 2008:


Adult obesity rate in 1971:


Percentage of school cafeterias that cook “less than half” of their food from scratch:


Percentage of school cafeterias that serve restaurant-branded fast food:

Click on hyperlinks to see sources for statistics. All other statistics from the 2009 World Almanac and Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio

This is part of a New Urban Habitat series: Snapshots of America:

  1. A Snapshot of Car-Usage in America
  2. A Snapshot of Education in America.
  3. A Snapshot of Waste in America.

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About Abby Quillen

Abby Quillen writes fiction and magazine articles. Her articles and essays have appeared in YES! Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, Colorado Central Magazine, and on Common Dreams, Nation of Change, Reader Supported News, The Daily Good, Truthout, and Shareable.net. You can find more of her writing at http://abbyquillen.com.


  1. Those are some scary statistics but they sure explain a lot.

  2. Thanks for sharing these statistics; always good to be reminded, and they never cease to be amazing.

  3. Linked to this today.


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