Let’s Celebrate Food This Holiday Season
‘Tis the season for family gatherings and holiday celebrations. With food-centric holidays like Thanksgiving coming up, it’s the perfect time to celebrate our food and the hands that grow, raise, transport, and prepare it for our family feasts.
We live in a time where food eats up (pun intended) a small share of our disposable income. In 2018, Americans spent just under 10 percent of their disposable income on food, including food purchased to consume at home and food purchased to consume away from home (United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 2019). Food has maintained its 10-percent share for the last two decades, following a steady drop from its share of nearly 17 percent of total disposable income in 1960, leveling out at around 10 percent in 1998 (USDA ERS, 2019).
Getting back to the holidays, research conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation estimates the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at $48.90 (AFBF, 2018). That’s less than $5.00 per person for plates full of turkey and all of the fixings, including stuffing, sweet potatoes, peas, cranberries, a vegetable tray, rolls with butter, pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream, and a glass of milk to wash it all down. And that’s not even counting the meals made with the leftovers, including Thanksgiving turkey classics like turkey soup and turkey-and-stuffing sandwiches!
The reality is that we have lots of choices when it comes to preparing and serving food to our families. No matter the selections you make to carry out your holiday traditions, you can count on all of the options stocked on grocery store shelves, available at the farmers market, or served at your favorite restaurant as being nutritious and affordable.
In the spirit of the season, Illinois farmers are grateful for our efficient food system and customers of food, fuel, and fiber who keep our families in business. Happy Thanksgiving from our families to yours.