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Food Facts

Food Facts

What's the word on sustainability?

Did you know these facts about how farmers and ranchers are continually improving to meet consumer needs?

Sustainable beef

Sustainable pork

Sustainable eggs

Pizza starts on a farm

Pizza is arguably our favorite food. Check out our page devoted to all things pizza!

Americans pay the least for food

U.S. consumers spend just 9% of their disposable income on food each year, while those in other countries spend much more. For instance, Brazilians spend 17% of their income on food. People in China spend 22% of their disposable income on food.  

Taste, not waste

Each month, Americans throw away about 25% of the food they bring home. In addition, a whopping 40% of all food grown and produced in the U.S. is never eaten. 

One U.S. farm feeds 172 people

America's farms and farmers are the world's most productive. Today, each farm produces food and fiber for 172 people annually in the United States and abroad. In 1975, that number was 98 people. 

How will we feed us all?

The global population is expected to reach 9.1 billion by 2050, which means the world's farmers will have to increase meat production by 43% and grain production by 6% each year to feed everyone.

Biotechnology benefits consumers

Improved crop disease protection through biotechnology provides a more reliable harvest. Use of biotech crops worldwide has led to an 8.6% reduction in pesticide applications and helped increase yields by 22%. This means food is consistently available and more affordable.

Doing more with less

Agriculture accounts for less than 10% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, far less than transportation, electricity generation, and industry sectors. Non-ag sectors account for 90.01% of GHG emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

U.S. milk production has increased by 53% since 1990, yet per-unit emissions have decreased by 26%.

How big is an acre and what can it grow?

An acre is about the size of a football field without the end zones. Depending on the soil type and fertility (and how much rain and sunshine that acre gets) on average, that acre can produce:

  • 840 lbs. of cotton -- One bale of cotton weighs about 480 lbs. One bale can be used to make 215 pairs of jeans or 313,600 $100 bills.
  • 2,784 lbs. of wheat (or 46.4 bushels) -- One bushel of wheat produces about 42 pounds of flour, which can be used to make 42 loaves of bread or 42 pounds of pasta. One bushel of whole wheat yields 64 pounds of flour and makes 64 loaves of bread or 64 pounds of pasta.
  • 50,000 lbs. of strawberries -- Just one serving of strawberries provides 160% of your daily vitamin C. 

All facts courtesy American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture's publication Food and Farm Facts