Claim: “We spend less of our income on food than any other industrialized nation.”
Fact-check: According to the USDA, The Economist, MotherJones, and The Atlantic, this statement is true. While our food is incredibly cheap, in the Mother Jones article listed below Michael Pollan and other opponents of the industrial food system argue that it is because we do not pay the true cost of food when we purchase it. In other words, there are negative externalities that are not being incorporated into the price of the food. Some of these negative externalities include pollution (and other land degradation) and obesity.
The graph below depicts spending on food and drink as a percentage of household spending and also includes the spending per person per week on food. This juxtaposition illustrates the relative total spending by individuals by country (i.e. a person in Cameroon spend on average $9 per week on food versus $43 per week for an American).
This graph depicts the percentage of household income spent on various food items over time in the United States. The percentage of our income spent on food has been gradually declining.
Links to resources: