The Food Availability Data System, created by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), has just been updated. For many of the several hundred food commodities covered, this new release marks 100 years of data – from 1909 to 2008.
“Food availability” is essentially the per capita amount of food in the U.S. food marketing system available for consumption. ERS economists include production and imports of the various foods, and exclude exports as well as farm and industrial uses, to arrive at an approximation of what Americans consume on average. Food availability includes all food-from grocery stores, restaurants, school cafeterias, and other eating places.