Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"You're so fat"

"Your shoes don't fit on your feet"

I must be such a geek. Data brings on music.

Those lyrics, from Robert Palmer's "Trouble" (notably also done by Lowell George), got in my head while looking at some fascinating data from the USDA.

The Economic Research Service maintains historical numbers of available food per capita in the U.S. Some of the stats go back to 1909. How do they do that?

Sure, the Palmer lyrics have to do with a depressed person, "Your car wouldn't start so started to eat your heart out," who has nothing but bad luck. But what I saw today on the Web said fresh and processed vegetable consumption stayed about the same at 336 pounds in 1970 compared to 392 pounds in 2008, but natural cheese went from 11 pounds per person in 1970 to 32 pounds in 2008. That's a lot of cheese burgers, smothered burritos or something.

Anyway, even with a grain, or shake, of salt, it's pretty interesting to see so here's some more.

Not a big surprise bottled water went from 1.6 gallons in 1976 to 28 gallons in 2008. But look at meat consumption per person on a boneless basis. Beef was at 51 pounds in 1909 and 61 pounds in 2008. Then here comes chicken from 10 pounds to 59 pounds.

An interesting side note is the measure of the total meat consumption of beef, pork and chicken started at 102 in 1909 to end at 166 in 2008. But in the 30's during the Depression, consumption dipped for several years, getting as low as 75 pounds in 1935.

But most importantly? Mushrooms (not the fun ones). We ate about two pounds per person in 1969 but seven pounds in 2008.

What's up with that?


Karen Smith Welch said...

You couldn't tell me about the cheese consumption before I added grated cheese to my lunch?

Karen Smith Welch said...

What, you couldn't have me read your blog before I added shredded cheese to my lunch entree?