LESS SPENDING ON FOOD
Americans are buying more food but spending less of their disposable income on it. Affordable food prices and rising income levels have led to greater food security nationwide, with a little pocket change left for many Americans.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service’s annual Food Expenditure Series revealed that an average 9.7% of individuals’ total disposable income was spent on groceries and dining out in 2018. The report found $1.7 trillion was spent on total domestic food expenditures in 2018, up $78.2 billion from the previous year.
While total food expenditures in the U.S. continue to increase, the portion of individuals’ disposable income spent on food decreased to 4.8% in 2017, the lowest level since 2012. Household income is up $6,000 since 2012.
The percentage of household income spent on food is an indicator of national wellness and food security, according to the report. As incomes rise, households tend to spend a smaller share of their total income on food, while the total amount spent on food increases. The U.S. has the most affordable food in the world in terms of total consumer expenditures.
“Food is affordable here because U.S. agricultural producers and Virginia farmers are so good at what they do,” said Wilmer Stoneman, vice president of agriculture, development and innovation at Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “Technology and farm management have improved so much over the last few decades it’s hard not to have a good crop or quality production.”
Stoneman said U.S. production of good food, and plenty of it, keeps the prices low.
“It’s supply and demand—classic economics,” he continued. “We have figured out how to produce high-quality products across the board, keeping prices down, which is a benefit to the consumer. That’s the beauty of a free-market system.”
A VALENTINE CELEBRATION
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spectacular selection of orchid arrangements available for purchase just in time for Valentine’s Day, all to benefit CMSP.
CMSP Executive Director Martha Cotter told Middleburgmystique.com: “We’re thrilled to have this talented pair join us for the most special evening of our year. This concert and the support of our patrons brings world-class music to the local community, and raises critically needed scholarship and outreach funds to preserve and expand music education in the Northern Piedmont area.”
Concert tickets are $125 and are available online at www.piedmontmusic.org or by phone at 540-592-3040. Seating is limited. A reception with the artists will follow the concert.
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM AT THE HILL SCHOOL
FEBRUARY 21, 2020
“Mother Nature has Never Been More Inspiring,” according to Alice Waters. On Friday, February 21, 2020 at 6 p.m., the Land Trust of Virginia and the Goose Creek Association bring you “THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM,” the acclaimed film that chronicles the eight-year quest of John and Molly Chester as they trade city living for 200 acres of barren farmland and a dream to harvest in harmony with nature. Featuring breathtaking cinematography, captivating animals, and an urgent message to heed Mother Nature’s call, “THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM” provides us all a vital blueprint for better living and a healthier planet.
Through dogged perseverance and embracing the opportunity provided by nature's conflicts, the Chesters unlock and uncover a bio-diverse design for living that exists far beyond their farm, its
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