Escambia Farm Bureau Marks Annual Food Check-Out Week

February 27, 2010

The Escambia County Farm Bureau recently celebrated Food Check-Out Week, the week into the new year where the average household will have earned enough to pay for its food for a year.

The average cost of food in America remains affordable overall. According to the most recent information from the Agriculture Department’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service, American families and individuals spend, on average, less than 10 percent of their disposable personal income for food.

With the continuing economic squeeze, many Americans are concerned that the cost of a healthy diet is out of reach. However, according to an Agriculture Department study, the cost of eating healthy has not changed as much as less-healthy alternatives. But eating healthy food within a budget does require smart shopping.

Farm Bureau’s Food Check-Out Week is devoted to helping teach Americans how to stretch their grocery dollars with healthy, nutritious food. America’s farmers and ranchers are committed to producing safe, healthy and abundant food. And they share a common concern with consumers when it comes to putting nutritious meals on a table while sticking to a tight budget. U.S. consumers still spent under 10 per cent of their disposable income on food according to the latest USDA data. Consumers in other countries spend much more: France- 14 percent; Japan-15 percent; China-35 percent; Philippines-37 percent and Indonesia- 46 percent.

A recent USDA report favorably supports the economics of healthier eating. Recent food price data show that prices for unprepared, readily available fresh fruit and vegetables have remained stable relative to dessert and snack foods, such as chips, ice cream and cola. Therefore, as defined by foods in the study, the price of a “healthier” diet has not changed compared to an “unhealthy” diet.

Farm Bureau’s Food Check-Out Week is aimed at helping American consumers learn how to shop effectively to put nutritious meals on the table with fewer dollars.

“Learning to use your grocery dollars wisely ensures that nutrition isn’t neglected,” according Dorothy Cunningham of Escambia Farm Bureau Women’s Committee. “Fruits and vegetables – along with whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, beans, eggs and nuts – are an important part of a healthy diet. Buying fresh produce when it is in season and costs less, while buying frozen fruits and vegetables when they are not in season, is a smart way to stretch that dollar.”

Here are some tips that consumers can follow to help stretch their food dollars :

Plan ahead before going to the grocery store. Make a list of the foods you want to serve during the next week. Check your newspaper for grocery store ads and coupons. Stick to your list. Do not go to the cookie or snack aisle if you don’t “ need” to. Shop the perimeter of the store. Produce, dairy products and meat are generally found on those outside walls. A tip for keeping produce fresh longer is to store it in a perforated plastic bag. This stops condensation and shriveling. Make holes in a plastic bag with a paper punch, knife or another sharp object about six inches apart all over the bag. When you get home, immediately store any fresh or frozen products especially meat.

For more specific information on nutrition , meal planning and food preparation, contact a registered dietitian.


4 Responses to “Escambia Farm Bureau Marks Annual Food Check-Out Week”

  1. Betty Lou on February 28th, 2010 11:54 pm

    Not trying to be a know it all but heres a very simple meal, good and fairly cheap

    1/2 pot boiling water = add salt and pepper
    cheap all ready peel bag. rinse cut in half throw in water
    1 large onion = chopped add a garlic or two smash it with the side of your knife.
    throw in slow boiling water
    Add 1 large can of diced tomatoes and brand to stew- let this cook about 30min at slow roll covered.
    add what ever beef or chicken,meat you have chopped up. Cover let simmer for a while 20 – 30 min.
    if you have a cup or two of beans, corn, totilla chips toss those in tool

    5lb pototoes peeled=diced about biggest your thumb

  2. Bob on February 28th, 2010 8:41 pm

    When I was growing up we had a standing rule. When we come to the table for the family meal, no one complained about what mom had cooked. She had done the best she could with what was given to her. Times have changed and we find ourselves more and more saying ‘I don’t like this or that.’ Meat was a rarity at our house,and we have allowed our children to rule the household,telling parents what they will or won’t eat. We have the best food supply of any country in the world,and still we know not how to appreciate it.

  3. DAVID on February 27th, 2010 6:36 pm

    Sure they will… when given the ultimatum of eat this or don’t eat at all… and some serious follow up with that, they will eat whatever you put in front of them. Unfortunately, too many parents don’t have the “parenting skills” necessary to say NO or act in the best interest, not the immediate interest, of their children.

  4. Angi on February 27th, 2010 2:54 pm

    Personally every time I go grocery shopping I try to buy the more healthier foods for the household, and of course when I get to the checkout it is extremely costly… The prices of grocery items have went up I can grant you that for sure, and it’s extremely hard when you have a child or children that won’t eat just anything…

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