Wednesday, August 12, 2009

US Purchases of Imported Food Doubled in 10 Yrs.

From the USDA study "U.S. Food Import Patterns, 1998-2007":

Using import data from the U.S. Census Bureau, this study examines patterns of U.S. food imports for fiscal years 1998-2007. Results indicate faster import growth trends for consumer-ready foods, such as fruit, vegetables, meats, seafood, and processed food products.

U.S. food consumers are increasingly demanding greater variety, quality, and convenience in the food they consume. As Americans become wealthier and more ethnically diverse, the American food basket reflects a growing share of tropical products, spices, and imported gourmet products.

While the globalized food industry offers U.S. consumers a more affordable array of diverse food products year round, it also increases access for developing countries, such as China, India, and countries in Central America, which have registered rapid export growth.

Growing U.S. consumer demand for increased variety in their diet and more healthful products may have contributed to growth in imports of many tropical products, such as spices, fruits, vegetables, green tea, and unsaturated oils.

U.S. food imports grew rapidly, from $41 billion in 1998 to nearly $78 billion in 2007. Across all food product categories, such as grains, meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables, sugar and sweeteners, import growth was greater among value-added products than among raw commodities. While bulk commodity imports grew at a rate of 14 percent between 1998 and 2007, consumer-ready food products grew over 100 percent (see chart above).

MP: Because of globalization and free trade, Americans now have greater access to an increasing variety of imported foods, at a lower cost than ever before, and with increased health benefits. As the chart above shows, consumer-ready imported food products doubled between 1998 and 2007, from $30 billion to $60 billion. Just another example of how international trade and globalization improve our lives.

Originally posted at Carpe Diem.


At 8/12/2009 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And there those that say it's hard to find good Thai food.

At 8/12/2009 11:42 AM, Blogger Angie said...

So now that we've successfully outsourced manufacturing, farming is next?

At 8/12/2009 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lou Dobbs will cite this and proclaim "Americans cannot even feed ourselves".

Dobbs claims to have an economics degree from Harvard. MP sees this as most educated people do; maximizing the benefits of a globalized age. Unfortunately more and more Americans agree with Dobbs.

The "Buy American" nonsense is only the beginning of the populism. This protectionist anti immigrant disease inflects both parties.

At 8/12/2009 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not one for protectionist views, but our government doesn't look kindly on US production.

At 8/20/2009 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mixed views on imported foods, particularly so called "ready-to-eat" While it provides for a greater variety of food and a network for distribution guarding against local famine, it also leads to dangers of food contamination and food borne disease and illness, intentional or other wise due to lax practices and inadequate public health controls. (Witness recent events involving imports from China)

It also promotes spread of food and agricultural pests and introduction of foreign invasive species.

Al T


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