Working Americans Find Grocery Bills Easier to Pay Than Taxes

February 6 is "Food Check Out Day", which celebrates contributions of Iowa farmers.

Americans will spend less than a dime out of every earned dollar to feed their families this year, thanks to the efficiencies of today's farmers. 'Food Check Out Day' is the date on the calendar which shows how long consumers have to work in this country before they earn enough to pay for their family's supply of food in a year, explains Craig Lang, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau.

According to new statistics compiled by USDA, the average working American this year will have to only work until February 6 to cover their family's year supply of food. That makes the American farmer the most efficient in the world at raising livestock and growing grain. By contrast, workers in Indonesia would have to toil until July 20 of this year to pay for their family's food.

Food in this country takes a much smaller percentage of our overall bills than ever before and, in fact, is often the most-affordable necessity in our household budget, says Lang. Consumers have to work 52 days a year to pay for health care, 62 days a year to pay for housing costs and 77 days a year to pay for their Federal Income Taxes.

Box of cornflakes has 5 cents worth of corn

There are fluctuations in prices for food items at the grocery store, but most can be attributed to global market shifts and the increase in energy prices. Statistics show that out of every dollar Americans spend for food items at the grocery store, $.38 is for labor, $.24 is for packaging, transportation and advertising and $.19 was spent by the farmer on input costs.

"That's an important reminder for Iowans who are generations removed from farming that today's practices and methods keep their food safe and the most affordable in the world," says Lang. "Consumers also need to know that a $4.00 box of cornflakes has a nickel's worth of corn. But a lot of work goes into making that nickel's worth and Iowa farmers are proud to be responsible growers and do their part in feeding the nation and a growing world population," adds Lang.

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