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Economic Research Service

Where Do Americans’ Food Dollars Go?

In 2017, consumers in the United States spent $1.2 trillion on U.S.-produced food. Nearly all food starts out on a farm, but did you ever wonder how the value added from processing, packaging, transporting, and marketing agricultural food products factors into the costs?

Increased Breastfeeding in WIC Would Increase Federal Costs but Lower Health Related Costs for WIC Households

Breastfeeding rates in the United States fall short of those recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other U.S. health organizations. If breastfeeding in the U.S. increased to medically recommended levels, what would be the economic impact on Federal programs?

USDA Report is First to Provide Consolidated Data on Conservation Practices by U.S. Farmers

Increasingly, food companies, environmental organizations, and agricultural commodity groups are setting ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from farms. These goals are realized through conservation practices such as reduced tillage farming, and precision technologies, like autosteer tractors. Yet, there’s not much nationally consistent data to help farmers and policymakers know which practices are being used, and how the adoption of those practices is changing over time.

REE Gives the Gift of Agricultural Research and Innovation in 2018

Like many of you, I bask in the excitement of the holidays—wrapping gifts, planning holiday dinners, and spending time with loved ones. However, this month also means the end of the year is near, ushering in a time of reflection and anticipation. In USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area, this time of year serves as neither a beginning nor an end. For us, it is a continuation of the scientific research needed to solve the agricultural challenges ahead.

Rural Aging Occurs in Different Places for Very Different Reasons

As the United States population ages, many Americans age 65 or older are making their homes in rural communities. In fact, 19 percent of the U.S. rural (nonmetro) population is 65 years or older, compared with 15 percent in urban (metro) areas. Rural counties make up nearly 85 percent of the 1,104 “older-age counties”—those with more than 20 percent of their population age 65 or older.

USDA’s Role in Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance

Scientists from USDA developed the tools to mass produce penicillin, which was used for treating wounded soldiers over 70 years ago during World War II. Antibiotics are still important in treating microbial infection in humans, animals, and plants. However, microbes can develop resistance to some antibiotics, making them less effective. USDA agencies continue to work on numerous issues related to antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Macro Trends in the U.S. Food System: A Q&A with Anne Effland, Senior Economist, USDA Office of the Chief Economist

What are the macro trends in food production and policy? In this blog, USDA Senior Economist Anne Effland gives an overview of how consumers are shaping the way food is grown and how USDA is supporting the evolving food system. Read more in the article Effland co-authored with Carolyn Dimitri in the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.

Happy Birthday Amber Waves!

For the past decade and a half, ERS has been highlighting its research through its magazine, Amber Waves. As technology has evolved, so has Amber Waves, but the focus on bringing ERS’s latest agriculture and food research to readers in an engaging and user-friendly format has remained constant. In celebration of Amber Waves’ 15th Anniversary, we present a selection of its recent noteworthy stories and share its refreshed website.

USDA Research Progress Towards Global Food Security

Most of us living in the United States are fortunate enough not to wonder where our next meal will come from. Yet across the globe, at least some time during the year, nearly 800 million people do. Not having access to stable and nutritious food sources – or food insecurity — negatively impacts people’s lives. Food security, on the other hand, means access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.