Feed me!

It only seems like everything is more expensive, thanks to inflation. In reality, it costs a lot less to eat these days than it did when our parents and grandparents were footing the grocery bills. One thing that mega-farming, agribusiness and cheap fuel have given us is cheap food. In fact, the decrease in the cost of food is one of the reasons that the calculations to determine the poverty level often are criticized—when the calculations first were devised in the middle of the last century, food was the largest expense for American families. Now, it’s housing.

Sources: 100 Years of Consumer Spending (U.S. Department of Labor), American Institute for Economic Research (cost-of-living calculator), U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.