There was no currency per se, but suffice it to say that at least 50% of their toil was devoted toward food. Obviously, we don’t have records that far back to back up my statement. Fortunately, the USDA has been keeping tabs on how much we spend on food since 1929. Taken as a percentage of our disposable income, the amount has dropped dramatically in the last 85 years. In fact, relative to our incomes, food has simply never been cheaper. Source: USDA. Interestingly, food away from home (restaurants, takeout, etc.) has actually increased since 1929, from 3.1% to 4.1%. That’s likely because eating out has always been a luxury, and over time, more people have been able to afford it. The decrease in the percentage of our income spent on food, then, comes from food bought for consumption at home. At its height in 1933, we devoted 21.9% of our money toward at-home food. By 2011, it was only a quarter of that amount: 5.7%. That’s a mind-numbing difference. Technology + science = cheap An huge part of that shift is due to tremendous strides in agricultural technology, especially once the nation settled into a post-World-War-II mind-set in 1949.
Think Food Prices Are High? You Have No Idea
Never Gets Eaten My second round of inquiry into The Dating Game report by NRDC, which explains how the food dating system drives food waste in America, was with two authors of the report itself- Emily Broad Lieb, who directs the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, an expert on the legal system that contributes to this situation, and Dana Gunders, NRDCs resident scientist on food waste. My chat with Emily Leib: What is the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, and how did the Clinic become involved in this report? The Clinic is an experiential learning program in which law students are able to engage in practical, hands-on training working with real world clients to impact food laws and policies. Our work on expiration dates started as a project addressing the needs of our client, Doug Rauch, who was looking to start a new model of food store that would sell food that was still good but might otherwise go to waste. After conducting some research for him on all of the state laws regarding food expiration date labeling, we realized that the system was in major need of an overhaul and we thought this was a great way to use the clinics energies. This is an area where the legal system, rather than improving a social issue, is actually at fault for creating more food waste and reduced consumer safety. The first thing that stood out to me in looking at the report is that the food labeling system is described as confused. Why would you say that is? The system most definitely is confused! It is such a mess that it is hard to even call it a system. Since there is an absence of regulation at the federal level, states have stepped into the void and are regulating food labeling in a range of different ways. We had trouble finding any two states that had the same rules. As an example, New York does not require dates on any foods and does not regulate the sale of foods after dates that are voluntarily placed, but the six neighboring states all have requirements that certain foods are labeled and/or regulate sale of foods after those dates. The very fact that states are so inconsistent with one another shows that these dates have nothing to do with food safety, because food safety outcomes are not varying from state to state based on these date labeling laws.
Food in graphic detail
A lot of effort has clearly gone into doing them, yet I sometimes wonder if their focus is really the food and cooking and all those pictures are one reason for my doubts. Food photography is expensive and hard. You need to have someone to cook and style the food, and even then it can be hard to make it look good. Indian food is particularly tough since, as one stylist once admitted to me, it tends to be yellow glop and brown glop and green glop. The usual tactic is to use lot of ethnic accessories (old pots and artfully scattered spices) or extreme close-ups. Either way, the end result rarely helps you understand how to make the dish, or even why you would want to. There is a place for food and cameras and that is on the internet. YouTube videos can be really useful to help you understand tricky tasks like how to clean banana flowers or the deft hand movements essential for the making of Indian breads. But static photos in books are nearly useless and usually add quite a bit to the printing costs. As I turn the pages of these new volumes I find myself muttering: why didnt they save the money and use drawings instead? Of course, good illustrations arent, and shouldnt be, cheap, but would cost much less than most food photography and are a lot more useful in showing you how to cut, knead, shape or do the other intricate actions involved in cooking. Yamuna Devi used them to good effect in her book, Lord Krishnas Cuisine, and Alan Davidson insisted on only using line drawings in his magisterial Oxford Companion to Food and his three authoritative guides to seafood. SIMPLE FOOD & PICTURES Imight be predisposed towards illustrated recipes because they were how I started cooking. When I was growing up, my mother got a copy of Look! I Can Cook, a cookbook for children created by Angela Burdick and first published in 1972.