Food calculator shows food spending takes bigger bites out of poor people's income than the rich's

If you were to add up the money you spend on cereal, juice, bread, vegetables, coffee and the occasional late-night fast-food binge, how much would it cost? And how would you compare to other people in your income bracket or age group?

Mother Jones’  food calculator allows you to tally what you spend and compare it to others. You may be surprised at how much you spend. The staff at Mother Jones was.

Around the world, a larger proportion of income is increasingly spent on food. The fact that food prices are going up is likely a major reason why. The latest report by the U.S. Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers shows that prices for meat and dairy products have increased by about 8 percent in the last year, while the price of grains, such as corn and wheat, have doubled since the summer of 2010.

Who gets hit the hardest? Usually, low-income folks. The Chicago Reporter graphed the differences in the amount of money spent on food annually by different income groups.

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Overall, the amount of money spent on food between the lowest and highest income brackets quadrupled--from roughly $3,000 to $12,000 per year, respectively. What's particularly notable, though, is the percentage of an individual’s income that went to food costs. For low-income folks, food took a much bigger bite out of their incomes.

We also looked into how Chicago compared to other major cities in food expenditure. Check it out:

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Data from available here and here.

© Community Renewal Society 2012

Filed under: Health

Tags: food, food stamps, healthy, Mother Jones, poor


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  • Wait, poor people spend a greater % of their income on food than rich people??? No way, you serious?

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