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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

100 Years of Eating in America in Four Handy Charts

The USDA's Economic Research Service now has a full century of data on food availability in America.

This one-of-a-kind data set measures which food commodities are available to eat at the national level and provides the foundation for estimating if the nutrients available support a healthy, well-nourished citizenry. The data date back to 1909, allowing researchers, marketers, and policymakers to examine historical consumption trends and shifts in food demand.

The four charts below from the linked article are great ways to absorb the data and see the trends in what foods are available per/capita. I'll take a stab at giving the charts names.

The "Have You Ever Noticed that Half the Items
on a Restaurant Menu Have Chicken" Chart


The Cheesehead Century Chart


The "Sweet Potatoes, We Barely Knew Ya" Chart


The "I Wonder What Foods the Government is Subsidizing
and Throwing the Whole System Out of Whack" Chart


Feel free to offer you're own "lame attempts at humor" chart names if you like.

Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at