This is part 6 of our serialization of Chapter 4 (Energy) from the latest Resilience guide, "Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable & Secure Food Systems". So how does eating out stack up?
We Americans spend almost 50 percent of our household food budgets on eating outside the confines of our homes, and we derive more than 30 percent of our caloric intake from those meals and snacks.25 It only makes sense that researchers and market analysts would come up with a name for all of that dietary and economic activity.26 “Away-from-home food” is an American passion, second only to our love affair with the car. They are, of course, in cahoots, but that’s another steamy story for later.
25. “Food and Alcoholic Beverages: Total Expenditures,” table 1 in the USDA Economic Research Service Food Expenditure Series, accessed November 26, 2011, http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/cpifoodandexpenditures/Data/Expenditures_tables/table1.htm.
26. Hayden Stewart, Noel Blisard, and Dean Jollife, Let’s Eat Out: Americans Weigh Taste, Convenience, and Nutrition, Economic Research Service Economic Information Bulletin no. 19 (Washington, D.C.: USDA Economic Research Service, October 2006), 1, http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/eib19/eib19.pdf.