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September 11, 2009

Food, Meet Income

supermarketWhere the deals are.First came the news that anti-reformer Sen. Blanche Lincoln has taken over the Senate Agriculture Committee. Now, from the US Census Bureau we get even more bad news for those hoping for serious reform of our food system: the Census Bureau announced to day that middle class income is diving. Real median household income fell 3.6 percent between 2007 and 2008, from $52,163 to $50,303. As Felix Salmon of Reuters points out, that $1,800 drop is real money. Oh and I did I mention that the poverty rate is up, too?

Salmon also directed attention to David Leonhardt at the NYT who observed that "the typical American household made less money last year than the typical household made a full decade ago." [Emphasis mine] And if you look more closely at the data, it now appears that most middle- and working-class Americans saw their inflation-adjusted incomes drop over the last ten years. American dream, indeed.

What does this have to do with food system reform? As both Tom Philpott and I have argued repeatedly: everything.

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