Today is the date in the year when the average American has earned enough to pay for all the food they’ll consume throughout the 12 months of 2004. Iowa Farm Bureau spokesman Aaron Putze says there are a number of reasons Americans have an affordable food supply. Putze says we live in the true bread basket of the world, where a good climate is coupled with the technology and the know-how of the men and women who raise crops and produce food that’s not only safe but abundant. Putze says they call today “food check-out day.”Putze says the event’s been marked for a couple of decades, and as food grows cheaper and cheaper, the date creeps earlier and earlier in February. That’s happening while Americans are getting more and more choices in their grocery store. Putze says the average grocery store offers shoppers over 30-thousand different food items, giving consumers more choices than they’ve ever had before. Putze says at the same time, there’s more and more competition for the retail food dollar, so prices for consumers continue to decline. Putze says the real issue for the Farm Bureau is figuring out how farmers can get a bigger share of the retail food dollar by getting more involved in the “transportation, marketing and retail end of things.” Putze and other Farm Bureau members will be stationed at a suburban Des Moines HyVee today to tout “food check-out day.” By comparison, “tax freedom day” — the day when the average American has earned enough to pay their taxes — comes in late April.
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