The latest U.S. statistics show declines in per capita fruit and vegetable consumption and a greater role for imports compared with ten years ago.
Per capita consumption of citrus declined from 23.5 pounds in 2000 to 20.4 pounds in 2008, according to the 2011 Agricultural U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the U.S., http://tinyurl.com/Ag-census. Imports now comprise about 14.5% of total citrus supply, up from a mere 1.3% in 1980, 4.8% in 1990 and 7.9% in 2000, the report said.
Fresh vegetable and melon per capita consumption was rated at 167 pounds in 2009 compared with 174 pounds in 2000. The role of imports has increased steadily for fresh vegetables and melons, the report said, rising from 13% in 2000 and 20.1% in 2009.
Fresh potato per capita consumption was tallied at 37.4 pounds in 2009, compared with 47.2 pounds in 2000. The import share of fresh potato consumption is still small but somewhat elevated compared to years past. Imports accounted for 7.6% of total fresh potato supply in 2009, compared with 5.8% in 2000, 5.6% in 1990 and 1.8% in 1980.
Bucking the down trend, per capita consumption of fresh non-citrus fruit was rated at 79.8 pounds in 2008, up from 76.6 pounds in 2000, 70.4 pounds in 1990 and 60.9 pounds in 1980. The percent of total non-citrus fruit supply accounted for about imports was 48.6% in 2008, up from 44.7% in 2000.
The report said the value of all U.S. crops in 2008 was $182.5 billion, of which nearly $40 billion was accounted for by fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts.