The food system accounts for a large share of fossil fuel consumption in the United States, and energy accounts for a substantial and highly variable share of food costs. This intersection between food and energy markets suggests that public and private decisions affecting one market will have spillover effects in the other. For example, would increasing the share of population having diets that align with Federal dietary guidance reduce fossil fuel use in the U.S. food system? Would a carbon dioxide (CO2) tax improve diet quality?
Patrick Canning is a Senior Economist for USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), where he studies the US and global food system with a focus onresearch that informs food policy discussions at the Federal level. He developed and manages the ERS Food Dollar data product, which annually updates answers to the question, “where do our food dollars go?”