Where does our food come from?

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, “In 2016, 87.3% of food and beverage purchases by U.S. consumers, including both grocery store and eating out purchases, were from domestic production. The remaining 12.7% were imported food and beverages such as produce from Chile or wines from France.” The process of getting food from the farm to the table is called the Food Supply Continuum. This continuum encompasses a number of steps in three main phases: pre-harvest, harvest and postharvest. Included in pre-harvest is the producer or farmer, transportation of the product, and marketing of the product. The harvest phase includes harvesting the meat, fruit, vegetable or food product and processing it into a usable form. The final stage is postharvest, encompassing retailing the product, distributing the product through the food service industry and, finally, reaching the consumer.

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