It’s Food Freedom Day in Canada

Whew!  Just in time….I, like you, have just made enough money to pay for all the food I will eat this year….assuming you are as average as I am.   I’m not 100% sure how it works for the kids….they don’t have jobs, and they still eat quite a bit, so….they may have to go on a diet.  But, bottom line, we pay less than 10% of our GDP on food each year.  According to the government, each household spent $7440 on food in 2008, which was 1.8% higher than 2007.  (Somehow, the government knows EXACTLY how much I owe them the day after my income tax is due, but can’t tell me how much we spent on food any more recent than 2008….) 

In the 1960’s, the amount we spent on food was around 18.7% of our income.  I find it amazing that we spend so little for food in a country that, lets face it, is relatively inhospitable to life in general for 7 months of the year.  Much of our food cost has extra charges for transportation, energy and housing….whether its greenhouses, or barns with heaters.  Imagine being an egg farmer in the tropics….put up a roof, and some netting, and your barn is built….here we have walls, insulation, heaters, big fans, and computerized controls so that our birds don’t freeze in the winter or cook in the summer.

Anyway…I was looking at the numbers for food freedom day, and noticed a few other official numbers that were pretty interesting.  These numbers are from 2009, but are not too far off what is going on today.  The average person eats 16.1 dozen eggs per year (193 eggs), which is down from a high of 23 dozen (276 eggs) in 1960.  Of these 193 eggs, 70% are sold in the shell, and 30% are consumed as processed eggs.  Processed eggs are sold at retail, to hotels, restaurants and institutions, are sold to further processors for the manufacturing of many foods (bakery products, mayonnaise, noodles, etc.) and speciality items such as shampoo, pet foods and adhesives.  Consider Chinese consume 349 eggs per person, Mexicans consume 345 eggs per person, and the Japanese consume 323 eggs per person per year.

Canadians have a vast amount of choice when it comes to eggs.  Eggs farms in Canada produce white, brown, Omega-3, free-run, free-range, vitamin enriched, lutein enriched, and organic eggs.  They come in pee wee, small, medium, large, jumbo and double-yolk sizes.  There are a few farms now that are testing out aviary and furnished cage systems.  It is amazing to live in a country where we can afford to have this much choice!

So….now that I have enough money to buy all my food for the year, I have 3 days to save up for valentines day…..so I don’t have to spend extra money on a comfy couch.

Mike the Chicken Vet

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3 responses to “It’s Food Freedom Day in Canada

  1. Hi Dr. Mike!

    A great post yet again. We as Canadians do have a lot of choice!

    I have one question for you:
    Can we feed our chickens to much table scraps?

    We usually have a salad at dinner time, and the lettuce that my mom picks out we give to the chickens.

    If we give them to much table scraps, will they still eat their layers mash?

    My theory is that if we give them to much table scraps, they will not eat their mash, and then they will not lay.

    Am I correct?

    Andrew

  2. Hey Mike. Wow, I am shocked by the amount of choices you have got when it comes to your egg produce. Why do you think the numbers of eggs consumed in canada are much lower than anywhere else?
    Very interesting post 🙂

    • Actually, Canada’s consumption is not low….it is pretty average….the lowest consumption on the chart I found was 47 per person per year in India….Canada consumes more than the Irish, Finns, South Africans, Greeks….and others. I think egg consumption is related to affluence and cultural preferences.

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