One expectation that consumers likely agree on is that food needs be safe
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Americans enjoy relatively low-cost food when measured as a percent of our income. For several decades, food expenditures in the U.S. have been between 10 and 11 percent of our disposable income. Canada, Europe and several Pacific Rim nations are other countries or regions of the world that enjoy relatively low- cost food. Nations with some of the highest food costs as a percent of income are Kenya, Cameroon and Pakistan.

An implication of relatively low-cost food is that consumers can be selective in the foods they purchase and consume. Consumers can choose among low-cost foods, organic food, ready-to-eat food, raw commodities, gluten-free food, allergen- free food and numerous other options. If a consumer does not care for a particular food, there are almost always plenty of alternatives, and many consumers have the income to pursue those alternatives. U.S. food consumers have the luxury of being picky.

One expectation that consumers likely agree on is that food needs be safe so that it does not cause the consumer to become ill. Fortunately, most food in the U.S. is safe. Even though there are instances of unsafe food, the overall safety of our food is quite impressive.