Daily Archives: June 29, 2011

Impress Your Friends and Family with July 4th Food Facts

Summer is about to ramp up into full swing with the upcoming July 4th holiday. Parades, fireworks and picnics will fill many neighborhoods as people celebrate America’s independence. Sensitivehusband and I are looking forward to hosting a picnic – we will be grilling chicken as the main course. And thanks to information compiled by the U.S. Census, I can guess that my chicken originated from one of six states in the South. Below are statistics pertaining to food; for the complete list of information, go to the U.S. Census Facts for Features web page. The data will lend itself to some interesting conversation at your holiday picnic…you may even impress someone with your knowledge of food trivia! Enjoy your holiday, and the data below!

More than 1 in 4
The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 19 million hogs and pigs in March 2011, which is more than one-fourth of the nation’s estimated total. North Carolina (8.6 million) and Minnesota (7.6 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

6.8 billion pounds
Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2010. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation’s total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (4.6 billion pounds) or Kansas (4.1 billion pounds).
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Number of states in which the value of broiler chicken production was $1 billion or greater between December 2009 and November 2010. There is a good chance that one of these states — Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas — is the source of your barbecued chicken.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Over 1 in 3
The odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 36% of the nation’s total in 2010. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia, Washington and New York together accounted for 68% of the fresh corn produced nationally in 2010.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Please Pass the Potato
Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. Approximately half of the nation’s spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2010.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

More than three-fourths
Amount of the nation’s head lettuce production in 2010 that came from California. This lettuce may end up in your salad or on your burger.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

7 in 10
The chances that the fresh tomatoes in your salad came from Florida or California, which combined accounted for 71% of U.S. fresh tomato production last year.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

The state that led the nation in watermelon production last year (750 million pounds). Other leading producers of this popular fruit included California, Georgia and Texas; each had an estimate of more than 600 million pounds.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

81 million
Number of Americans who said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. It’s probably safe to assume a lot of these events took place on Independence Day.
Source: Mediamark Research & Intelligence, as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011