If Americans are honest about the things we routinely take for granted, a safe, nourishing and appealing meal is probably in the top three of everyone’s list. So it’s appropriate that the Farm Bureau is calling attention to the work farmers and ranchers do toward making food so abundant by observing this as Food Check-Out Week with the theme, “Stretching Your Grocery Dollar with with Healthy, Nutritious Food.”

    Farm Bureau members, who wrestle with the same household budgetary and nutrition issues as everyone else, have been using this week to provide tips on how to put more nutritious meals on the table when finances are tight, what the appropriate types and amounts of food are advisable, how to understand food labels and what the “food pyramid” means. Its programs encourage shoppers to make lists before going to the store, shop for competitive prices and patronize merchants that feature high-quality produce. Stick to those lists, compare brands, and read labels and don’t buy things that you aren’t convinced will be eaten.

    Americans enjoy a food supply that’s among the safest, most abundant and most affordable in the world. Food is a bargain in the United States compared to most industrialized nations, and that means more of our disposable income can be used for other needs and luxuries. Based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2008 statistics, the average American spends only five weeks’ pay for an entire year of food.

    Farmers are not only efficient, they produce amazingly high quality and safe products. Few things are more important to our health and safety than the things we eat, so the points the Farm Bureau makes during this week’s Food Check-Out Week observance are worth remembering all year long.

Brownwood Bulletin