This article is terrible. Many people don’t understand percents.
[Article summary: The price of food is going up! Animal products often 8% last year, fresh fruits and vegetables only about 4%. Become a vegetarian or vegan, maybe only part time. (Wait, aren’t part-time vegetarians called, “People who don’t eat much meat?”) The overall increase for food was abou 3.5%. But, look! The price of dining out only went up 2%! Start a garden or a chicken coop.)
First, this article does pique my interest about some things, but there’s not much as far as references to do further research. Is the reader really expected to go to the USDA website and just wander about for information? How does the Consumer Price Index increase for food relate to an overall Consumer Price Index increase? Does starting a chicken coop seriously help one save money on food? I’m thinking not. Having raised chickens for several years, even without the expense of building a coop and other start-up costs, we didn’t particularly save money. The headline here is attention-grabbing, but it doesn’t very well describe the article. Since headlines are often not written by the author of the article, I’ll give Mark Bryant a pass on that one.
Encouragingly, in the comment section, many people pointed out that the price of dining out is still going up, just that the difference between dining out and in has decreased. Discouragingly, that’s probably not true. While the lack of data in the article makes this example hypothetical, I’ll give it a shot.
Say it costs a family $50 to eat at home for a week in 2010. Giving it a high-end increase of 4% (in case a good bit of that money is meat and fresh produce, the new total is $52. How much would it cost that family to eat out all those meals? Would it be fair to say three times as much? If so, the 2010 price would be $150. The 2011 price increase would be 2% (of a larger number), $3 to make a $153 total. Thus, the difference has increased from $100 to $101. Now, we could include inflation in here, but I’ve already made up too many numbers here.
I could probably pick apart more of this article, but I think I’ve already put more effort into critiquing it than Mark Bryant put into writing it.