At A Glance

Noteworthy Characteristics

  • Nutrient availability data represent the nutritional values associated with food availability data.
  • Data can be used as a useful adjunct to actual food and nutrient consumption.
  • Loss-adjusted food availability data adjust food availability data for spoilage and other losses and convert the data to MyPyramid equivalents (formerly called servings) and calories.
  • Food availability data are based on records of annual commodity flows from production to end uses, that is, the amount of food produced plus imports and beginning inventories, minus exports, ending stocks and nonfood uses.
  • The methodology for each series is internally consistent year to year, which makes these data particularly valuable for assessing trends in the U.S. food supply and demand.



To collect estimated data regarding foods and nutrients and calories available for consumption for each individual in the United States (U.S.).

Target Population

Commodity foods and nutrients available for consumption in the U.S.


Began in 1909 for most commodities. Conducted annually. Most recent year updated is 2019.


Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Special Note(s)

Jeanine Bentley
Phone: +1 (202) 694-5342

Linda Kantor
Phone: +1 (202) 694-5392


Sample Design

Sampling is not performed for this system. Data are compiled rather than collected through a survey. For further information on methodology:

Food Availability

Nutrient Availability

Loss-adjusted Food Availability

Sample Size

Approximately 200 commodities (types of foods) covered in 2012.

Approximately 27 nutrients and dietary components of commodities in 2009.

Key Variables


NameMethods of Assessment
Daily loss-adjusted* availability of energy from food (1970-2010)Food availability data adjusted for loss and spoilage
Daily MyPyramid equivalents loss-adjusted* food availability (1970-2010)Food availability data adjusted for loss and spoilage
Per capita availability of commodity foods (1909-2012)Food balance calculations
Per capita per day availability of 27 nutrients and calories (1909-2006)Food availability data linked to nutrient composition data
Per capita per day availability of nutrients by food group (1970-2004)Food availability data linked to nutrient composition data
Loss from primary, retail, and consumer levels (1970-2012)Estimates**

Special Note(s)

* The Economic Research Service adjusts the per capita food availability data for food spoilage, plate waste, and other losses to more closely approximate actual per capita intake.

** Details on how food loss is estimated for each level are available through the ERS website

Data Access and Cost

Data Availability

Data can be obtained on the Food Availability Data System website


Free of charge.


Geocode Variable(s)

None available.

Existing Linkages

Food supply nutrient availability data are the result of linking food availability data and nutrient composition data.

Selected Publications

Click here for a full list of publications.


Hiza HAB, Bente, L. Nutrient content of the U.S. food supply, 1909-2004: A summary report. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 2006. Home Economics Research Report No. 56.

Kantor L. A dietary assessment of the U.S. food supply. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Economics Division, Economic Research Service, 1998. Agricultural Economic Report No. 772.

Kiyah JD, Popkin BM. High-fructose corn syrup: Is this what's for dinner? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2008;88(6):1722S-1732S.

Krebs-Smith SM, Reedy J, Bosire C. Healthfulness of the U.S. food supply: Little improvement despite decades of dietary guidance. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2010;38(5):472-477.

Wells HF, Buzby JC. Dietary assessment of major trends in U.S. food consumption, 1970-2005. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, March 2008. Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-33).


Hall KD, Guo J, Dore M, Chow CC. The progressive increase of food waste in America and its environmental impact. PLoS ONE 2009;4(11):e7940.