How does what we grow compare with what we eat? Can Maryland agriculture support the demand for local food? Are there foods – crops or animal products – that Maryland produces well that are also in high demand by buyers in Maryland? This report, Maryland Grown, aims to help answer these questions and others by comparing what and how much Maryland farmers produce with estimates of how much Marylanders eat.
Data from the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture on crop acreage and animal data in Maryland are first converted into pounds of food produced. Then, estimates of how many pounds of food an average person eats annually from the ERS Food Availability database, data that reflects the amount of food available for human consumption in the United States and often used as a proxy for actual food consumption, are compiled to guage how much food is consumed by the Maryland population. Finally, production and consumption were compared, to get a “fulfillment percentage”, or the percentage of Maryland food supply that could theoretically meet Maryland demand.