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What's wrong with this food picture?

Here's a chart in the November edition of Bloomberg Markets:

Bb_foodimports_sm

Curiosities include: how they split up the lamb chop, why an onion is chosen to represent "fresh vegetables/melons"?

The chart contains some strange data that make readers feel nervous. For example, the fish image seems to say 88 percent of seafood eaten in the States are imported, and yet the two largest importing countries listed below (China and Vietnam) together account for only 22.5 percent. So the residual 65.5 percent must be split among at least 10 countries each accounting for not more than 6.5 percent of the total.

Then when you look at vegetables, Mexico and Canada together supply 72 percent. But the onion graphic tells us it's less than 20 percent. The categorization seems to be different between the top and the bottom layers. We have "fruit and nuts" / "fresh vegetables/melons" on the one side, and "fruit" / "vegetables" on the other side.

And why are melons combined with fresh vegetables rather than fruit?

Comments

Mike

They actually grow fruits and vegetables in different country's as they can get away with a lot spraying the soil with a lot more dangerous pesticides. If we want to be healthy we have to known where are food comes from and how it is grown.

corbin

"Then when you look at vegetables, Mexico and Canada together supply 72 percent. But the onion graphic tells us it's less than 20 percent."

You're misinterpreting one of the clearer parts of the chart. The onion graphic shows that 20% of fresh vegetables/melons are imported. The bottom part then shows that 72% of imported vegetables come from Canada and Mexico. There's no conflict there.

Kaiser

Corbin: you're probably right but what clue on the chart leads to that interpretation? The word "supplied" doesn't convey that meaning nor does the concept of "largest exporter" which leads us to think in terms of worldwide exports.

corbin

The word "supplied" isn't on the chart.

You're right that "largest exporter" is unclear; I interpreted from context that they meant "largest exporter into the US", since it's a USDA study and it's talking about "Americans", but it's certainly ambiguous.

Alex

This horror contains interesting numbers, but the graphics are just in the way. A table would be far better: http://www.wordstream.com/articles/google-statistics

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