Imports account for more than 11% of food consumed in the US, compared to 8% in the early 1980s, the US department of agriculture has said.

According to a report by USDA economist Andy Jerardo, US per capita consumption of food now stands at more than 2,000 pounds per year, compared to 1,800 pounds per year in the early 1980s, reported Reuters.

Jerardo said the increased food imports were due to consumer demand for fresh fruit and vegetables all year round, improved shipping and storage technology, and ethnic diet preferences.

Tomatoes, asparagus, olives, artichokes, pecans and shellfish were some of the foods that showed the biggest increases in imports over the last two decades.

More than a quarter of US fruit imports and 38% of US vegetable imports come from Mexico, the report said.