In class, we briefly talked about food security. In the next week or so, we will be reading a lot about food insecurity, in Dettwyler’s Dancing Skeletons. But we do not need to go to Mali to see food insecurity – we also have problems of food insecurity here in the United States. The Food Research and Action Center just released a report with state and county level data on hunger in the United States.
Here’s an excerpt from the report:
One of the most disturbing and extraordinary aspects of life in this very wealthy country is the persistence of hunger. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that in 2008:
- Of the 49.1 million people living in food insecure households (up from 36.2 million in 2007), 32.4 million are adults (14.4 percent of all adults) and 16.7 million are children (22.5 percent of all children).
- 17.3 million people lived in households that were considered to have “very low food security,” a USDA term (previously denominated “food insecure with hunger”) that means one or more people in the household were hungry over the course of the year because of the inability to afford enough food. This was up from 11.9 million in 2007 and 8.5 million in 2000.
- Very low food security had been getting worse even before the recession. The number of people in this category in 2008 is more than double the number in 2000.
- Black (25.7 percent) and Hispanic (26.9 percent) households experienced food insecurity at far higher rates than the national average.