14% of Americans -- 48 million people -- are "food insecure," and it's about to get much worse


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/20/14-of-americans-48-million.html


This country is about as far from “Christian” as you can get (since most Tea Baggers claim to be "Christian).

Jesus wept at the things done in his name…


Some people seem to collectively find it easier to blame the disadvantaged for having “poor moral fiber” than believing inequity has increasingly pushed individuals, families, and communities through tattered safety nets, into the water, and under the rising waves of unfettered capitalism.


We have to restrict and cut and gut Big Government programs like Food Stamps. If the Undeserving Poor have enough to eat, they’ll have enough energy to revolt! And then what will happen to the Natural Order?


America collectively read this article then cackled maniacally and threw away half its food


It’s the Just World Hypothesis combined with victim blaming; it’s easily reached when one’s own self-image and self-worth (on multiple levels) is bound up in the thought of “I’m a self-made person, nobody handed me anything on a plate” and not wanting to acknowledge or recognize the numerous systemic and structural advantages, plus pure luck, that granted that success. Since, in their minds, success or failure is based purely on merit and skill, it makes what happens to the “losers” in the system their own fault, and therefore, not the responsibility of the successful one.

Add to that that even getting those “winners” to acknowledge the luck factors and random chance not only diminishes their own self-image, but introduces the “If not for this lucky break, you’d be just like them,” and you have a push-and-pull effect away from acknowledging those factors, and will lead to active denial and victim blaming. “No! I can’t be like them! I’m different! I wasn’t just lucky! I’m better than they are.”

So you have people who say that, well, “Nothing was handed to me on a plate” when everything they have essentially was (good illustrative comic on the concept at link).


Starvation is how you control the masses, well it’s one of the ways.


Pretty much.

I prefer being soused all the time myself.


“It’s not madness madam. It’s meat!”


Didn’t something like this happen in France years ago? Didn’t that end with the rich meeting the sharp side of a blade?


Not just fiber. They also lack protien, carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals…


Just to clarify, Food Insecurity does not necessarily mean going hungry. It mean can mean one of two things:

Food Insecurity
Low food security (old label=Food insecurity without hunger): reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.
Very low food security (old label=Food insecurity with hunger): Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.

Source: http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/definitions-of-food-security.aspx

I couldn’t find how the 14% is split between the two. But the graph lower in the page is interesting.


I did an analysis run for our Badger Care programs on high cost pregnancies (NICU babies, over a million dollars, that sort of thing)

Weirdly, despite being given a bunch of conditions and histories to look for, my decision tree kept percolating ‘was not in the system for more than 3 months’ to the top (by two orders of magnitude). After the clinicians went digging it was pretty obvious that nutrition was a major issue and they were women who had fallen through the cracks.

How many poor people can we feed for a couple dozen NICU babies again?


Ok, many of you won’t like the source. But did finally some more details and analysis. Circa 2013, sorry. Skim down to find it. Actual hunger and malnutrition, while still not zero, isn’t as dire as the headlines say. More in the realm of something solvable without drastic measures.

One of the interesting conclusions from the article was having SNAP do more in the way of educating people on food economics and connecting them to other food resources.


I use a similar argument to persuade conservative friends that universal basic healthcare saves money. Feeding pregnant women would seem to be part of basic healthcare.


All of them :question:

Now also factor into this the lifelong consequential costs of being a critically low birthweight infant…


For conservative penny-pinchers, it seems there’s never enough money to do it right, but always enough money to do it over…

…and also…

Since so many of them (conservative penny-pinchers) seem to be evangelical Christians, you’d think they would hew more closely to the admonishments of their Savior…


… but apparently not :cry:



What’s really sad is if we feed and educate, and treat people well, they’re more productive and the quality of life improves.

It’s only because we don’t allow for a basic level of human dignity and have some common decency that we’re lagging so far behind Northern Europe.


See also: how many people could we afford to get into addiction treatment programs for the cost of incarcerating a few million drug offenders?


When my mom was pregnant with me, in Central America in the early 70s, everywhere she went people would give her milk. In the country, they would go get a glass of fresh raw milk from that day. Culturally, it’s just what was done: take care of every pregnant woman. Seems downright civilized to me.