Before getting into this tidbit, I want to talk about the wonderful phrase “food insecurity”. Instead of saying the truth in a clear and understandable manner, the phrases “going hungry”, “not having enough to eat” and especially that horrible word “starving” have been phased out by people reporting on this horrible situation in favor of a understated, underperforming, and inoffensive phrase…. “food insecurity”.
Now. Having said that, I would like to post this article from Food Business News the mainstream media has completely missed out on.
A recent study by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the United States has had… “the highest food insecurity rate since 1995. Seventeen million U.S. households, or nearly 15%, were food insecure during 2008… The number of families that had difficulty putting enough food on the table at times during the year was up from 13 million households, or 11.1%, in 2007, and was the highest level recorded since food security surveys were initiated in 1995.”
Let’s try that paragraph again. This time, substituting “going hungry” and “starvation” for “food insecure”.
A recent study by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the United States has had… “the highest STARVATION rate since 1995. Seventeen million U.S. households, or nearly 15%, were GOING HUNGRY during 2008…. The number of families that had difficulty putting enough food on the table at times during the year was up from 13 million households, or 11.1%, in 2007, and was the highest level recorded since food security surveys were initiated in 1995.”
See how much more terrible it is when I say it without coddling the truth with that “food insecurity” phrase? Saying it straight and clear kind of makes it more important, dontcha’ think? Maybe a bit more newsworthy. Especially if you crunch the numbers a little more. 15% of 100% literally means 15 out of every 100 people is going without enough food. Reducing that down to a more manageable fraction, you get 3 out of every 20 people are going hungry in the United States.
But running with those numbers in the opposite direction is perhaps more eye opening. If you look at the ballpark current US population of 307,960,000, 15% of that is 46,194,000 people. 46,194,000 people is just slightly less than the combined 2007 populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Charlotte, El Paso, Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Louisville-Jefferson County, Washington, Nashville-Davidson, Las Vegas, Portland, Oklahoma City, Tucson, Albuquerque, Long Beach, Atlanta, Fresno, Sacramento, Cleveland, Kansas City, Mesa, Virginia Beach, Omaha, Oakland, Miami, Tulsa, Honolulu, Minneapolis, and Colorado Springs… which all total to 46,240,297.
I think that’s pretty important myself. Important enough to post it early, during the week, and not with the usual “news you missed” pieces I put together on Saturdays.
Here’s the link to the FOOD BUSINESS NEWS article and the link to the official study from the USDA.