Yes, that’s how the media is reporting the USDA Household Food Security in the United States, 2006  report released on November 14th.

A Reuters article stated that the number of Americans facing “food insecurity” (whatever THAT is) was held in check for 2006 at about 35 million or around 12%.  The Reuters article goes on to state that:

“Overall, 35.52 million people, including 12.63 million children, went hungry compared with 35.13 million in 2005.”

So does this mean that the “obesity epidemic” has passed?  It must have, if 12% of our citizens “went hungry”.  The term “went hungry” to me means something like the pictures we see from Africa or Auschwitz.  To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in America.  I double-dog-dare someone to go into those “food insecure” homes and document how many occupants are “intake control challenged” resulting in being “comfortably non-anorexic”.

According to the Reuters article, the USDA in 2006 had 15 food assistance programs that spent $59 billion benefitting 20% of all Americans.  $59 billion is about $180 per man woman and child, about $360 per taxpayer, about $1,000 per beneficiary, and about $1,800 per “food insecure”.  I wonder how much of the $59 billion was eaten before it got to those it was intended for?  I wonder how much of the $59 billion went to….um….dare I say it….non-Americans?

By the way, I’m guessing that most of those “food insecure” homes have subscription entertainment and cell phones.  Between the two, that’s at least $100 per month, which should buy enough beans and rice for several people.

Of course the next day (November 15) there were food advocacy groups ad nauseum in the news whining about how we must do something to stop the impending famine, which is what prompted me to write this little note in a fit of exasperation.

The full USDA report can be found here ==> Household Food Security in the United States, 2006 .

The USDA summary of the report ==> USDA-ERS Calendar and below.

Eighty-nine percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2006, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (10.9 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year. About one-third of food insecure households (4.0 percent of all U.S. households) had very low food security—meaning that the food intake of one or more adults was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food. Prevalence rates of food insecurity and very low food security were essentially unchanged from those in 2005. The typical food-secure household spent 31 percent more on food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and household composition. Just over half of all food-insecure households participated in one or more of the three largest Federal food and nutrition assistance programs during the month prior to USDA’s annual Food Security Survey.

Chuck is self employed in agri-business in Virginia.  He can be contacted at chuckangier@gmail.com.

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