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Food For Thought

By The Reverend Published: November 17, 2009

The richest nation in world history has a problem...

About 14.6 percent of U.S. households, equal to 49.1 million people, "had difficulty obtaining food for all their members due to a lack of resources" during 2008, up 3.5 percentage points from 2007 when 11.1 percent of households were classified as food insecure.

...anti-hunger groups pointed to the huge increase from the preceding year when 36.2 million people had trouble getting enough food....

And then this adds a certain WTF quality to any discussion about Americans and food....

Depending on which study you believe, we squander between a quarter to a half of all the food we produce. Even by the conservative estimate, that adds up to more than 100 billion pounds per year.

The Department of Agriculture calculates that Americans waste 27% of their food....

96 billion pounds of food – or 27% of the 356 billion pounds of edible food available – is wasted each year in the U.S. according to the U.S, Department of Agriculture.

What's costs us $1 billion per year to dispose of all the food we waste.

The U.S. is often referred to as the "last best hope" for the world, or something similar. If that's true, then world hope must be in decline.

A Balloon-juice blogger describes, accurately I think, how far American society has declined when it comes to our "collective" concern over issues like hunger....

It’s easy to romanticize the past, of course. But I distinctly remember that 20 years ago, things like sudden increases in the number of people going hungry were considered important issues. Nowadays to even muse about whether this is something we can do something about as a society marks you as an unserious hippie.

Briefly....over the last 30 years wealth in America has moved into the hands of fewer and fewer Americans. At the same time that more and more wealth has been accumulated by fewer and fewer Americans, taxes have been reduced to the lowest levels of my lifetime on those doing the accumulating.

Village-whore-media, since 1980, have been banging the rotted Reagan drum nightly insisting that "government is the problem." Add to that distortion the often repeated, "we just can't raise taxes on the rich, we must stay competitive" horsesh*t.....say it over and over again on national teevee.....and the results become predictable.

If all that is not bad the last 12 years or so.....conservatives in America have made a pastime out of attacking victims. Conservative coverage of Hurricane Katrina, for example, highlighted this new..."you deserve what you get", ugliness.

Most likely the significant increase in the number of Americans short on food will be used as yet another excuse to bash the poor and vulnerable and argue AGAINST any more government assistance to people in trouble. I'm sure that the argument will include variations of, "we just can't afford to spend any more money right now.....and, anyway, we're not socialists."

After all....that's what the Villagers, the Republicans and most conservatives are telling us about health care reform......aren't they?

What difference would it make to Villagers and conservatives if poor, vulnerable Americans died from malnutrition/starvation....or...lack of health insurance?

Wouldn't conservative, always-help-the-wealthiest, Americans.....and the Villagers who speak for them....tell the rest of us that if Americans aren't eating, just as they aren't buying health care insurance,'s their own fault because they aren't working hard enough?

Well...wouldn't they?



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