Hunger: 50 Million Unable to Afford Food

by | Nov 18, 2009 | Headline News | 5 comments

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    Reminiscent of the great depression, millions of families in Record numbers go hungry in the US.

    President Barack Obama, who pledged to eradicate childhood hunger, has described as “unsettling” the agriculture department survey, which says 50 million people in the US – one in six of the population – were unable to afford to buy sufficient food to stay healthy at some point last year, in large part because of escalating unemployment or poorly paid jobs. That is a rise of more than one-third on the year before and the highest number since the survey began in 1995.

    The agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, said: “These numbers are a wake-up call … for us to get very serious about food security and hunger, about nutrition and food safety in this country.”

    Vilsack said he expected the numbers to worsen when the survey for this year is released in 2010.

    A rise of more than one third from a year before is just the beginning. With millions continuing to lose jobs, the dollar losing purchasing power and food costs rising, do not be surprised to see this number continue to rise significantly over the next decade. It is only going to get worse, folks.

    The state of affairs for American families is deteriorating rapidly. Imagine for a second what would happen in the event of a hyperinflation scenario. Not only will Americans not be able to afford food, there may be disruptions in the food supply itself.

    Buying commodities now may be a great investment. And we’re not talking about on the commodities exchanges. Consider adding the real thing, like rice, flour, beans, canned goods and other foodstuffs to your investment portfolio.


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      1. Sorry Mac, this fantastical headline, just like the enviro-whacko alarmist crap from folks like Paul Ehrlich (The Population Bomb, 1968) and the bovine flatulence hysteria from lord Gore is much more hype than reality.

        Granted, there are children and adults who are hungry in the US, and in the rest of the world too, and that is a travesty, and all of us should do everything we can to right that and all of the other wrongs we come across in our time on this earth.

        But have a look here before you get too wound up on the 1-in-6 lie.

      2. Patrick, thank you for the oppopsing view on this. I am travelling, so i can’t read the article in full right now. But, as with all statistics, cross-verification is always a good idea.

        I can say this: I have had many friends and family members lose their jobs in the last 18 months, and a good portion of them are concerned with ‘putting food on the table’ and the high cost they are having to pay for food. While i dont see a whole lot of price increases in things like rice or flour, the prices of meat and dairy products seem to be on a continuous rise.

        Maybe the hunger issue is not as large as it is made out to be, but i still think that in a few years, a significant amount of americans will have problems keeping food on the table because of the reasons I cited.

        -i will check out that article you posted from Mises when i get home later tonight.

        Thanks Patrick!

      3. I’ve read about this statistic before. I also checked out Patrick’s article. This is statistical tomfoolery to the Nth degree. 1 in 6 are not going hungry, they’re just thinking about it. …and if know the sheeple, I know that many of them eat out most of the time and probably don’t have more than 1/2 a gallon of milk and a bag of chips in their stainless steel refrigerator.

        But, regardless of how disgusted I am at the sheeples’ allocation of their resources, the fact that it has risen from 1 in 8 (12.5%) to 1 in 6 (16.7%) is significant. It could be looked at as an EPI (Economic Pain Index). …and the sheeple are feeling it. All they would have had to do is buy some staples and put them on the shelf and learn how to EAT IN a little. They’re worried because they’re having to cut back on the steak and seafood at the restaurants they’re eating at. Once they realise they can actually cook food at home, the number will go down. I know you’re out there laughing at me, but this is true! Many upper middle class families NEVER eat in. Do you realize how much that costs? Way more than I can afford.

        The increase is significant. I think the title should have been: 50 Million Now Worried About Having Enough Food or something like that.

        Patrick, thank you for reminding us that people that use statistics often try to make it fit into whatever box they need for an emergency. I’m sure Obummer would very much like to use the stat to increase welfare payments. After all, they’ve got all that spare cash they’ve been printing. Why not dole it out to keep the dependent sheeple happier and quieter so we can get this emergency healthcare takeover, er, uh, reform done.


        +1s all around!

        “Its not corruption when we do it!” -The US Government
        “But its still crooked.” -NetRanger

      4. NR, you make a HUGELY IMPORTANT point about eating in. Honestly, my fam eats out maybe once a month, and maybe we get take out a couple times a month. I really do not like paying the extra cost for food which is usually second-rate compared to my bride’s Texas home-cookin’.  But, I do like a dominoes pizza or a Fudruckers burger from time to time.

        Our largest food costs eating in are meat, seafood and dairy products. We’ve recently started cutting down the meat intake and replaced with pasta a couple times a week. So, you go from having, say, a rack of ribs, mashed potatoes and bush’s baked beans for the family at a cost of around $20 for dinner, to having Ravioli with an alfredo or marinara sauce at about $8. The food is still fantastic, healthy and cuts 50%+ off the cost. The other 50% can be used for preps and savings. This is a massive amount of money over a period of a year.

        Also, how much food does a family throw away? I have 3 young children and they are constantly leaving food on their plates, and then an hour later, they are ‘hungry’ again. This is something we have been on them about for several months now, and they are finally starting to clear their plates without throwing half of the food away and then wasting another mini-meal on crackers, or yogurt or other snacks.

        Really, it boils down to changing lifestyle habits.. Excessive spending habits led us to where we are now. Some minor modifications in diet and spending can make a financially difficult situation manageable.

      5. Wow! Mac! I guess I’m not the only one that thinks about this. My family (the 4 of us) are much the same way. At work, others are starting to pack lunch instead of eating out all the time. Honestly, if you’re not very choosy, you can easily spend  $5 to $7 for lunch too. Thats up to $35 a week ($140 a month). Thats a chunk over a year.

        I’ve studied the way sheeple think and they slip into these habits that are somewhat self destructive. The difference between the sheeple and the non-sheeple: the non-sheeple re-evaluate what they are doing. They may continue but in times like this, they’ll modify their behaviour.

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