If We're Starving How Come We Have Such Goddam Fat Asses?
Shocking news in the Washington Post today. Children are starving - everywhere!
The nation's economic crisis has catapulted the number of Americans who lack enough food to the highest level since the government has been keeping track, according to a new federal report, which shows that nearly 50 million people -- including almost one child in four -- struggled last year to get enough to eat.And this, of course, is a major, major problem, say people whose job it is to get federal money to fund their programs:
"This is unthinkable. It's like we are living in a Third World country," said Vicki Escarra, president of Feeding America, the largest organization representing food banks and other emergency food sources.And sure enough, the Post reports that the Obama administration is pumping $85 million more tax dollars into subsidized food programs.
I, on the other hand, being the insensitive, uncaring prick that I am, thought: "If the poor are starving, then how come every one I see has a Michelin-size spare tire around their gut? Riddle me that, Batman."
So I re-read the story paying close attention for any statistic that would show how the hunger is really hurting people. Are hospitals reporting more children being delivered with low birth weights? Are schools reporting students being malnourished? That sort of stuff. But that isn't there. And I have to believe if there were statistics on that the Post would use them.
Instead it refers to reports of "food insecurity". That refers to people "who lack a dependable supply of adequate food ... and those whose food shortages are so severe that they are hungry." And where do those numbers come from? Way down towards the end of the story we are told:
In the survey used to measure food shortages, people were considered to have food insecurity if they answered "yes" to several of a series of questions. Among the questions were whether, in the past year, their food sometimes ran out before they had money to buy more, whether they could not afford to eat nutritionally balanced meals, and whether adults in the family sometimes cut the size of their meals -- or skipped them -- because they lacked money for food.So the numbers came from people saying, yeah, I'd like to have more food in the fridge, but I cannot afford it right now. Or as I call it, balancing a budget. Shit, I would say yes to that survey, but I don't think I fit the image the hunger activists are trying to send..
Look, I am not such a prick that I will say that nobody ever goes hungry in the U.S. But to compare us to third world countries -- where people really do sometimes starve to death -- is bullshit just because a recession has us all cutting back. When I start seeing fewer gigantic asses on the streets, then I'll believe we have a hunger problem.