Hunger Accountability


I want to add my two cents to an article Pat Conrad did back on Sept 10th here on this blog.  It is about this food security nonsense.   In the MSN article showing the states most people go hungry, the first sentence goes:

The states with the lowest food security, not surprisingly, are among the poorest in the country and have higher-than-average obesity rates.

This drove Pat crazy and rightfully so.  If you don’t know how this argument goes, here it is from Ross Fraser, spokesperson for hunger-relief charity Feeding America:

“The lack of healthy food among families in these states is one of the reasons you have very poor people who are obese. It is because they’re not able to afford nutritious and high-protein food.”

My issue is the science.  For some reason, NO ONE has pushed back on this and asked for proof.  I may be ignorant, but could someone show me a study (one without biases) that proves this point?  It has now been accepted even though it is counterintuitive.  But let’s for a second say this is true, that these poor obese people don’t have access to nutritious and high-protein food and therefore choose crap to eat.  Surely we can just use the SKU number on every item they buy with food stamps and break this down.  What?  The government can’t do this?   That’s right, we do not access that information.  Read this entry I did six months ago. 

Here is the thing.  It is easy to be politically correct.  It is easy to say the right thing but DOING the right thing is much harder.  Maybe, just maybe, that statement by Ross Fraser is wrong?   Maybe there is enough healthy food in these states with high obesity rates and people are just not choosing them.  Maybe it is affordable, nutritious and higher in protein but people still want Monster Cola, snickers and Doritos.   Would the charity Feeding America stop getting donations?   Hmmmm.

We cannot accept this without proof.   Every supermarket has healthy food on the edges (fruit, veggies, meats).   Maybe we need to educate the poor better and then change the food stamp program so that they get double the food if they DON’T buy processed food? Whatever.  We need to try something different because what we are doing just isn’t working.   Actually, worse, by doing nothing these same programs help the poor get more food stamps to buy more crap.


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