America doesn’t have the same hunger issues as other places in the world. We’re all familiar with images of mass starvation in majority world countries like Ethiopia. (If you aren’t familiar with these images, then you need to go Google them). As a result, America’s hunger problem remains hidden. After all, in every grocery store there is plenty of food on the shelves.
Understanding Food Insecurity
According to Feeding America, one of the ways to understand hunger in the US is through measuring food insecurity. It’s defined the following way:
Food security is a federal measure of a household’s ability to provide enough food for every person in the household to have an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is one way we can measure the risk of hunger.
In America, hunger issues are tied closely to economic issues. (I mean, I guess this is true everywhere). In other words, a family may have some food in the US, but it’s not enough for everyone in the home to be healthy. Or, the family can’t afford the right kinds of foods (you know, like Whole30 foods).
Some Inconvenient Facts
Food insecurity is a real problem in the US. According to Feed America,
- In 2015, 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.
- Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 4 percent in Loudoun County, VA to a high of 38 percent in Jefferson County, MS.
This means that people who live not too far from us have trouble getting the food they need.
The Privilege of Being on the Whole30
I’ve been thinking a lot about hunger the last ten days. And I’ve realized it’s quite a privilege to choose to give up dairy, grains, and sugars. I have enough money that I can choose to eat whatever I want. I may complain about the price of milk, but I can still afford it. Many people in our world cannot. I think it’s time we appreciate all the things we do have and maybe contribute a bit to helping those not quite so fortunate.
I’m blogging everyday about the Whole30. And most days aren’t this preachy. Check back tomorrow and leave a comment.