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More babies, young kids going hungry in US


chefzadi
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Actually the articles states "serious malnourishment" but it didn't fit into the box.

Article

In 2003, 11.2 percent of families in the United States experienced hunger, compared with 10.1 percent in 1999, according to most recent official figures, released on National Hunger Awareness Day held this year on Tuesday, June 7.

According to census reports in filthy rich LA County the percentage living below the poverty line is 17.9 % compared to the National level of 12.4%.

paradoxically, two-thirds of the US population is either overweight or obese.

Another paradox amongst the poor is obesity coupled with malnutrition.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

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I read somewhere recently -- if anyone knows the source, I'd be grateful -- that fully half of the total calories consumed daily by US citizens come from soft drinks. If true, that would certainly contribute to both phenomena.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I read somewhere recently -- if anyone knows the source, I'd be grateful -- that fully half of the total calories consumed daily by US citizens come from soft drinks. If true, that would certainly contribute to both phenomena.

here's a link to the eg thread, which contains a link to the (tufts) study.click

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I read somewhere recently -- if anyone knows the source, I'd be grateful -- that fully half of the total calories consumed daily by US citizens come from soft drinks. If true, that would certainly contribute to both phenomena.

That's part of it for obesity coupled with malnutrition. Most of the remaining calories come from porcessed/packaged foods.

Also the kids I teach in the inner city are not obese. I suspect their parents simply do not have enough money to fill their tummies with food period. Sometimes I teach the classes right after lunch time but they still finish off everything I make them. I try to prepare pretty good portions. 1 full tortilla stuffed with vegetables and soy cheese and yogurt parfaits. The kids don't look like they are starving but the signs of inadequate nutrition are there, the skin, hair, nails, eyes... Nevermind the tattered, hand me down clothes and worn out shoes.

Also at a shelter that I want to get more involved with, if a single homeless mother in transition has $1.00 to spend on food, I doubt she would spend it on soda, more like a bag of pasta.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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That's part of it for obesity coupled with malnutrition. Most of the remaining calories come from porcessed/packaged foods.  ...

Also at a shelter that I want to get more involved with, if a single homeless mother in transition has $1.00 to spend on food, I doubt she would spend it on soda, more like a bag of pasta.

One thing I've observed is that a lot of people have to shop at convenience stores and small places where their food dollar doesn't go as far. A local day care/senior care center has an Edible Education project, and I sure wish there were more of these around here.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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If children are malnourished in this country it's not for the lack of well intentioned government and privately funded sources of affordable good quality food.

The amount of "surplus" foods and commodities that go to waste every day in school lunch programs and through USDA distribution programs is more than enough to solve the problem on the supply side.

Too much of the assistance intended for feeding children ends up being sold or traded for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and junk food. Besides that, lots of perfectly good food that requires some minimal preparation ends up in the dumps.

I sure don't know what to do about it?

SB :sad:

Edited by srhcb (log)
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If children are malnourished in this country it's not for the lack of well intentioned government and privately funded sources of affordable good quality food.

The amount of "surplus" foods and commodities that go to waste every day in school lunch programs and through USDA distribution programs is more than enough to solve the problem on the supply side.

Too much of the assistance intended for feeding children ends up being sold or traded for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and junk food.  Besides that, lots of perfectly good food that requires some minimal preparation ends up in the dumps.

I sure don't know what to do about it?

SB  :sad:

I wouldn't argue that some of the assistance ends up the way you describe. However in an expensive city like Los Angeles with ever increasing rents it is increasingly difficult for lower income working parents with say two children to make ends meet.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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If children are malnourished in this country it's not for the lack of well intentioned government and privately funded sources of affordable good quality food.

The amount of "surplus" foods and commodities that go to waste every day in school lunch programs and through USDA distribution programs is more than enough to solve the problem on the supply side.

Too much of the assistance intended for feeding children ends up being sold or traded for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and junk food.  Besides that, lots of perfectly good food that requires some minimal preparation ends up in the dumps.

I sure don't know what to do about it?

SB  :sad:

Here here!

Let's step back a bit!

The AFP piece is a very bad piece of reporting. (by the way the AFP is a French based news service)-- to cite "official statistics" with no elaboration no source and obviously no balance or perspective to the story is just bad journalism.

World Hunger week is here! As is the requisite National Hunger week.

So this is all part of the PR effort. (in and of itself no problem). But basically too many statistics are tossed around with no perspective for political gain. What we have is a large bash America effort. Guess who gets a lot of the blame for the poverty? Remember the "homeless crises"?

Poverty statistics do not include all the money people recieve from the government.

I have no idea how anyone can determine who "experiences" hunger. And what the criteria are? (by the way I am experiencing hunger now it is lunch time).

Recently we were told that half of all Amerticans were suffering from mental illness!!!!

so we are Impoverished, Hungry, Overweight and Nuts!

I mean it is really =bad here--we all oughtta leave--for paradise like Sweden or France or Canada!!!

Really, all those people from all over the wortld who are literaaly dying to come here must be crazy!

But hey--remember half of al;l Americans suffer mental illness so these immigrants should fit right in!!!

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I'm not quite sure how "America bashing" came into the discussion. (It's not really a point I care to argue).

Save the Children

It's an independent American organization with programs around the world. No one here is arguing that's not worse in alot of other countries.

The dividing line between rich and poor in America today is education, and when one in six children in the United States lives in poverty, literacy becomes a critical link in a chain that can either shackle children to a life of poverty or be used to pull them out of it.
Years of research have established the link between the lack of proper nutrition and physical activity and the inability to function and concentrate in and out of school. Opportunities for physical activity are often limited for children in rural areas and proper nutrition is a challenge.
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I want to add, that whether or not the figures are accurate (conjecturing about the motives behind them can easily degenerate into a flamewar), IMO, from my experience it's not too hard to find someone who could use a little help. I suppose the question of heart comes in when determining who is 'worthy' of help (I don't think it's wise to go there either, again likely flamewar).

I'm organizing a bunch of used stuff to donate to a shelter. I'm no mother Theresa, I could and feel like I should do alot more. (I'm not trying to get on a soapbox about it).

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What we have here is a delima rather than a problem in that problems have solutions while dilemas can only be dealt with as well as possible.

There are hungry children, which is inexcusable since good food is available. The statistics only serve to scew the argument which ever way you want, and should be disregarded for purpose of useful discussion.

I just think it's a shame that so much food must be misappropriated and go to waste because of the inefficient system we have for administering programs and delivering the goods.

So there is no solution per se, except to keep the current system working as well as possible in order to continue to provide at least the current level of support.

SB :angry::sad:

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Such a many-faceted problem that it is heartbreaking. For every abuse of government or USDA aid, there are the ones who fall through cracks that you could drive a bus in. I have spent as much time as I'm allowed at our Food Bank, and I still am so concerned or discouraged sometimes that I must thump myself mentally and rationalize that I am doing something.

Our reservations are somewhere most folks won't even go. They are shameful and if you want to lose your spirit, try going out there and living through a subzero winter. No matter what the parents indulge in, the children should never suffer. No child, anywhere. Until no children anywhere lack basics, we are not a civilized world. Period.

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[...]So there is no solution per se, except to keep the current system working as well as possible in order to continue to provide at least the current level of support.

SB  :angry:  :sad:

I'm no expert in this field, but in almost every case, anything and everything can be done better.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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If children are malnourished in this country it's not for the lack of well intentioned government and privately funded sources of affordable good quality food.

The amount of "surplus" foods and commodities that go to waste every day in school lunch programs and through USDA distribution programs is more than enough to solve the problem on the supply side.

Too much of the assistance intended for feeding children ends up being sold or traded for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and junk food.  Besides that, lots of perfectly good food that requires some minimal preparation ends up in the dumps.

Well intentioned, but for whom? The "surplus food" program was designed as a means of subsidizing the agriculture industry--the govt buying what could not be sold in the private market and presumably being put to good use. It's mostly cheese or other dairy products. I love cheese and have worked half my life for the federal or local governments, but let's not kid ourselves that this program is about the kids or about healthy food.

And I can't imagine processed cheese buying a lot of drugs.


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.

Well intentioned, but for whom? The "surplus food" program was designed as a means of subsidizing the agriculture industry--the govt buying what could not be sold in the private market and presumably being put to good use.  It's mostly cheese or other dairy products.  I love cheese and have worked half my life for the federal or local governments, but let's not kid ourselves that this program is about the kids or about healthy food. 

And I can't imagine processed cheese buying a lot of drugs.

While not strictly accurate, I used the term "surplus food" as a generic expression for the commodities the government makes available to school lunch programs, reservations, and certain aid agencies. Regardless of motives and politics, these programs do deliver food to people who need help, albeit very inefficiently. ("I'm from the Government, and I'm hear to feed you".)

Some restaurants are happy to buy blocks of processed cheese for cash, which is easily converted into drugs.

There are a lot of intertwined issues here, and lots of different opinions, many of which depend on perspective. Probably the best tack is for each of us to just do a little bit more than we already do to help? :wink:

SB (working on a recipes series using USDA commodities for publication in regional Reservation newspapers)

Edited by srhcb (log)
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It is true that statistically speaking, the United States spends enough in anti-poverty programs each year to lift every family living below the government defined poverty line to a position above it. Add in all the private hunger relief efforts from churches, food banks, etc. and there's more than enough food to go around.

The federal WIC (women, infants, children) program that provides money for food to families and the agriculture department's food stamp program have so much money that they've been advertsing heavily on radio in my area for months trying to give the benefits away.

This serious issue is analyzed in a humorous and enlightening way in P.J. O'Rourke's 1991 book "Parliament of Whores". He uses 1990 census figures on poverty and 1991 federal budget expenditure figures to show that we spend more than twice the amount each year needed to bring everyone defined by the government as poor up above the poverty line, see the chapter on poverty policy that starts on page 123.

O'Rourke concludes this analysis with a statement that I think summarizes the complexity of the issue: "The spending of these vast amounts of money has left everybody just sitting around slack jawed and dumbstruck, staring into the maw of that most extraordinary paradox: You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money."

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We risk going off the topic of hunger, but I'll note that statistics have repeatedly shown that every other country usually classed as "developed" by international organizations has less difference between the incomes of the richest and the poorest than the US (lately, Israel, a country repeatedly hit by major bombings, has been second to the US). I'm just guessing that all those countries also have lower rates of hunger and malnutrition than the U.S. Keeping in mind the saying that there are "lies, damned lies, and statistics," nevertheless, I do think there's a way to lessen poverty and hunger, whether it's because other "developed" countries spend more money or/and spend it more wisely.

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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can't ... help ... self ... must ... respond .... to ... topic ... with ... rant ...

(disclaimer: the comments which follow do not apply to those who are poor thru physical disability and do not apply to all poor people.)

ok, just so people know where i'm coming from, here's a picture of my dad while moving into of one of our spacious homes ( i was about 6 at the time).

gallery_23026_1242_71616.jpg

to be fair, we did later graduate to a 10 by 50 foot trailer (the largest in the park). i lived in better and i lived in worse while growing up and for a while had no place to live at all. i've received food stamps and i've been hungry. (food stamps were great because they allowed me to divert an additional portion of my household budget to mcdonalds.) after i left home for college i was living largly on hotdogs my girlfriend would steal from the USC cafeteria and reheat for me in the electric coffe pot in her dorm room. i was working 50 hours per week for minimum wage and 30 pounds underweight (6 foot 4 with a 28 inch waist). but most of all, i was deleriously happy to be out of the environment of poverty and not worried anymore about someone kicking the shit out of me just for the thrill of it. i remained poor and ate a lot of hamburger helper for about the next 5 years but compared to what had gone before, i didn't mind a bit. decades after the fact, i still get warm fuzzies just because i've arrived at a safe place.

i realize that good people desperately want to believe that the problems of the poor can be solved by money. but i'm sorry, they can't.

good people want to believe that the poor are simply versions of themselves with empty pockets. i'm sorry, they're not.

you could have keller cooking for the whole trailer park for the rest of his life and the park would still have the same number of belligerant wife beating racists. (please forgive me for being blunt). there are immature and irresponsible people in all economic groups but (in my experience) in the u.s. the distribution of immature and irresponsible people is skewed towards the poor. no one is forced to have babies out of wedlock. no one is forced to marry a wife beater. no one is forced to drop out of high school.

i've known a lot of people who have climbed out of that pit and they all share some common characteristics. first of all, most (but not all) had fathers living at home. second, they had a long term view of their lives. they could see years ahead instead of just looking at next weekend. finally, they CHOSE early in their lives not to stay poor.

you want to really help a poor child? f#@k the nutrition. give him or her a scholarship to a private school. support school vouchers or anything else that gives a child the opportunity to be surrounded by responsible mature adults and the children of responsible mature adults. get the kid out of the trailer park. everything else will probably sort itself out.

tbarton hits the nail on the head. you cannot end poverty by giving people money. based on my experiences, you can only end poverty by changing the behavior of the poor.

end of off topic rant.

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This thread has gone well off topic for this site. We are a food site. War, poverty and a number of other issues are far more important than barbecue or haute cusine, but I need to remind all that the purpose of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters is to increase awareness and knowledge of the arts of cooking, eating and drinking, as well as the literature of food and drink.

If we are to continue as a food site, we need to restrict the discussion to food. Hunger is an issue related to food, but a conclusion that hunger is related to poverty does not allow us to devote ourselves to a discussion of poverty nor the social and political issue revolving around the cause and solution to poverty or an inequitable distribution of captial or resources.

We have removed about a dozen posts, over 40% of the thread, that were essentially off topic for the site. We're not sure there is anything further than can be said on the issue of hunger without addressing unlying causes that are off topic for this site, or that there's a solution to be discussed that doesn't involve poliltics and off topic social issues, but we'll leave the thread open for as long as the discussion stays on topic for the site.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Maybe we could talk about how hunger/malnutrition in particular has been successfully alleviated in some part of the world. Are there any programs or policies that have been particularly successful?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Maybe we could talk about how hunger/malnutrition in particular has been successfully alleviated in some part of the world. Are there any programs or policies that have been particularly successful?

i've read that there has never been a famine in a democracy. anyone know if this is true?

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Maybe we could talk about how hunger/malnutrition in particular has been successfully alleviated in some part of the world. Are there any programs or policies that have been particularly successful?

i've read that there has never been a famine in a democracy. anyone know if this is true?

If famine is defined as a drastic, wide-reaching food shortage doesn't depression era America fit this description?

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Weimar Republic Germany was worse. And then there's the question of whether colonies (Irish potato famine, e.g.) count. But of course, this begs the question of what a "democracy" is, and that's off-topic.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Maybe we could talk about how hunger/malnutrition in particular has been successfully alleviated in some part of the world. Are there any programs or policies that have been particularly successful?

i've read that there has never been a famine in a democracy. anyone know if this is true?

If famine is defined as a drastic, wide-reaching food shortage doesn't depression era America fit this description?

Not really. On a localized basis there were some food shortages in the "dustbowl" region of the central US. Many if not most of the farmers affected simply packed up and moved. Most areas of the US had plenty of food. The shortage was more money than food.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Weimar Republic Germany was worse. And then there's the question of whether colonies (Irish potato famine, e.g.) count. But of course, this begs the question of what a "democracy" is, and that's off-topic.

Again, plenty of food. People just couldn't afford it.

Off the top of my head -- Bangladesh 1974.

The problem with Sen's Democracy = no famines theory is the same as it is with almost all "democracy as causal factor" theories (cf Democratic Peace). That is that democracy at all is such a recent development, much less on a wide-scale basis.

Democracies are also rich. I'm more comfortable with saying that money prevents famines more than democracy. There's also the matter of effective government. Say that Mugabe dies tomorrow and Zimbabwe has a fair and free election. Guess what? There'll still be a famine there.

In the case of famine, it is also interrelated with technology. The US dustbowl probably WOULD have been a famine without the railroad and the automobile. Instead of starve they moved. Democracies, tending to be rich,also have far superior farming technologies.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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