Food insecurity in Tarrant County, Texas, USA

Did you know that our collective food waste in Tarrant County can fill the Rose Bowl every day?

 It is disheartening to learn that even on holidays, as a nation, we collect food waste between 25% and 50% of all food produced in the United States. In Jonathan Bloom's book, American Wasteland, there is no shortage of horrific statistics, as he knows quantifies the amount of wasted food that Americans don't think about, once it goes into the trash. Here's more: He estimates that every American throws away half a pound of food every day, which is double the amount of food we wasted in 1974.

If you stack this statistic against the backdrop of the escalating crisis of hunger in our country, how can these two conditions coexist? Isn't there something we can do about food waste? Suffice to say; he makes some pretty compelling arguments for each of us to be more aware of our food purchases. And you can be sure that after reading this, you will do your best to avoid creating food waste by throwing all the spoiled products in the back of your refrigerator for this salad that you thought you were making but that you never did.

Now that the devastating impact of hunger is clearer, I can't help but think of the excessive abundance that most of us take for granted, which is food insecurity, and how it all feels in the context of our current global hunger landscape.

Let's look at the state of food insecurity in Tarrant County, Texas, USA through our American lens:

• The number of food-insecure people has been at the highest level for 15 years (since its first follow-up), according to a recent CNN article. Its 49 million people!

• Given the prolonged impact of the recession, food and financial donations have decreased on average from 20% to 30% and do not keep pace with the increase in demand.

• There is a common problem of food insecurity and obesity, as food-insecure families are turning to cheaper and poor nutrition means to ensure satiety at the lowest cost.

Consider what is happening through our overall goal:

• With more than a billion people suffering from chronic hunger and 25,000 people dying every day, we are now facing another potentially catastrophic food crisis.

• The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that the prices of the world's major staples such as maize and wheat, used by most developing countries, are near record levels that have led to food shortages and riots in 2008.

• High food prices often push the vulnerable poor into starvation.

So what can we each do? We can decide that we are no longer sitting on the sidelines. Even the smallest support, provided by millions of people, has a significant impact. Your support for the elimination of food insecurity is really important. Help make a difference through Another Hand.

fort-worth-texas-water-gardens-fountain.

Food insecurity in Tarrant County, Texas, USA

Did you know that our collective food waste in Tarrant County can fill the Rose Bowl every day?

 It is disheartening to learn that even on holidays, as a nation, we collect food waste between 25% and 50% of all food produced in the United States. In Jonathan Bloom's book, American Wasteland, there is no shortage of horrific statistics, as he knows quantifies the amount of wasted food that Americans don't think about, once it goes into the trash. Here's more: He estimates that every American throws away half a pound of food every day, which is double the amount of food we wasted in 1974.

If you stack this statistic against the backdrop of the escalating crisis of hunger in our country, how can these two conditions coexist? Isn't there something we can do about food waste? Suffice to say; he makes some pretty compelling arguments for each of us to be more aware of our food purchases. And you can be sure that after reading this, you will do your best to avoid creating food waste by throwing all the spoiled products in the back of your refrigerator for this salad that you thought you were making but that you never did.

Now that the devastating impact of hunger is clearer, I can't help but think of the excessive abundance that most of us take for granted, which is food insecurity, and how it all feels in the context of our current global hunger landscape.

Let's look at the state of food insecurity in Tarrant County, Texas, USA through our American lens:

• The number of food-insecure people has been at the highest level for 15 years (since its first follow-up), according to a recent CNN article. Its 49 million people!

• Given the prolonged impact of the recession, food and financial donations have decreased on average from 20% to 30% and do not keep pace with the increase in demand.

• There is a common problem of food insecurity and obesity, as food-insecure families are turning to cheaper and poor nutrition means to ensure satiety at the lowest cost.

Consider what is happening through our overall goal:

• With more than a billion people suffering from chronic hunger and 25,000 people dying every day, we are now facing another potentially catastrophic food crisis.

• The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that the prices of the world's major staples such as maize and wheat, used by most developing countries, are near record levels that have led to food shortages and riots in 2008.

• High food prices often push the vulnerable poor into starvation.

So what can we each do? We can decide that we are no longer sitting on the sidelines. Even the smallest support, provided by millions of people, has a significant impact. Your support for the elimination of food insecurity is really important. Help make a difference through Another Hand.

Food insecurity in Dallas County, Texas, USA

Did you know Over 27% of children under 18 in Dallas live in

households that have experienced food insecurity in the past year?

In Dallas-

  • The household food insecurity rate for Texas is 18.4%, significantly higher than the national average.  Source:  Texas Hunger Initiative.

  • Over 27% of children under 18 in Dallas live in households that have experienced food insecurity in the past year.  Source:  Feeding America.

  • Dallas County ranks 5.9 out of 10 on the Food Environment Index (FEI).  The FEI combines two data points – the percentage of the population that is low-income with low access to grocery stores, and the percentage of the population that did not have access to reliable food sources in the past year. 

Food security is a term used to represent people's accessibility to affordable, safe food, providing the recommended and culturally acceptable food intake. In addition, food can be obtained with dignity by the people (that is, through their own finances or hard work, not theft), and is produced without serious controversy.

People tend to associate poverty with food insecurity in Dallas County, Texas, USA, but in fact, this is only one reason. There is actually actually an entire food system that affects everyone.

  • Accessibility to sources of healthy food, as measured by distance to a store or by the number of stores in an area.

  • Individual-level resources that may affect accessibility, such as family income or vehicle availability.

  • Neighborhood-level indicators of resources, such as the average income of the neighborhood and the availability of public transportation.

Even with money, you can still be food insecure. If a disaster or an infestation hits the plantations or animals we eat, this is how we can be affected by the lack of these foods in our diet. Contamination of water or soil also creates great distress, as people must drink contaminated water if no other source is available, or if other sources are available, the plants and animals that feed on it would be affected, and in turn, the people who eat them.

Another example of food insecurity in Dallas County, Texas, USA, is when people are unable to achieve the nutrition they should receive despite the ability to easily reach food. This usually occurs in people with diseases such as pellagra, unable to absorb the necessary nutrients from their systems.

There are also times when food is readily available, but healthy food costs more than unhealthy food, which forces people to choose the cheapest option. This is especially common among teenagers who do not earn a living and are subject to their parents' pocket money, or those who barely earn enough in a day.

The threat of world famine is pervasive in many countries. Despite the widening of access to agricultural loans and agricultural credit by several Western countries, many international farmers are still struggling to feed their families. Even with access to public subsidies, technological backwardness and bad weather often hamper agricultural production. It seems that agricultural loans and agricultural credit alone cannot solve global food problems. According to the Food Organization of the United Nations, more than 950 million people worldwide are hungry. The ramifications of hunger can be generalized. From 2007 to 2008, the world experienced more than 60 food riots. Agricultural loans and agricultural production abroad have helped alleviate hunger in some countries, but food insecurity remains a major problem. In 2010-2011, for example, food riots in Tunisia sparked a revolution that overthrew the Tunisian government and spread too much of the world.

According to the FAO, agricultural loans and expanded access to credit may not be enough to guarantee international food security. While the world has enough natural resources to feed its growing population, protecting fragile ecosystems can make or break efforts to fight hunger. With this problem in mind, the UN has encouraged western countries to protect the environment as a means of protecting agriculture. To this end, UN officials have argued that agricultural loans to encourage sustainable agricultural production are essential to alleviate world hunger. UN officials have urged major world powers like the United States to encourage the development of sustainable agriculture, hoping that the techniques developed in developed countries could be exported to the Third World.

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