The growth of food insecurity over the past few decades has been caused by many confounding factors including a rapidly growing population, lack of education, unemployment, inflation and high interest rates and continuous degradation on the environment. The effects of food insecurity can be destructive and in many cases, irreversible. Severe malnutrition can lead to many disease states and even death, which is why it is so detrimental to our society and the roughly 14% – 18% of those who are food insecure, that we push the goal of ending food insecurity to the top of the pile.
I often get brochures in the mail asking for donated money to help starving children in foreign countries, but it is rare to receive something that asks for a donation for those in need in the United States. I think that a majority of the US population is unaware of the current malnutrition situation in our country. Why is it not promoted more intensely?
The United States is one of the wealthier countries in the world. I feel that a percentage of our population, particularly the middle to upper class, turn their heads as they walk by a homeless person or a Salvation Army bell ringer, out of site and therefore out of mind. In addition, the current economic situation has created a monetary concern for a majority of the population, so people tend to hold their purses and wallets tightly closed.
How can we promote our current food insecurity problem to the US population, who most likely feel insecure already? In my opinion, one of the most pressing concerns for not only our nation, but the entire world, is overpopulation. There is no way that the earth can support this amount of people, and more to come. We need to gain control of the population growth rate, even if it means doing like China does, and put a limit on amount the amount of children each family can have. This may seem to violate human rights, however if the population continues to grow, our resources are going to become nonexistent which is the ultimate violation of human rights.
I also think that education is a key component. Those who are food insecure in the United States are most likely undereducated, but why? Are our education programs lacking? I feel that we need to expand what we teach children in elementary through high school, and include courses that cover more survival techniques, such as farming, cooking and managing finance. This way, people will know how to care for themselves better at an earlier age. Now, if we could only do something about the allocation of land, “giving people a meaningful opportunity to produce food for local consumption,” then we might be getting somewhere. But how do you get through to those few who are powerful, rich, and seem to have all control?