Food insecurity rose from 10.1% to 14.7% between 1999 and 2009. This means that the number of households that had trouble getting enough food for the family rose by 4.6%. While that took a slight dip to 14.5% in 2010, it is still far too high. So who is going hungry, and where? An infographic from GOOD spills the details.
The reasons behind food insecurity include worry that food would run out, having to skip meals or eat less that one should, going hungry and losing weight, and eating unbalanced meals, among others.
Food insecurity has many causes -- poverty and distribution of food are two of them. Other causes that we cover routinely on TreeHugger include the lack of access to diverse and locally grown crops and the sheer amount of food wasted every year for no good reason.
In fact, the impact of food waste in the US equates to 1/4 of all freshwater consumption and 300 million barrels of oil a year. And this is in addition to all the empty stomachs that should not be empty when so much perfectly good food is going into dumpsters -- a problem which has led to the trend of dumpster diving as a method of shopping, even for those with a steady income.
Imagine if we had a proper distribution of wealth and food. Perhaps that 14.5% would dip back down to 1999 levels and lower. However, the frightening reality is that these numbers are more likely going to get worse, not just based on economics but on the health of the planet as well. Food security is in the grip of global climate change as we struggle to adapt to changing weather patterns, but also in the grip of humans as we try to reclaim biodiversity in agriculture for crop health, and find new ways to recover the health of badly mismanaged soil. That 14.5% of households experiencing food security is a number we must keep our eye on.
These two images are just a piece of the pie, so to speak. Check out the full infographic on GOOD.
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