Desire to help others is noble. It’s noble, though, not in and of itself. It’s noble only if it’s likely to lead to helping others who truly need help. A desire to help others that prompts well-meaning people to address nonexistent problems isn’t so much noble as it is misguided and, possibly, dangerous.
Is the claim that one in eight Americans is seriously at risk of hunger even remotely plausible? No. Food in the U.S. is remarkably inexpensive, which is attested to by the fact that ours is the first society in history whose poor people suffer disproportionately from obesity…
“As a group, America’s poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels. Most poor children today are, in fact, supernourished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.”
These facts simply and irrefutably contradict the notion that a significant number of Americans routinely go hungry. Indeed, we can confidently say that modern industrial capitalism has slain one of history’s greatest killers: starvation. As long as industrial capitalism exists, people who live under it will not starve.
Read the whole thing.
Convincing well-meaning people to donate money to a non-existent problem is not only deceitful, but pulls money away from other charitable activities that are far more deserving. It also creates political responses to these mythical problems, wasting tax dollars in order to “do something” to help alleviate imaginary suffering. This is wrong on so many levels.
Exploring the Numbers:
- According to recent government statistics roughly two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese and at least 17% of children.
- Using population distributions from 2000, roughly 21.42% are ages 0 to 19.
- Assuming there are 300 million people in the US today, this translates into 64 million kids and 236 million adults.
- Of these, 11 million kids (17%) and 157 million adults (66.7%) are overweight or obese. If they have enough food to reach this condition, persistent hunger is unlikely a problem for most of them.
- That leaves 132 million non-overweight, non-obese Americans.
- If 1 in 8 Americans go hungry every day, that would translate into 37.5 million people or 28.4% of the non-overweight population.
- If the proportion of hungry children and hungry adults is roughly equal (12.5%), that would mean 8 million kids and 29.5 million adults go hungry every day.
- There are only 79 million non-overweight adults in the US.
- This means 37% of non-overweight, non-obese adults go hungry every day, or roughly 4 out of 10.
Below is the commercial that is helping to perpetuate this myth.