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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

I Don't Know What to Call This Post

Nietjuh on Pixabay. Creative Commons licenced.
Don't worry, this is not really a political post. It's more about class blindness and frugality and hungry people. If you consider talking about hunger political, well, bless your heart. The rest of you, bear with me, K?

Sometimes the best way to see the wealth divide in this country is to read what middle-class/up-mid class folks read in their off time. I imagine most of us would include NPR in that class group, right?

Recently NPR posted an article about how to reduce food waste.

"Here's advice from one family who significantly cut back on food waste for three months:
▪️ Plan out meals for the week to reduce excess food purchases ▪️ Know when food is actually spoiled ▪️ Stray from recipes ▪️ Study personal food waste"
Someone on Twitter reposted the NPR link with this rather savage comment:

Or, you could lose your job/income and need to eat everything you have, along with lots of rice and beans. Both have a great shelf life and are cheap as fuck....

These days, I'm probably considered middle class, though I grew up much poorer: I have a graduate degree, I own a home, I have health insurance, I own a paid-off car, I have a decent job, and I can go to the grocery story without flinching too much at the prices or counting my money before I get in the checkout line. (In the past, I have done the latter, however, hundreds of times.)

I live in a state with a high degree of what is called "food insecurity" these days. Nationally, as of 2016, "41 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including 13 million children and 5 million seniors. A household that is food insecure has limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life."

The disconnect between those with plenty--the NPR audience, for the most part--and those who don't have squat really bothers me. When people are hungry, there is no planning meals, there is no "buying local," there is often no using recipes (you just throw crap together, BT, DT), and most of all, there is no "food waste." You eat everything you've got. You're hungry! (Disclaimer: I have been hungry because I did not have enough money to buy sufficient food for months at a time.)

Yes, if you have plenty, don't waste food, by all means. I do my best never to throw anything away. But get out of your own head now and then, and think about what the people down the street might be doing to get by. Yes, I'm talking about the folks who moved out in the middle of the night because they'd been foreclosed on. (Do you cluck over how they ran and that they had a better car than you?) Foreclosure is still a thing. Our neighborhood has one or two foreclosed homes almost all the time.

Give to your local food bank today. Do whatever else you can if your life is bountiful. And, again, if you consider talking about hunger "political," well, bless your heart. Sure hope you don't consider yourself a Christian.

Did I make you angry?

Good.

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