- Posted September 9, 2013 by
Divided We Eat
As more of us indulge our passion for local, organic delicacies, a growing number of Americans don’t have enough nutritious food to eat especially those easy dinner recipes.
How we can bridge the gap. Over coffee, I cautiously raise a subject that has concerned me of late: less than five miles away, some children don’t have enough to eat; others exist almost exclusively on junk food. Alexandra concedes that her approach is probably out of reach for those people
For breakfast, I usually have a cappuccino espresso made in an Alessi pot and mixed with organic milk, which has been gently heated and hand-fluffed by my husband. I eat two slices of imported cheese Dutch Parrano, the label says, the hippest cheese in New York on homemade bread with butter. I am what you might call a food snob. My nutritionist neighbor drinks a protein shake while her 5-year-old son eats quinoa porridge sweetened with applesauce and laced with kale flake.
Eating organically and locally contributes not only to the health of her family but to the existential happiness of farm animals and farmers and, indeed, to the survival of the planet. According to data released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17 percent of Americans more than 50 million people live in households that are food insecure, a term that means a family sometimes runs out of money to buy food, or it sometimes runs out of food before it can get more money.
Food insecurity is especially high in households headed by a single mother. It is most severe in the South, and in big cities. In New York City, 1.4 million people are food insecure, and 257,000 of them live near me, in Brooklyn. Food insecurity is linked, of course, to other economic measures like housing and employment, so it surprised no one that the biggest surge in food insecurity since the agency established the measure in 1995 occurred between 2007 and 2008, at the start of the economic downturn.a