The last set of concepts that I want to present to students in this class are those that deal with food insecurity and food access.
Hunger and Food Insecurity (Access to Enough Food)
In the spring 2014, semester one seminar participant asked with incredulity, “Who is hungry in America?” I found myself somewhat taken aback by the question. I had clearly missed an important opportunity to understand a misconception that participants bring into the course with them. I promise to do a better job the next time this course is offered.
Students who participate in this seminar will learn how many people in America are hungry, who those people are, and where they live.
They will score 100% on the hunger quiz
They will understand how the USDA ERS defines “food insecurity” as well the definitions of related terms and the geographical and population distribution of food insecurity. (I think that once they understand that commodity corn is not food they will have a different understanding of why film makers put in extra travel days to show hungry children in Iowa.)
Food Access (Access to Food that Is Nutritious and Healthy)
We will then turn our attention to food access and affordability by considering reports and research on food deserts (http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/ap-administrative-publication/ap-036.aspx). On this page, the USDA writes about access to “nutritious” food. On several others, it uses the term “healthy” food. I am not writing many words here but that is not because I do not have a lot to say. This is the point in the course where students will synthesize what they have learned about “food that is nutritious and healthy.”