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Community Efforts Relieve "Food Insecurity"

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

In North Carolina about one in six children live in households where it is not clear where their next meal is coming from. This is called “food insecurity.” 

Among the 50 states, North Carolina ranks sixth in the nation for families suffering food insecurity. Rowan and Cabarrus counties are reported to have almost 53,000 food-insecure people, including 20,000 kids, many of whom take part in a school lunch program. Summer without school lunch programs means increased hunger. 

Local leadership in social service agencies tell me the numbers are real, and perhaps even low. They also point out that donations to charities dropped last year by more than 10 percent f…

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Food as Medicine Fights Rising Problem

Food as Medicine Fights Rising Problem

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

I am sitting in a mall food court with several friends when one remarks on another shopper's weight, which was beyond impressive. The mid 30's object of this attention was obese, used a walker, and huffed and puffed alongside a child carrying a tray. My tablemate said it looked like the tray held enough food to feed a family of four for a day.

All 3 of my companions piled on observations. The irony of the moment was that all 3 of my companions were themselves overweight - but when I asked them if they were, they all said no.

On average, citizens of the United States now eat 570 calories more every day than we did in the 1970's.i Our population now consists of rough…

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 Hunger Amidst Plenty: Salvaging Food 

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

Imagine yourself standing at your front door, looking at your three neighbors’ houses across the street, the homes on either side of yours, and don’t forget the one across the back fence. Add to that your own home for a total of seven front doors. The residents of those six houses are the ones who would call the fire department for you if smoke was coming from your roof, or take your trash can in if you are out of town, or feed your pet or water your plants. And it is not a one way exchange--you would alert your neighbor if her young children were playing in the street.

You are part of a little community that supports each other.

Now imagine that one of your neighb…

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Make the Most of Fresh Food to Fight Obesity

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

I am sitting in a mall food court with several friends when one remarks on another shopper’s weight, which was beyond impressive. The mid-30s object of this attention was obese, used a walker, and huffed and puffed alongside a child carrying a tray. My tablemate said it look like enough food to feed a family of four for a day.

All three of my companions piled on observations. The irony of the moment was that all three of my companions were themselves overweight — but when I asked them if they were, they all said no. 

On average, citizens of the United States now eat 570 calories more every day than we did in the 1970s. Our population now consists of roughly 1 in 3…

Read more: Make the Most of Fresh Food to Fight Obesity

Maine Farm Yields $80,000 per Acre, Produces Food 12 Months a Year

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

Roughly 15 percent of all fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States are imported from outside our borders. This creates both a cash drain to local economies, and a potentially dangerous way for bad guys to put disease into our food supply. Another very large chunk of our food supply travels thousands of miles from elsewhere in the country at great use of imported oil, thus making us doubly at risk - an oil supply interruption could not only make gasoline scarce, it could also impact food availability - particularly healthy vegetables.

Local farmers who grow only during the traditional warm months also have a tendency to lose their…

Read more: Maine Farm Yields $80,000 per Acre, Produces Food 12 Months a Year

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