Growing food crisis splits the US
“It’s a tale of two Americas right now,” said George Hemminger of Survive and Thrive TV.
New York City is at a place where the number of people on food stamps is soaring at a record 3 million. It is also a place where one hundred and seventy five dollars buys Wall Street fat-cats a burger with black truffles and mayonnaise with gold leaf, or a martini for ten thousand dollars at an exquisite New York hotel, or a dessert for a staggering one thousand bucks.
“Nobody’s ever had buyer’s remorse. That’s for sure,” said dessert chef Joe Calderone.
With a 48-hour advance order, a thousand-dollar sundae with edible 23-karat gold leaf is purchased by well-off New Yorkers up to five times a month.
“Gold doesn’t really have a flavor but it has a really cool texture,” explained the chef.
Some of the other ingredients include salt-free caviar, an edible sugar flower which takes eight hours to make, and the rarest and most expensive chocolates in the world.
The ice cream is served in a crystal goblet similar to the one used at the Vatican.
“Yes, in the last couple of years people are suffering, and saying why would you have a thousand dollar ice cream? Well, you know, why would you have a Bentley?”
A short ride across town the ingredients in the food are very different. Tomato, spinach, water, garlic, onion, celery.
At pantries across the city the money that some New Yorkers spend on a desert is seen as a lottery win.
“Off a thousand dollars? Over a thousand, close to two thousand individuals would have gotten a meal”, said Melony Samuels, founder of the Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger.
“For the amount of people who come in for food, ain’t got enough,” said Carlton James, Food Pantry employee.
With over a million people fed at the Bronx pantry last year and a one hundred percent increase in demand for food, this place knows the face of hunger.
Demand for any available produce, canned beef stew, and peas has been sky-rocketed at pantries like this one. As the gap between rich and poor is at an extreme, so is the number of people who need any help they can get to put food on their tables.
60-year-old Cedric Jacobs is on disability and a father of three in a family with a ration that couldn’t be simpler.
“Sweet potatoes, juice, eggs, soda, ground beef, turkey. It won’t last a week,” sighed the man.
Kyle Whylie is on disability after being burnt in an explosion, she struggles as food prices continue to rise.
“Produce, vegetables – it’s sky high. I mean, it’s outrageous. Five dollars for a loaf of bread,” said the retired technician.
For these people luxury is not even a dream, survival is their only priority.
Experts predict the gap between those with full and empty stomachs will only widen.
The founder of WideAwakeNews.com, Charlie McGrath, added that it is not surprising there is a growing gap between rich and poor in what the can afford to eat.
“We have Wall Street happier and healthier than ever before. They can afford $200 cheeseburgers and $1000 lunches,” he said. “A lot of people in the alternative media have been saying we’re going to pay a price for this and that is what we are seeing when you have stories where the number of people on food stamps in New York rises 60 percent in a few years.”
There are Americans who have been on food stamps for nearly two years, McGrath explained. Unemployment is high and the prices on food items are rising.
“Wars are now being waged around the world because people have hungry bellies,” he said. “It just absolutely sickens me.”
Frederick Kaufman, the author of the “A Short History of the American Stomach,” said America is in a difficult period in its history.
“Other parts of the world we are going to see an inequality gap lessen, but here I think we are heading towards wacky times,” he remarked.
Kaufman also shared his opinion on the causes of unrest in the Middle East. He noted that the kind of bifurcation between the rich and the poor inspired the middle class to revolution.
“What are we seeing through the Middle East is an extraordinary pinched middle class,” argued Kaufman.
He predicted the next century of wars will be fought over food resources, “Arable land, fresh water, grain, food – these are going to be the most valuable things on Earth going forwards.”