Day 66: Life update and facts about food insecurity in the U.S. & Michigan

Today’s inane image of the day:
[Old image] from when I visited Mike in L.A. over Labor Day weekend.

This week has been moving by relatively quickly — I believe this is due to the following:

  1. Mike’s visit is still fresh in my mind and the residual happiness is carrying me through the week
  2. We had some very interesting lectures this week [from global health to food insecurity to the stigma around STIs]
  3. We had a somewhat relaxed week [less lecture than usual]
Anyway, I’m not sure how I feel about a fast week… while this means that the weekend comes sooner, it also means that there are less days between me and my next exam. But, then it means that I’ll see Mike again sooner… and also means that medical school is going to fly by too quickly.
On a more serious note…
One of the interesting lectures/talks we had this week was on food insecurity in the U.S. and locally in the state of Michigan. Last month, I retweeted an article originally posted by Jay Parkinson on an awesome new program in Michigan that doubles the value of SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets. Yesterday, I learned more facts about food insecurity from Feeding America [nation-wide] and Forgotten Harvest [Metro-Detroit-based] such as:
  • 37 million Americans (16.6% of the population) are food insecure
  • 1,828,060 people in Michigan are food insecure
  • 183,660 people in Oakland County are food insecure
  • 471,470 people in Wayne County are food insecure
  • 46% of Michigan’s school-age children receive free or reduced price lunch in school
  • Food insecure individuals feed a family on $3-$5/day
[Data source: Hunger in America 2010, Executive Summary, A Report on Emergency Food Distribution]
Even though Oakland County has been recognized as one of the most affluent counties in the nation, the fact still stands that there are people who need assistance to feed their families… yes, right in our own community. It’s important to recognize this fact and really consider what it takes to live a life like this — could you survive on $3-$5/day [that’s like a Grande Starbucks latte right there!]?
And the reality of our economy is that no one is safe — someday, it could be you and your family that relies on the food that these great organizations provide. Collect some good karma by checking out how you can help out.
[Oh and the original goal of the talk was to spark interest in doing a Capstone project in food insecurity… oh the choices!]
Anyway, time to study!

Today’s medical school fact of the day: Many people of Asian descent get an “alcohol flushed reaction” after consuming alcohol due to a deficiency in the enzyme, ALDH2 [which is largely responsible for the proper metabolism of ethanol].  – Biochemistry lecture notes [sort of… I added the Asian part].

3 thoughts on “Day 66: Life update and facts about food insecurity in the U.S. & Michigan

  • October 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    are you originally from MI or did you just come to MI for college/med school?

  • October 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    @Anon: I *am* originally from Michigan, but did go off to Western Massachusetts for two years for college. I’ll also say this: you’ll never find nicer, more caring strangers than here in the Midwest — my time in Western Mass., NYMC interview and experience in CA have confirmed this. =)

  • October 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    great! I am glad you enjoy Michigan!

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