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All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America?

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  25 reviews
With the biting wit of Supersize Me and the passion of a lifelong activist, Joel Berg has his eye on the growing number of people who are forced to wait on lines at food pantries across the nation--the modern breadline. All You Can Eat reveals that hunger is a problem as American as apple pie, and shows what it is like when your income is not enough to cover rising housing ...more
Paperback, 351 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by Seven Stories Press (first published November 1st 2008)
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Vince
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
UPDATE: After reading the House of Representatives budget proposal that, among other cruelties, slashes another $191 billion from SNAP, the most effective hunger fighting program in our nation's arsenal, I thought it a good time to plug Joel Berg's excellent myth busting survey of food insecurity in America.

3.5 stars. Undoubtedly the most comprehensive book I've read about hunger in America. Joel Berg presents a detailed picture of the policies and politics of food insecurity, both past and pres
...more
Danielle
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in solving domestic hunger, or anyone who breathes.
$24 Billion dollars, the same price tag as 3 months of American combat in Iraq, would end domestic hunger.
I know it's a problem, because it's what I do, but do you? Do you know how easily the government could end it?!
I learned from Berg that it is the responsibility of our government, and since they are elected, our own responsibility to ensure that Americans stop going to bed hungry.
Food is not a luxury or a privilege.
Megan Rymski
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty fantastic. It was a bit depressing to realize that the political situation in America was as shitty in 2008 as it is today. Joel has some very interesting research on how people struggling with poverty generally don’t agree with government aid programs to help people in poverty because of America’s culture and ideals that were born and have been intensified since people first came to America. As someone who works with SNAP, I can attest to how crazy and terrible the processe ...more
Shani Hilton
Feb 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
What I wrote for www.postbourgie.com:

Sometime early in the year (or was it last year?), I heard a radio interview on Philly’s public radio station with a man named Joel Berg. Berg was discussing ‘low food insecurity’ (also known as ‘hunger’) in the U.S. His energy and candor made me take note of his book, which came out just before Barack Obama was elected. All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America was the name of it, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Berg, who worked in the Clinton administration on
...more
Sam McDaniel
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Berg is a bit of a wild man, or so the hunger community folks tell me. For most of the text, this is not really a book for impartial policy prescriptions. It probably shouldn't be. Berg is really passionate, and it comes through in his sometimes emotional diatribes. When it comes to hunger and poverty, he is right to be emotional, and his activism and policy suggestions as you get to the end of the book are really great and worth reading even if you skim the rest of it.
Jess
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
As someone who considers data powerful, reading this book finally drove home why statistics can alienate people. I, too, am passionate about ending hunger, but I feel Berg inundated the readers with too much data to prove his arguments. Data is useful if you can make it relevant to the reader's life, or at least a common scenario, and Berg repeatedly missed that connection.
The policy recommendations and critical look at both the Farm Bill and the current feeding system are the best parts of his
...more
Ashley Williamson
Apr 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
READ THIS. It's worth every page. Informative and clever.
Phillip
DETAILED FACT BASED ASSESSMENT. SKEWERS BOTH LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE DOGMAS WITH SELF EFFACING IRONIC EDGY WIT. MOSTLY AVOIDS "EVERYTHING WOULD BE FINE IF EVERYONE DID WHAT I THINK IS RIGHT". PRESCRIPTIONS ARE INNOVATIVE AND NOT TOO HIGH IN THE SKY IF STILL RATHER IMPRACTICAL IN PRACTICE POLITICALLY. VERY INFORMATIVE AND ENLIGHTENING APPROACH TO REAL PHENOMENON OF HUNGER POVERTY, ITS CAUSES AND ITS REALITY BOTH HISTORICAL AND PRESENT DAY.
Gary Wright
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Loved hearing Mr. Berg identify the 7 Deadly 'Ins': Instability, Inadequacy, Inappropriateness, Insufficiency, Inaccessibility, Inefficiency, & Indignity. Also, his reminder that EBT payouts are NOT entitlements. Definitely want to be sure to read a more recent update of this one. ...more
Paul
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book looks at the current state of hunger in America. Written by an anti-hunger activist, and former government official, it is not a pretty picture.

If food insecurity (the new euphemism for "hunger") is such a huge problem, then why are there so many obese African-Americans? Doesn't it show that they are getting more than enough food? What it really shows is that those whose food insecurity situation is bad, but not totally desperate, have to rely on cheaper high-calorie food that is full
...more
Abigail Nwiloh
The book 'All you Can Eat How Hungry is America?' by Joel Berg is non-fiction that is written in the point of view of Joel Berg, (the author). Berg discusses how he feels about hunger in America, and the way handles confrontation with people who don't even have access to their next meal. In the prologue of the book, Berg narrates his encounter with a man who begged for money to buy food for his family. He mentions that when he asks the man why he cannot just get food stamps, he replies that his ...more
Alison
Mar 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
I like food and am interested in learning the different aspects of its role in society. After reading a NY Times article where Berg was interviewed, I was intrigued by this book and food's effect on the "food insecure".

Berg was biased, yes. However, he did a good job at critiquing political figures, the media, and charities. He cited what good things came from each of their roles and how much the actions affected the "food insecure". His plan to solve hunger in America was seemed pretty sound, h
...more
Anthony Faber
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fairly decent look at hunger in America up to mid-2008. I give him points for trying to be even-handed, but I don't think this book will change many conservative minds. I was also annoyed by his argument that food stamps are more efficient than food pantries, which included all the overhead of the latter, while ignoring the fact that the benefits paid by food stamps contain a significant amount of overhead. I also found it a bit repetitive, but I've heard a lot of it before and that may be part ...more
Jamie
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
If you feel that the answer to every societal problem is more government then good news, this is the book for you! If you believe in personal choice and responsibility then you will have a hard time with this book. While I do not doubt the number of American's that are hungry, I do disagree with many of the author's conclusions. There were several arguments in the book that I did not agree with and were inaccurate. It was informative, but at the same time very slanted, and not open to exploring ...more
Sophie Gechijian
Mar 09, 2011 rated it liked it
The book, "All You Can Eat, How Hungry is America?" is a very informative read. This book includes all aspects of hunger in America from its effect on the national economy to misconceptions about race and hunger. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in pressing national issues which can be solved if the government takes an interest and takes action to eliminate hunger in America. The author specifically lays out ways in which the reader can help solve the problem which inspire ...more
Dorlisa
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book about a critical issue. Hunger is a global issue but this book focuses on hunger in our own communities. Love the stats he includes to drive home the points, but most importantly, I like that he ends the book outlining steps to be taken to end hunger.
Ryan
Dec 25, 2008 marked it as to-read
I'm attempting to design a high school level Agriculture and Food Systems course for next year. Wish me luck. More than that, tell me what to do. How do I translate a tried & true college level course into something of value for the limited 17-year-old intellect? Story of my life, really... ...more
Taylor Benefiel
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, non-fic
I read this book for one of my classes that focused on healthcare. It was a great read specifically for Berg's view on government and charity reform. Definitely worth a read if you are at all interested in hunger in the United States.
Andrew
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read - it broke my heart, challenged what I thought I knew, and laid a clear path forward. It is a treat when an author can so fluently combine the hard data we have come to worship with well-crafted opinions (and a fair dose of humor and sass).
David
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Berg certainly doesn't shy from attacking the hand that feeds him. A pull no punches book that provides a terrific overview on hunger policy in America.
Melody
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Brilliant look at food programs and hunger in America. And yes, the Reagan administration classified ketchup as a vegetable.
Stuart
THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU VERY ANGRY. A FULL 10% OF AMERICANS EXPERIENCE HUNGER ON A DAILY BASIS. WE ARE A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY AND OUR COMPASSION COUNTS FOR LESS THAN NOTHING.
charle.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
meh. it was okay. One of my co-workers told me that our boss wrote a book.

"BULLCRAP! Wait Really?"

The weird thing is I read this entire book with his voice.
Betsy
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-politics
A new take on food policies from one of new york's anti-hunger advocates. The food bank will be hosting Mr. Berg on March 17, if you are interested let me know and I'll give you further details.
Lori
Oct 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Let's hope the new President takes the ideas in this book on how to end domestic hunger and runs with them.
Laurie
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Jul 05, 2010
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Apr 16, 2013
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Labeled “Mister Frowny Pants” by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (on which he once appeared), Joel Berg is CEO of Hunger Free America, which the Nation called “one of the leading direct service and advocacy organizations on hunger and poverty in the nation.” He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on US politics, hunger, poverty, food, volunteerism, and nutrition.

Berg wrote the d
...more

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