Austin Ruse: Food Insecurity Is the Result Of Bad Behavior

Austin Ruse speaks at 2015 conference on sexual orientation and gender identity in international law

Austin Ruse, the Religious Right activist who runs C-Fam, has been hitting the talk radio circuit promoting his new book “Fake Science,” which purports to debunk various liberal “skewed statistics, fuzzy facts and dodgy data.” In an interview with Virginia radio host Rob Schilling last week, Ruse ran through some of this “fake science,” including his contention that food insecurity is a made-up problem because most people could solve it by not buying cigarettes, soda and “expensive” food from McDonald’s.

“The federal government no longer measures hunger because they found a vanishingly small number of people who actually went to bed hungry, so they changed the definition to food security, low food security,” Ruse said. “And low food security means that people, A, wonder at the end of the month whether they’re going to have enough money to buy dinner tomorrow.

“But what the social science and what the science shows from the Department of Labor is that much of these shortages at the end of the month can be directed right towards a change in behavior. An inordinate number of people who, with low food security, also smoke a couple of packs of cigarettes a day. That’s a lot of money that could be spent on the family budget at the end of the month. A couple of Cokes from a vending machine, very expensive.”

He continued, “There is not a systemic problem with hunger in America, moreover a shortage of free food in America. There are 30,000 food banks all over the United States. I don’t know how many are in your town, but there are probably several, so people are getting fed, and people, instead of going to McDonald’s and having a Big Mac, which is among the most expensive calories that they can buy, a dinner of rice and beans is very cheap and can fill a hungry belly very easily. So a lot of this can be changed by changing behavior.”