Actually, Youre Suffering from ‚Very Low Food Security" Pains
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will no longer identify Americans who dont have enough to eat as ‚hungry” when it conducts its annual survey of access to food. Now, instead of calling people who cant afford to put food on the table ‚hungry”, a term well understood by the public, the USDA will categorize them as experiencing ‚very low food security”. The USDA says it made this semantic change because it found ‚hunger” to be an unscientific term for which there is not a clear definition.
Bread for the World, an anti-hunger group, and others strongly criticized this word change, saying ‚We . . . cannot hide the reality of hunger among our citizens.” The amount of hungry people in the U.S. has been a source of shame for the Bush Administration, as the percentage of Americans that are the hungriest has risen over the past five years. Last year, eleven million Americans reported going hungry at times, and 35 million people could not put food on the table for part of last year. Considering that in 1999 then-Governor Bush claimed the USDA‚ hunger statistics (which rated Texas poorly) were fabricated, it‚ no wonder that this Administration would rather change the terms, than fix the problem.
While we found government attempts to call ketchup a ‚vegetable” and irradiation ‚cold pasteurization” disturbing, calling hungry people anything other than ‚hungry” strikes us as deeply wrong. Whatever the scientific reasoning, this linguistic gymnastics makes it easier to ignore a problem that shouldnt exist in a country as wealthy as the United States. [End of Sermon.]