Previously here on the blog, you've heard me mention the Department of Agriculture's annual report that examines hunger in America. Specifically, they take a look at the number of families who don't have enough to eat. (In my last post on this subject, I mentioned that the Bush Administration had delayed the release of this report, until after the mid-term elections).
Well apparently, the Department of Agriculture has adopted a 'if we don't say it, it doesn't exist" approach. Because they will no longer use the word "hunger" in their annual HUNGER report. Rather, they are adopting the term "food insecurity."
From a Washington Post article:
The U.S. government has vowed that Americans will never be hungry again. But they may experience "very low food security."
Every year, the Agriculture Department issues a report that measures Americans' access to food, and it has consistently used the word "hunger" to describe those who can least afford to put food on the table. But not this year.
Mark Nord, the lead author of the report, said "hungry" is "not a scientifically accurate term for the specific phenomenon being measured in the food security survey." Nord, a USDA sociologist, said, "We don't have a measure of that condition."
The USDA said that 12 percent of Americans -- 35 million people -- could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Eleven million of them reported going hungry at times. Beginning this year, the USDA has determined "very low food security" to be a more scientifically palatable description for that group.
Anti-hunger advocates say the new words sugarcoat a national shame. "The proposal to remove the word 'hunger' from our official reports is a huge disservice to the millions of Americans who struggle daily to feed themselves and their families," said David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, an anti-hunger advocacy group. "We . . . cannot hide the reality of hunger among our citizens."
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