Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Hungry" versus "Food Insecurity"

Now comes the U.S. Department of Agriculture with its latest report regarding Americans' access to food. According to the Washington Post, the lead author of the report says that the group of people who prepared the report don't have a scientifically accurate description of "hunger" and so that word is not longer used in the USDA's report. Rather, the report uses a comparative system of "food security" classifications, such as "low food security", "food insecurity", "very low food security", and so on.

Hmm... I used to think that "hungry" as a word was pretty easy to define; it was when I hadn't eaten in a while and I wanted something to eat. I bet a lot of the respondents or subjects of the USDA report who haven't had food on their tables in a while could understand the term. I sure could.

So, I've got an idea for motivating the writers of next year's report to come up with a definition of "hunger": Let's just give them bread and water for the week leading up the drafting of the report, and maybe, just water, for the last couple of days before report writing starts. My guess is that they'd figure out a definition of hunger then.

But then, they'd probably say that hunger (when they'd defined it) could be assuaged by that vegetable, catsup. After all, Ronald Reagan said it counted as food, so it should be good for dealing with an undefineable condition....

No comments: