The Latest in Government Doublespeak

Today is Foodie Friday (just the same as each week here). But we want to remind our readers that there is still a problem with hunger and poverty in Amerika, and an administration that would rather redefine the problem than do anything about it.

Senator Barbara Boxer recently sent out the following e-mail bulletin:

“The Department of Agriculture recently announced that it would remove the word ‘hunger’ from reports on the nation’s food supply. Instead, it announced that it would use ‘low food security’ or ‘very low food security’ in its reports … Officials at the Department of Agriculture report that the change in labels was not a plot to try to disguise or mask hunger in America. Instead, they claim that ‘hunger’ is too amorphous a phrase to describe, in their terms, “a potential consequence of food insecurity that, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food, results in discomfort, illness, weakness or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation.”

However, I believe that most Americans are acutely aware of the meaning of ‘hunger,’ especially when used in official reports meant to describe peoples’ access to the food supply. As I said in my letter to Secretary Johanns, “Replacing ‘hunger’ with the phrase ‘low food security’ degrades the seriousness of the daily struggle with hunger facing millions of Americans and undermines the important work of food banks and homeless shelters in combating hunger.”

Last year, the total number of Americans without regular access to food actually decreased by 3 million, but 35 million still lacked adequate food supplies. Hunger is still a serious problem in our nation, and changing the name will not change this fact.

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