For you younguns, in the 80s, the USDA decided to define ketchup as a serving of vegetables so it could skimp on subsidized meals for needy schoolchildren. Well, the USDA has decided to stop using the word “hunger” and replace it with “very low food security.” Here’s some statistics on “very low food security”:
Some are not happy with the Orwellian double speak:
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.”
But we can hide the reality of hunger among our citizens, particularly if we don’t believe it exists in the first place:
That 35 million people in this wealthy nation feel insecure about their next meal can be hard to believe, even in the highest circles. In 1999, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, then running for president, said he thought the annual USDA report — which consistently finds his home state one of the hungriest in the nation — was fabricated.
“I’m sure there are some people in my state who are hungry,” Bush said. “I don’t believe 5 percent are hungry.”
Bush said he believed that the statistics were aimed at his candidacy. “Yeah, I’m surprised a report floats out of Washington when I’m running a presidential campaign,” he said.
The agency usually releases the report in the fall, for reasons that “have nothing to do with politics,” Nord said.
“Even in the highest circles?” That should read “especially in the highest circles.” If someone else’s suffering is inconvenient to our economic and moral perogative, then we should just ‘declare it’ away. That’s what aristocrats do.
Bush’s America: Freedom is on the march, and apparently, hunger has cut-and-run. Another triumph of Peter Pan public policy….
Let them eat delicious Hostess cupcakes.
Is some right-winger going to condemn this ‘politically correct’ language?