It's easy to say that Americans will never be hungry again because the word will no longer be used to describe people who can't eat because they cannot afford to. Instead the author of the report for the Agriculture Department which measures American's access to food has deemed "hungry" not scientifically accurate enough. WAPO reports: The 35 million Americans who could not afford to put food on the table for part of last year will now be referred to as "Those who are determined to have low food security."
In assembling its report, the USDA divides Americans into groups with "food security" and those with "food insecurity," who cannot always afford to keep food on the table. Under the old lexicon, that group -- 11 percent of American households last year -- was categorized into "food insecurity without hunger," meaning people who ate, though sometimes not well, and "food insecurity with hunger," for those who sometimes had no food.Leave it to the politicians to politicize this even further...
That last group now forms the category "very low food security," described as experiencing "multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake." Slightly better-off people who aren't always sure where their next meal is coming from are labeled "low food security."
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.
This year, when the report failed to appear in October as it usually does, Democrats accused the Bush administration of delaying its release until after the midterm elections. Nord denied the contention, saying, "This is a schedule that was set several months ago."