Sunday, November 19, 2006

Reason #82,391 Why I Love My Kids

Telling them at the tail end of class yesterday about the latest politically correct terminology:

Wait, you guys gotta hear this. Apparently the FDA or whoever has decided to stop using the word "hungry."
What are they gonna use? Starving?
Nope, "very low food security."
That's dumb. They'll still be starving.
Some Americans Lack Food, but USDA Won't Call Them Hungry
Yeah, apparently it's too scientifically vague. Like "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" makes more sense? Believe me, if you ask those who are most in need if they're hungry, they can tell you. If you give them that line about "potential consequence" and ask whether a "lack of eating led to these more severe conditions" .... they probably won't have any desire to even try to translate that out in their brain, let alone give an answer.

Old terminology ~ "food insecurity without hunger," meaning people who ate, though sometimes not well, and "food insecurity with hunger," for those who sometimes had no food.
New terminology ~ "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."

Unique tidbit to learn: 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.

Report: Fewer People in U.S. Are Hungry

A Post editorial expresses appreciation that the USDA doesn't control national monuments: "Give me your energy-deficient, your financially challenged, your space-impaired masses yearning to breathe free."

Joel Achenbach, WaPo blogger, offers us the Curmudgeon's Cure for All Human Misery (just scroll down slightly) ... this includes alternatives to everything from thirst (personal hydration overexpectation) to bubonic plague (rodentially transmitted rapid wellness deterioration mode) {not to be confused with the probabilistic, irreversible wellness termination that is sometimes referred to as the black plague}, death (end-stage wellness), and even the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Quadro-Equestrian Hardship Demonstration Team; also Mounted Eschatology End-Stage Wellness Unit). Commenters added such gems as the redefinition of a nice cup of hot chicken soup to be re-represented as ".24 liters of thermally elevated gallinaceous hydration libation having potentially wellness-inducing placebo effect."

But, just as a rose by any other name would smell as sweet ..... starvation by any other name would gnaw as hard.

And our making up goofy names, especially in some official capacity of those who are allegedly trying to eliminate hunger ..... it makes a mockery of those who are living this reality every day.

Hungry or gastronomically unfulfilled — either way, let's put our energy into figuring out why people feel that way, and what can be done to stop it. Let's focus on the more helpful aspect of rendering those words, or any thesaurusly compelling counterparts, thoroughly unnecessary.

They're hungry, OK? Let's just get 'em some food!


Blogger will smama said...

Although I make a conscious effort to not use hyperbole and say, "I am starving!" I do think it is okay to call hungry people... hungry.

I want to know how much money they will they spend to change the pamphlets rather than feeding the people.

11/21/2006 8:31 AM  
Blogger Dennis said...

The actual work of feeding the hungry is very complicated. One way is to just hand out money, which people in tough circumstances some times to do not use on food.

Any other solution involves distribution and logistics. And the greater the corruption in the society at large, the greater the difficulty.

But you're right. Language is used in strange ways by people who do not want to take responsibility for things. Starvation and malnutrition are called "low food security," war is called "occupation and stabilization," murder is called "selective reduction" and a human being is called a "tissue mass."

11/22/2006 12:21 PM  
Blogger LutheranChik said...

You have GOT to be kidding. "Very low food security"?! I work in aging services, so we're in on all the official "helping" boilerplate, but this is a new one on me.

Happy Delurking Week, by the way.;-) (o)

11/22/2006 1:53 PM  

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