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What is Hunger?

Food for thought...

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'Television images haunt us. Stunted, bony bodies. Long lines waiting for a meager bowl of gruel. This is famine hunger in its acute form, the kind no one could miss.

But hunger comes in another form. It is the day- in- day - out hunger that almost 800 million people suffer. While chronic hunger doesn't make the evening news, it takes more lives than famine. Every day this largely invisible hunger, and its related preventable diseases, kill as many as thirty- four thousand children under the age of five. That's 12 million children per year.
...Statistics like this are staggering. They shock and alarm.. however, we begin to doubt the usefulness of such numbers. Numbers can numb. They can distance us from what is actually very close to us. So we asked ourselves, what is really hunger?
Is it the gnawing pain in our stomach when we miss a meal? The listless stare of a dying child in the television hunger appeal? Yes, but it is more. What would it mean to think of hunger in terms of universal human emotions, feelings that all of us have experienced at some time in our lives?...
Anguish of impossible choices: the choice of a house being repossessed if the mortgage is not paid.
Grief- being hungry means watching people you love die.
Humiliation , the poor are made to blame themselves for their poverty.
Increasingly, throughout the world, hunger has a fourth dimension, fear.

Anguish, grief, humiliation, and fear. What if we refused to count the hungry and instead tried to understand hunger in terms of such universal emotions.

We discovered that how we understand hunger determines what we think are its solutions. If we think of hunger only as numbers- numbers of people with too few calories- the solution also appears to us in numbers- numbers of tons of food aid, or numbers of dollars in economic assistance. But once we understand hunger as real people coping with the most painful of human emotions, we can perceive its roots. We need only ask, when have we experienced any of these emotions ourselves? Hasn't it been when we have felt out of control in our lives- powerless to protect ourselves and those we love?
Hunger has thus become for us the ultimate symbol of powerlessness.'

adapted from
World Hunger- Twelve Myths
Frances Moore Lappe

Posted by africraigs 17:03 Archived in USA Tagged food

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