So what exactly is “hunger?”

We’re in the process of doing some research about attitudes and perceptions of hunger.  More details to come, but it’s a bit of follow-up on some of the informal research we did last summer with participants of RAGBRAI.   

Last week we watched four different focus groups in two distinctly different parts of the U.S. come together to share their perceptions.

One of the things made clear–and this is not news to those who’ve been involved in the issue for a while–is that we have some  challenges as we use the word “hunger,” especially as it applies to much of the problem in the U.S. 

Many people believe “hunger” should apply only to situations in which there simply is little or no food available.  Sub-Saharan Africa, for example.    

They believe “malnourished,”  “food poverty,”  or the more commonly-used term “food insecurity” are more appropriate to describe the challenge–still quite serious–that we face in our own country.  They believe that when we use the word “hunger,” we create a disconnect that makes mention of the staggering numbers of people affected less believable. 

What do you think?

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