Thursday, December 3, 2009


The common perception that "Grass is greener on the other side" is the greatest gullibility of human race, probably because man is an ambitious animal with thinking power that enables him to discriminate between 'good' and 'better'. The unending rush to western countries by educated youngsters is also driven by the same perception that affluent countries are better than India in terms of opportunities for education, employment and leading quality life. USA, the land of plenty can also be vulnerable to food insecurity is borne out by the recent statistics about the hunger status in that country.

"Eighty-five percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2008, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (14.6 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 5.7 percent with very low food security—meaning that the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food".

It is another matter that the yardstick used for measuring food security is more stringent as compared to that being followed in developing countries an if same is applied to these countries probably more that 60% of population face some form of food insecurity. If no distinction is made between calorie adequacy and nutritional adequacy, probably food insecurity may not be a real problem. In a country like India, with a per capita annual income of Rs 35000 and the operation of National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme assuring Rs 100 per day for rural folks during non-agricultural season, sufficient quantity of cereals can be purchased to stave off hunger and meet the calorie needs.

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