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18,000 children die from hunger every day. ~ United Nations
It's simply a national acknowledgement that in any kind of priority, the needs of human beings must come first. Poverty is here and now. Hunger is here and now. Racial tension is here and now. Pollution is here and now. These are the things that scream for a response. And if we don't listen to that scream - and if we don't respond to it - we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us - or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name. ~ Rod Serling

In politics, humanitarian aid, and social science, Hunger ' is a condition in which a person, for a sustained period, is unable to eat sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs.

See also: starvation
For the physical sensation, see Hunger (physiology). For the physical extremes, see Starvation and Famine. For other uses, see Hunger (disambiguation).
Because of so many wars, climate change, the widespread use of hunger as a political and military weapon, and a global health pandemic that makes all of that exponentially worse, 270 million people are marching toward starvation. ~ David Beasley


  • The slippers of the mortal Earth, Now touched the chest of the Moon. Oh, It is shameful that the misery of hunger is still continuing as it was in the past.
  • What makes bitter things sweet? Hunger.
    • Alcuin in R Lacey and D Danziger, The Year 1000, Little, Brown and Co,GB, 1999, p. 57
  • If all the protein of just the cottonseed, peanuts and soybean now grown were made available as a concentrate for human consumption, this would have the effect of doubling the quantity of protein concentrates now available. This alone would wipe out the world protein concentrate deficit that now exists.
    • Aaron Atschul, as quoted by John F. Henahan, Men and Molecules (1966)
  • What tears me up inside is this. This coming year, millions and millions and millions of my equals, my neighbors, your neighbors, are marching to the brink of starvation. We stand at what may be the most ironic moment in modern history. On the one hand, after a century of massive strides in eliminating extreme poverty, today those 200 million of our neighbors are on the brink of starvation. That’s more than the entire population of Western Europe. On the other hand, there is $400 trillion of wealth in our world today. Even at the height of the COVID pandemic, in just 90 days, an additional [$2.7] trillion of wealth was created. And we only need $5 billion to save 30 million lives from famine. What am I missing here?...
    I don’t go to bed at night thinking about the children we saved; I go to bed weeping over the children we could not save. And when we don’t have enough money nor the access we need, we have to decide which children eat and which children do not eat, which children live, which children die. How would you like that job? Please, don’t ask us to choose who lives and who dies. In the spirit of Alfred Nobel, as inscribed on this medal, “peace and brotherhood,” let’s feed them all. Food is the pathway to peace.
    • David Beasley, Food Is the Pathway to Peace: World Food Programme Wins Nobel Peace Prize & Warns of Hunger Pandemic, Democracy Now! (10 December 2020)
  • Beauty is pain and there's beauty in everything, what's a little bit of hunger? I can go a little while longer.
  • Do you wish to honor the Body of the Savior? Do not despise it when it is naked. Do not honor it in church with silk vestments while outside it is naked and numb with cold. He who said, “This is my body,” and made it so by his word, is the same that said, “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food. As you did it not to the least of these, you did it not to me.” Honor him then by sharing your property with the poor. For what God needs is not golden chalices but golden souls.
  • The solution to the problem of hunger and starvation in the midst of plenty will be His primary concern. To focus world opinion on the need to end this blasphemy will be His aim, giving voice therefore to the aspirations of millions for a better, more just world.
  • The question arises: why, in a world so well endowed, does hunger exist to such degree? Why, with food enough and more for all, do millions still sadly starve and bring disgrace on man's divinity? By what law do men assume the right to mark those who shall live and those who must die? From what complacent depths are such judgements made? ...Man, of his own free will, must choose the path to future glory: the path of brotherhood and love, justice and sharing... The signs are there for all to see: the signs of the new time, when hunger will be no more.
  • Humanitarian and economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, where the U.N. estimates that more than half of the population suffers from acute hunger. The country has fallen into an economic crisis after the U.S. and other Western countries cut off direct financial assistance to the government following the Taliban takeover in August. Taliban leaders are also unable to access billions of dollars in Afghan national reserves that are held in banks overseas. “Forty million civilians were left behind when the NATO countries went for the door in August,” says Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, who recently visited Afghanistan and with refugees in Iran, where as many as 5,000 Afghans are fleeing every day. “They told me very clearly, 'We believe we will starve and freeze to death this harsh winter unless there is an enormous aid operation coming through.'”
    • Democracy Now!, Hell on Earth”: Millions of Afghans Face Starvation as U.S. & West Freeze Billions in Gov’t Funds, (16 November 2021)
  • Samples of a people that had undergone a terrible grinding and regrinding in the mill, and certainly not in the fabulous mill which ground old people young, shivered at every corner, passed in and out at every doorway, looked from every window, fluttered in every vestige of a garment that the wind shook. The mill which had worked them down, was the mill that grinds young people old; the children had ancient faces and grave voices; and upon them, and upon the grown faces, and ploughed into every furrow of age and coming up afresh, was the sigh, Hunger. It was prevalent everywhere. Hunger was pushed out of the tall houses, in the wretched clothing that hung upon poles and lines; Hunger was patched into them with straw and rag and wood and paper; Hunger was repeated in every fragment of the small modicum of firewood that the man sawed off; Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys, and stared up from the filthy street that had no offal, among its refuse, of anything to eat. Hunger was the inscription on the baker’s shelves, written in every small loaf of his scanty stock of bad bread; at the sausage-shop, in every dead-dog preparation that was offered for sale. Hunger rattled its dry bones among the roasting chestnuts in the turned cylinder; Hunger was shred into atomics in every farthing porringer of husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil.
  • When scolded for masturbating in public, he said "I wish it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing my belly."
    • Diogenes of Sinope quoted by Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 46, 69
    • Variant: If only it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing the belly as it is to masturbate.
      • As quoted in Encarta Book of Quotations (2000) edited by Bill Swainson, p. 274
  • Well, I was myself recently also in Afghanistan, and I sat down with the mothers in these displacement camps around Kabul. And I asked them, “What about the future? What do you think of the future?” And they told me very clearly, “We believe we will starve and freeze to death this harsh winter, unless there is an enormous aid operation coming through and unless there is a public sector again that is able to provide services.” It is as acute as that. Forty million civilians were left behind when the NATO countries went for the door in August.
  • Money should not go to the military political group called the Taliban that took power by force. The money should go to the people, and it is possible. So, number one, there has to be trust funds, as we call it, that is held by U.N. agencies, that funnel money directly to the hospitals, that you just showed, where people are dying at the moment. It can go straight to the teachers that were on the payroll of the World Bank previously, can go straight to them. So, the money can go through us, international organizations, straight to the people.
    Secondly, unfreeze those funds that will enable banks to function again. At the moment, we cannot even buy relief items in Afghanistan. We have to ship them over, take them over from Pakistan and Iran, which means that employment is dying in Afghanistan.
    And thirdly, donors, come down from the fence. See that we are there. We are reliable channels for funding. The money will go to the people. Transmit funding, not just come with pledges. This will not become Switzerland in a long time. You have to share the risk with us to save lives this winter.
  • There is more than enough food in the world to feed our population of 7.8 billion. But, today, more than 820 million people are hungry & #COVID19 is making things worse. To eradicate hunger, we must ensure inclusive access to healthy and nutritious food.
  • 690 million people in the world are hungry – almost 9% of the entire population of the planet. Many more people could slip into hunger this year. We must make food systems more sustainable and healthy diets affordable & accessible for all.
  • Nutritionists suggest that a normal adult male should receive about seventy grams of protein a day, with larger amounts going to pregnant women, children and the sick. Of the total protein requirement, about thirty grams should be of animal origin. ...only one quarter of the world's people receive more than thirty grams of animal protein daily; many receive far less... the present total world deficit is about five million metric tons, one quarter of a year's total supply.
    • John F. Henahan, Men and Molecules (1966)
  • A child with kwashiorkor loses little weight, but... is very susceptible to cuts and bruises, poor bone development, enlarged liver, mental dysfunction and a premature death. In kwashiorkor areas, the peak death rate is sixty per thousand as compared to the mortality of four per thousand in other areas. ... the condition can be quickly corrected if the child's diet is supplemented with essential animal protein.
    • John F. Henahan, Men and Molecules (1966)
  • Peru, a country which is severely lacking in animal protein, has... a thriving fish meal industry which produces more than a million tons of nutritious fish meal annually. What frustrates the food experts is that almost the entire output of fish meal—derived from anchovies... is exported to North America, where it is used in poultry feed.
    • John F. Henahan, Men and Molecules (1966)
  • As valuable as animal protein is, livestock are relatively inefficient protein-making machines. ...only 23 percent of the protein that a cow takes in ends up as usable protein in its meat or milk. Beef cattle pay back about 10 percent... while pigs return 12 percent. ...Grazing in a pasture, a 1,000-pound cow turns the grass into edible protein at the rate of about a pound a day. The same weight of bacterial organisms... produces 2,750 pounds of protein in the same "grazing" day. Bacteria are also less demanding... they do not care what the weather is and do not need as much personal attention...
    • John F. Henahan, Men and Molecules (1966)
  • Relatively available, but relatively untapped, food sources, whose protein content can be favorably compared to animal protein, are the oil seeds, such as soybean, peanuts, and cottonseed. Potentially these seeds could contribute and additional twenty million tons of protein to the expanding population, but except for soybean, very little reaches human stomachs in critically underfed areas.
    • John F. Henahan, Men and Molecules (1966)
  • New cottonseed processes... can produce high protein concentrates containing little or none of the poisonous pigment gossypol. All of the processes use a variety of chemical solvents... to sidestep the need for protein-destroying heat which was used in earlier processes.
    • John F. Henahan, Men and Molecules (1966)
  • There are now about 100,000 different types of protein-producing plants that are almost completely ignored as food staples. These unused protein suppliers are the fungi, which include the yeasts, mushrooms and molds. ...there are many carbohydrate-containing plants that can be used as food for fungus... in low-protein areas of the world. ...even wood pulp has been a fair starting material for the protein-manufacturing machinery of the Fungi Imperfecti. Dr. [William D.] Gray has calculated that if only seven major crops were converted into fungal protein, the protein would meet the yearly needs of more than four and a half billion people.
    • John F. Henahan, Men and Molecules (1966)
  • In spite of the bacteria's bad reputation, oil chemists and nutritionists anticipate that someday they might be able to put these pests to work as valuable protein producers. The bacteria use petroleum hycrocarbons as a source of carbon...Dr. [Alfred] Champagnat... calculates that if petroleum were used as a protein source, it would make only a small dent in the oil reserves.
    • John F. Henahan, Men and Molecules (1966)
  • During the election, Prime Minister Harper ended some of his speeches with the words “God bless Canada.” Indeed, the prophet Isaiah says that God blesses you when you “share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house” (Isaiah 58.7). We urge the Prime Minister to spend tax dollars now in a way that will bring the homeless poor into their own house, and allow them the dignity of sharing their bread with others.
  • When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not damage the oil and the wine.”
  • Part of her wanted to be a swan. The other part wanted to eat one. She had broken her fast on some acorn paste and a handful of bugs. Bugs weren't so bad when you got used to them. Worms were worse, but not so bad as the pain in your belly from days without food.
  • It was a warm day and he had a long way to go. He hadn't gone more than half-way when a sort of funny feeling began to creep all over him. It began at the tip of his nose and trickled all through him and out at the soles of his feet. It was just as if somebody inside him were saying "Now then, Pooh, time for a little something".
  • But hunger is probably the strongest motive for eating what under normal circumstances would be considered inedible. Perhaps if the ominous prognostications of pundits terrified by untrammeled population growth came true, one can imagine a world in which each member of humanity crouches on his sternly alloted sand pile and presents his plastic card at. the state controlle commissary for his weekly ration of fish protein. At such a time, the placenta may well become a delicacy of haute cuisine. In that far-off dy mankin may find useful the valeditory used by the Toradja natives of the Celebes who hang the placenta in the fork of a large Ficus tree and on departing address it: "You afterbirth, do not say that I do not ove you; we love you. Do not tickle the soles of the feet of the feet of your little brother (sister) and do not pinch his (her) stomach.
    • W. B. Ober p.598
  • I have no doubt that every form of cannibalism, excepting at most those which happen in times of extreme hunger and whose only purpose is to secure survival, has a pathological, perverse background.
    • Friedemann Pfafflin. (2009) Reply to Beier (2009). Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, pp. 166-167; as quoted in "Turn on the Eater", by Mark D. Griffiths, Psychology Today, (Nov 29, 2013).
  • We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well that was probably true. They were all on a diet.
  • Judas: Woman your fine ointment - brand new and expensive
    Should have been saved for the poor
    Why has it been wasted? We could have raised maybe
    Three hundred silver pieces or more
    People who are hungry, people who are starving
    They matter more than your feet and hair!
  • The Gods have not ordained hunger to be our death: even to the well-fed man comes death in varied shape,
    The riches of the liberal never waste away, while he who will not give finds none to comfort him,
    The man with food in store who, when the needy comes in miserable case begging for bread to eat,
    Hardens his heart against him, when of old finds not one to comfort him.

    Bounteous is he who gives unto the beggar who comes to him in want of food, and the feeble,
    Success attends him in the shout of battle. He makes a friend of him in future troubles,
    No friend is he who to his friend and comrade who comes imploring food, will offer nothing.
  • What we’ve been hearing from the panelists is how the global food system works right now... It’s based on large multinational companies, private profits, and very low international transfers to help poor people (sometimes no transfers at all). It’s based on the extreme irresponsibility of powerful countries with regard to the environment. And it’s based on a radical denial of the economic rights of poor people... We’ve just heard from the Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many point a finger of blame at the DRC and other poor countries for their poverty. Yet we don’t seem to remember, or want to remember, that starting around 1870, King Leopold of Belgium created a slave colony in the Congo that lasted for around 40 years; and then the government of Belgium ran the colony for another 50 years. In 1961, after independence of the DRC, the CIA then assassinated the DRC’s first popular leader, Patrice Lumumba, and installed a US-backed dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, for roughly the next 30 years. And in recent years, Glencore and other multinational companies suck out the DRC’s cobalt without paying a level of royalties and taxes. We simply don’t reflect on the real history of the DRC and other poor countries struggling to escape from poverty. Instead, we point fingers at these countries and say, “What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you govern yourselves properly?”
  • How is it that in the 21st century, when the planet as a whole is producing almost half, again, as much in terms of calories that we need to feed everyone, that there are some people that are in such dire circumstances as he described? So, we must always do that work. We must support that work. We must congratulate the people that devote their lives to do that. But I think a more important calling is actually to prevent the incidence of hunger on the planet, which is entirely doable.
  • The formula that food is the way to derive peace actually should be more properly understood in reverse. The answer to my question of why we have so many hungry people on the planet when there is no need for that is that it is a deliberate decision that some human beings make in order to appropriate the resources of others, or, as in the case of one of the hot spots on the planet right now for hunger, which is Yemen, it was a deliberate strategy to disrupt the food system specifically to weaken the country in the pursuit of the war between proxies, Saudi Arabia and Iran. And so, it’s important to remember that hunger does not always happen because of natural disasters, which is a mental model that most of us fall back upon; it is often the result of things that we actually do to each other deliberately.
  • Those of us that enjoy cocoa, coffee, tea, the products of most of the tropical part of the world, are actually utilizing tropical land, are actually utilizing the resources of other people. In our mind, we believe in such theories as comparative advantage: We’re actually trading for these artifacts. But in fact what is happening is that most of the time we’re appropriating the resources of very vulnerable, economically desperate people that are not able to fight back against millionaires that are investing in land leases in order to produce industrial crops, such as jatropha for biofuels, or to produce the luxury crops of the Global North.
    ... these are deliberate human decisions, tactics that look like investment decisions to other people but in fact actually have the perverse result of immiserating and making other people hungry in different parts of the planet...
  • Hunger does not just happen to people... It isn’t just that there’s been a temporary catastrophe such as a typhoon, a hurricane. It is that we deliberately make decisions to deprive other folks of the factors of production that they require to take care of one of their prior needs, which is to provide for their nourishment. So it’s a matter of power... The abstract notion of hunger can be translated into very deliberate power plays, that we all can interact with, that we all can shift.
  • It's simply a national acknowledgement that in any kind of priority, the needs of human beings must come first. Poverty is here and now. Hunger is here and now. Racial tension is here and now. Pollution is here and now. These are the things that scream for a response. And if we don't listen to that scream - and if we don't respond to it - we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us - or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name.
    • Rod Serling, Commencement Address at the University of Southern California; (March 17, 1970).

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 381-82.
  • Hunger is sharper than the sword.
  • Bone and Skin, two millers thin,
    Would starve us all, or near it;
    But be it known to Skin and Bone
    That Flesh and Blood can't bear it.
  • It is difficult to speak to the belly, because it has no ears.
    • Cato the Censor, when the Romans demanded corn. See Plutarch's Life of Cato the Censor.
  • La mejor salsa del mundo es la hambre.
  • Enough is as good as a feast.
    • George Chapman, Eastward Ho!, Act III, scene 2. Written by Chapman, Jonson, Marston.
  • Socratem audio dicentem, cibi condimentum esse famem, potionis sitim.
    • I hear Socrates saying that the best seasoning for food is hunger; for drink, thirst.
    • Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, II. 28.
  • Oliver Twist has asked for more.
  • A fishmonger's wife may feed of a conger; but a serving-man's wife may starve for hunger.
    • Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of Servingmen (1598).
  • They that die by famine die by inches.
  • Græculus esuriens in cœlum, jusseris, ibit.
    • Bid the hungry Greek go to heaven, he will go.
    • Juvenal, Satires (early 2nd century), III. 78.
  • You cannot create reforms with hungry people. Some 75% of the Iranian people's demands are economic... and only 5% cultural and political.
  • Magister artis ingeniique largitor venter.
    • The belly is the teacher of art and the bestower of genius.
    • Persius, Satires, Prologue. X.
  • Famem fuisse suspicor matrem mihi.
    • I suspect that hunger was my mother.
    • Plautus, Stichus, Act II. 1. 1.
  • Obliged by hunger and request of friends.
    • Alexander Pope, Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, Prologue to the Satires, line 44.
  • La ventre affamé n'point d'oreilles.
  • Nec rationem patitur, nec æquitate mitigatur nec ulla prece flectitur, populus esuriens.
    • A hungry people listens not to reason, nor cares for justice, nor is bent by any prayers.
    • Seneca the Younger, De Brevitate Vitæ, XVIII.
  • They said they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs,
    That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,
    That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not
    Corn for the rich men only: with these shreds
    They vented their complainings.
  • Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave.
  • Malesuada fames.
    • Hunger that persuades to evil.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), VI. 276.

See also[edit]

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