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How Hunger First Got Into Stomach Folktale from Liberia

Ever wonder why your stomach growls when it is hungry? As the Folktale from Liberia Africa explains to us, the first meeting of hunger and stomach is an interesting tale.

As the Folktale from Liberia Africa explains to us, the first meeting of hunger and stomach is an interesting tale.
Ever wonder why your stomach growls when it is hungry?

How Hunger First Got Into Stomach Folktale from Liberia

They say that long ago hunger never catches the stomach of the people. But, all this is spoiled now.

As the elders say, one day there was a great celebration in a distant town and Hunger invites Stomach to go with him. Before they start, Hunger cooks plenty of food and asks Stomach to eat.

Hunger insists that he get on Stomach and be carried to the play since he provided a fine meal for the both of them. Stomach refuses, and there is a big fight between the two.

In the end, Hunger wins the fight and mounts Stomach. When they arrive at the play, Stomach asks Hunger to get off, but Hunger refuses and holds tight.

He even succeeds in creeping inside of Stomach.

Stomach is furious! To quiet Stomach, Hunger promises to come out if he carries him back home.

Stomach carries Hunger home, and then, tired and faint from carrying him inside, demands that he come out!

Hunger laughs, and says, "I have no intention whatever of coming out, and you may surely expect to be reminded every day that I am your constant companion." Thus, it happened that Hunger began to live in Stomach and lives there to this day.

[Read: Smartest Person in the Room African Folklore
The last facts estimate that over 821 million people are going hungry today.

Hunger in Africa, what is it?
Hunger is an uncomfortable or painful physical sensation caused by insufficient consumption of dietary energy. It becomes chronic when the person does not consume a sufficient amount of calories on a regular basis to lead a normal, active and healthy life. The last facts estimate that over 821 million people are going hungry today. Climate change affecting rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and climate extremes such as droughts and floods, are among the key drivers behind the rise in hunger, together with conflict and economic slowdowns.

Food insecurity in Africa, what is it?
Food security is the right to feed oneself in dignity, the right to adequate food is a long-standing international human right to which many African countries are committed. A person is food insecure when they lack regular access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and active and healthy life. This may be due to the unavailability of food and/or lack of resources to obtain food. Food insecurity can be experienced at different levels of severity.

When someone is severely food insecure, they have run out of food and gone a day or more without eating. In other words, they have most likely experienced hunger. For those who are moderately food insecure, access to food is uncertain. They might have to sacrifice other basic needs, just to be able to eat. When they do eat, it might be whatever is most readily available or cheapest, which might not be the most nutritious food.

The rise in obesity and other forms of malnutrition is partly a result of this phenomenon. Highly processed foods that are energy-dense, high in saturated fats, sugars and salt are often cheaper and easier to come by than fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating those foods may mean your daily requirement of calories is met, but you are missing essential nutrients to keep your body healthy and functioning well.

In addition, the stress of living with uncertain access to food and going periods without food can lead to physiological changes that can contribute to overweight and obesity. Children facing hunger, food insecurity and undernutrition today may have a higher risk of overweight, obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes later in life. In many countries, undernutrition and obesity coexist and both can be consequences of food insecurity.

In Africa, a large proportion of the population is still dependent on small-scale agriculture for food. Therefore, policies that alter land use and farming systems at the subsistence level have a direct effect on food availability, access, and consumption. Traditional systems of land use, farming practices, and cropping patterns are all changing as small-scale farmers face-growing demands from markets and government to increase productivity.

The farmers are required simultaneously to produce a food surplus for urban consumption, to feed and maintain their own households and often to increase their output of selected cash crops for export. These diverse demands often put a considerable strain on the land, labor and time of the farming household leading to food insecurity and possibly hunger.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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