"Gouamba" is an African word meaning "meat hunger." Mr. Liebling first encountered the word in a book "Stories of the Gorilla Country," by Paul De Chaillu, an African explorer, lecturer and author of boys' books. "On our return to Obinji," Dr. Chaillu wrote, "we were overtaken by my good friend Querlaouen, who had shot a wild pig. The Negroes feasted on koo loo meat..." For days and some times for weeks a man does not get any meat at all; and whenever any other food is set before him you will hear him say, "Gouamba," which means, literally, "I am sick of food, I have a craving for meat; I care for nothing else ..."There was plenty of meat, of course, it was just (temporarily) expensive. The press's incessant drumming on "shortages" created a sort of meat paranoia, or meatanoia, the Great Gouamba, which fed further stories, and so on. (Fun fact: in 1946 New York had 1,791 daily newspapers, all thriving.)
This is the same business. The Great Rice Hunger. Look how Reuters plays the secretary of agriculture's (quick, what's his name?) statement today that there is no goddamn rice shortage:
Even as. But:
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer on Thursday sought to calm the frayed nerves of consumers, saying there was no shortage of rice in the United States even as a major outlet limited sales. . . .
So that should be a load off everyone's mind.
"We don't see any evidence of the lack of availability of rice. There are no supply issues," he told reporters after addressing a conference on agro-terrorism in Kansas City.
Update: Agro-what now?