Camp Food, Laos

Earlier this spring, we followed a bomb clearance team working high in the mountains near the Lao/Vietnam border. We all camped in tents pitched inside a village schoolhouse that offered shelter from the wind, rain, cold, and critters outside. One rudimentary room with a stellar view served as the camp kitchen. Cooking took place over […]

#GivingTuesday – A Few Suggestions

People want to help. Always. This is the message we get every time we return from a trip overseas: people sincerely care, they want to help, they want to make a difference, but they don’t know where to begin. Today, on the international day of giving, we’d like to offer a few friendly suggestions based […]

An International Women’s Day Tribute to Farmers

This is Peace. She lives in a packed-earth home in Kashunika Village, Nyagatare District, in the far northeastern corner of Rwanda*…. … and these are some of Peace’s bananas. They’re important. These bananas have given her new hope. A while back, Peace was ill with a condition that cost her both time and money. She […]

A Look at Land Rights on World Food Day

Danu tribal family farmers heading to their fields in Shan State, Myanmar It’s World Food Day, an annual celebration marking the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization, which was founded  in 1945. This year, the day honors family farmers with the theme of “feeding the world, caring for the earth.” The United Nations named […]

Hungry Farmers Are Losing Land

Meet Chhek Sambo. She lives in a village not too far from Siem Reap, a burgeoning town of tourists who flock to the ancient Angkor temples. It’s a hip place to be, routinely noted as such on lists of the world’s top tourist cities. You can get a $2 hour-long foot massage, drink $2 happy […]

20 Years of Democracy in Cambodia

1998. A man hangs an English-language banner from poles at the Democracy Square protest in Phnom Penh. Thousands of people gathered in front of the National Assembly Building for weeks to protest the outcome of the 1998 national election. The banners were for international observers and news crews, as most Cambodians could not read English. […]

The Cambodian Worker’s Diet

Srey Pot Mom and Ben Sarith eat a dinner of steamed rice and beef soup with gourd. The slat table on which they sit serves as dining table, kitchen counter, living room sofa, and bed. Their room, like all of their neighbors’, is just big enough for a person to squeeze between that slat bed […]

Hope and Hard Times in Indian Country

The Blackfeet Reservation, Montana “Life here is very hand to mouth. Out here, we don’t have the finer things. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. And I’m going to be honest with you, sometimes I don’t eat. I’ve never told anyone this before, not even my mom, but I don’t […]

Insomnia, Nostalgia: Notes on Becoming a Food Writer

A sleepless night recently led to reminiscing about becoming a food writer. That story is now in The Faster Times. It recalls my early proposal for an article on a Phnom Penh coffee shop. Gourmet eventually bought that story, but ran only a fraction of the piece as commissioned—all writers understand the constraints of space. […]

The End of Hunger?

A farmer harvests rice near Siem Reap, Cambodia. So many minds, so many wheels turning in thought. That’s the beauty of campus life: the vast access to lectures, readings, forums, panels, discussions. This week, I had the privilege of hearing Miguel Altieri, an agroecology professor visiting from Berkeley. He said something I don’t often hear […]