A Celebration of Lao Food & Farming

  Farming in Laos Khao niaw, sticky rice. It’s the lifeblood of lowland Laos. The Lao phrase “to eat” specifically implies eating glutinous rice. To some, sticky rice is an integral part of national and ethnic identity. Many Laotian meals are designed around glutinous rice, which is taken with the right hand and formed into […]

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 […]

Lubbock Days (and Nights)

Cattle at the Hale Center Feedyard near Lubbock, Texas. Howdy, folks! Here we are in West Texas cattle country, and we’ve had beef and beans at just about every meal. In the words of one kind host, “If you’re a vegetarian, too bad.” He said it with a big grin (Texans really are friendly and […]

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 […]

Are We There Yet?

An Indian man transports water in the wintertime fog of an early morning in West Bengal. Are we even close? Last week, world leaders gathered in New York to discuss progress made—or not—toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals aimed at alleviating world hunger, poverty and disease. On the upside: we have a new $40 billion […]

Banning the Cluster Bomb

A farmer in Sepon, Laos, stands in his field, which he cleared of ordnance by himself. He said he found many munitions. The small banana behind him grows in a bomb crater. An international treaty banning the cluster bomb takes effect today. Cluster bombs are large weapons that hold up to several hundred small explosives […]

PIG STORIES: Free-Range Porkers in a Little Lao Village

A pig wanders freely through Sophoon, Laos. What do Lao villagers think about free-range vs. industrial farming? Find out in The Faster Times. This is the first in a three-part series on the lives and deaths of Asian pigs. I wanted to add a P.S. here. While the article focuses on pigs, some of the […]