South Texas farmworkers’ kitchen Years ago, still close to wartime, many of my Cambodian friends spoke of dreams they chased step by step. Hunger and hardship were still too near to be called memories. Security and prosperity were distant visions on a road that felt vast and overwhelming. So they began that journey step by…Continue readingStep by Step: Inside the Homes of US Farmworkers
Benjamin Ruiz, preparing tortillas for breakfast at the soup kitchen where he volunteered on the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border. Last year, I met a 34-year-old man named Benjamin Ruiz. He volunteered at a soup kitchen, spending every morning preparing tortillas to go with rice and beans and big vats of calabacitas to feed…Continue readingOne Man’s Story
We’ve been back in Southeast Asia for a month now, and I’ve been thinking a lot about framing—how we convey and interpret pieces of the world around us. A couple weeks ago, we visited the Cambodian coast. We hadn’t traveled to Sihanoukville in years, and we’d heard how much has changed. My first memories of…Continue readingFraming the Picture
I woke up Wednesday feeling disoriented. I woke up today realizing exactly where I am: facing a vast crevasse that affects us all. This is our common ground. This is the turf we share. No matter which side we are on, this rupture unites us now, as Americans. And we must fight to fix it.…Continue readingThe divisions that unite us
Thi Thi Oo harvests mustard greens on her land in Shan State, Myanmar, where most villagers spend their entire lives working the farm. Consequently, locals say, “the land is tired.” As families grow, they divide their farmlands among children and grandchildren. So much intensive farming has led to pests, poor harvests and over-use of pesticides.…Continue readingWill GMOs feed the world? Did anyone ask the hungry?
“It begins in the wild, in the tangled rainforests of Central America, where leopards roam and parrots screech. The world is wet, the air is thick and the ground is mud. My boots sink into the sucking, slurping bog, and all around it’s green. Everywhere, everything: a chaotic maze of vegetation in every shade of…Continue reading‘Tis the Season for a Giveaway
Chile in bowl, Phnom Penh Things are looking different around here. If you’re new to Rambling Spoon, welcome! If you’re a repeat visitor, you’ll notice the shift in design. Perhaps you’ve also noticed the recent lack of activity here. That will change, starting now. Greetings from a revamped Rambling Spoon. The new design should make…Continue readingNew Dish!
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…Continue readingA Look at Land Rights on World Food Day
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…Continue readingHungry Farmers Are Losing Land
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.…Continue reading20 Years of Democracy in Cambodia