Seeking Food at the Crossroads of History

When it comes to the kitchen, I've always been a seeker, a pilgrim in a more modern sense of the word, "A person travelling to a place of particular personal interest."* It all began on a diesel-perfumed street corner in Puebla, Mexico. I stood in the shadow of a broken streetlight, sunshine and sweaty bodies…

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Journeys versus Destinations: Homesick for My Food

I’d never experienced it before. Amoebas, yes. Worms, yes. Dengue, yes.  Broken bones, yes. Malaria dreams, yes. But not cravings for thick juicy hamburgers or plump buttermilk pancakes swimming in melted butter and golden maple syrup or crispy fried chicken with cream gravy. In spite of all the years of traveling and living among cultures…

Hunger, a Weapon of War

An army marches on its stomach. ~~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~~ Unfortunately, war is the human condition. And where there is war, there is hunger. From time immemorial, hunger has always been a weapon of war and each side will use it, if possible. An enemy's hungry army, along with time, is often the only weapon…

Hunger is the Best Sauce

A hungry people listens not to reason, nor cares for justice, nor is bent by any prayers. [Lat., Nec rationem patitur, nec aequitate mitigatur nec ulla prece flectitur, populus esuriens.] De Brevitate Vitoe (XVIII), Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) Chronic hunger is something that most of us in the United States will never really know.* Yet…

Starvation and Hunger, Humankind’s Constant Companions: A Pre-Thanksgiving Meditation

Now hunger and [Erysichthon's] belly’s deep abyss exhausted his ancestral wealth, but still hunger was unexhausted and the flame of greed blazed unappeased . . . When his wicked frenzy had consumed all sustenance and for the dire disease provision failed, the ill-starred wretch began to gnaw himself, and dwindled bite by bite as his…

Hunger, Starvation, Famine and the Sweep of Human History

When it comers to food, we humans live in a paradox these days. In the West, there's too much food --- as long as one has money with which to buy it --- and because of that excess, we begin to look like the Michelin Man or the Pillsbury Doughboy. And on the flip side …

Hunger and Hope

Today, even as I immerse myself in the wonders of African cooking, I need to mention malnutrition and hunger. In the same breath, as it were. Today's a day when many bloggers around the world will post comments and material on the ever-present problem of hunger in our communities, countries, and the world as a…

Food Summit 2009: It MUST Happen

As we prepare for Thanksgiving,  that largest of American feast days, our own "Let Us Feast" event, the United Nations calls for a world food summit in the first half of 2009.  For those concerned with feeding the hungry and providing safe, nutritious food for the world, this summons reminds us that not all pantries…

WAR & DROUGHT THREATEN AFGHAN FOOD SUPPLY: HUNGER IN AFGHANISTAN

A story in the 9/19/08 New York Times, "War & Drought Threaten Afghan Food Supply," brings home the very real problems of that tragic country and its long-suffering people: Underlying the warnings are growing fears of civil unrest. The mood in the country is darkening amid increasing economic hardship, worsening disorder and a growing disaffection…