No Child Left Hungry


Today my son texted me from work to ask if I was cooking lunch.  He sounded hungry and I immediately had these irrational pictures in my mind of Biafra.  So even though I had a session at the doctor’s this morning and I don’t usually cook when I do, I wracked my brain for something quick and easy to make for lunch.  No, he’s not starving to death, is an adult, and has never been truly hungry but if my child, your child, any child is hungry, it makes me crazy.

It was particularly difficult for me in Africa and Bangladesh where so many children are hungry.  I carried bags of rice, fruit and vegetables in the car and used to jump out at corners where homeless children were standing to distribute what I could.  I also snatched children off the streets in front of my house in  Senegal, the absolute worse country for child abuse and starvation, brought them into the garden and fed them.  The children were one of the reasons that I left Senegal early, retired to France, leaving my husband to finish out his career.  I couldn’t stand to look anymore.

Here in the affluent U.S., we have an educational program entitled “No Child Left Behind”, which I thought endeavored to ensure that every American child received a basic education but the program, in reality, just lowers the bar and pushes half educated children through high school, ill-prepared to succeed in the job market and life.  But they’re not hungry.  That is, unless they have strange, crazy parents who are untouched by hunger that is not their own.  But that’s another rant.


Yes, this is a food blog but I felt like saying it.

Quick and Easy Lamb Chili

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 ground lamb

1 tbsp Penseys hot chili powder

2 tsp cumin powder

2 tsp coriander powder

2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes and chillies

2 cans cannellini beans, drained

2 cups tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated cheese


Barely wilt the onion and garlic in the olive oil, then add the ground lamb and brown until all the pick is gone.  Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander and stir for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes.  Serve with the grated cheese and saltines.

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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19 Responses to No Child Left Hungry

  1. Conor Bofin says:

    Your blog is always so interesting when you reveal a little more about yourself Rosemary. Not that the food and photography are not excellent. Thanks for sharing this little window into your life.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    The rant is in context and as Conor said, relevant to your life. I’m sure the children appreciated you feeding them and I bet your son does too. I know I would 🙂

    • It does make me angry about the children, knowing that the government officials in those poor, underdeveloped countries own mansions in the U.S. and Europe, many of them paid for with money donated to alleviate child starvation and illiteracy. None of the officials’ children are hungry and, especially in Senegal, the street children are ignored as if they are invisible.

      • Mad Dog says:

        I know, it makes me angry too. Don’t get me started on Zimbabwe! They should put you in charge of feeding the world, it would be better place.

  3. Pingback: No Child Left Hungry – Bernedeth's basics

  4. Rice N Dine says:

    This looks yummy! 🙂

  5. Amanda says:

    I have followed your blog for about two years now, and I’m glad you are writing again more frequently – I truly enjoy your stories and recipes. For a while, I thought you had gone away and quit blogging and I was a tad bummed. Thanks for the great recipes and stories of the french life!

  6. Candida says:

    What better place to discuss these issues than a food blog? It’s easy for those of us who have plenty to not think of those who do not, or who should but are deprived. Plus, reading about your life experiences is one of the best aspects of your blog – thank you for sharing them.

  7. Good points you are making. And so relevant. Sometimes we can feel so impotent.

  8. Janice Lamotte Lavallee says:

    Well said, and the No Child Left Behind program, in fact, as you point point, has left thousands of children behind, and ill prepared to cope in this society.

  9. Trish says:

    a belated comment – yes, our education system is terrible. I was just talking to a friend about an employee of her husband’s who graduated from high school but is illiterate. We are considering doing a documentary on him. To expose our poor system.

  10. Great post! It’s a grave misconception that young people become homeless by choice. The reality is vastly different and the issues that lead someone to become homeless are complex and varied. At The Meal Project, we believe communities can help out each other and this serious problem of hungry and homeless youth. Businesses and organisations such as supermarkets and cafes can and should be donating and contributing the surplus food and produce to those who need it most.

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