Today is National Famine Memorial Day. It commemorates the Irish Potato Famine of 1848-1852, also known as an Gorta Mór (meaning “the Great Hunger”).

So to honor the memory of my Irish heritage, I present some hunger statistics for modern times. These stats come from the World Food Programme (

  • 925 million people do not have enough to eat – more than the populations of the USA, Canada and the European Union combined;
    (Source: FAO news release, 14 September 2010)
  • 98 percent of the world’s hungry live in developing countries;
    (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
  • 65 percent  of the world’s hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.
    (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
  • One out of four children – roughly 146 million – in developing countries are underweight;
    (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)

Rice and Beans

Visualize a cup of rice, by cooking it. Visualize a cup of beans, by cooking it. You’ll be amazed at the amount and then think about sharing that amount among 4 or 5 people. You will be even more amazed. Check out more from, no connection to me. I really enjoyed reading their rice and beans challenge.

I love rice so I have been eating a lot more lately.  I found the Rice and Beans Challenge from another website called the Justice Journey. So I decided to try making beans. Dried beans need soaking overnight. I did this. I took a cup of rice and a cup of beans and prepared them. This was my food for one day. I have the misfortune of being a single dude, no family to share my meals (or this experience). But from the hunger standpoint, this is no misfortune. According to the other Justice Journey, one cup of rice and one cup of beans is shared by a family of five for one day.

Will you try the Rice and Beans challenge? What are some ways you are helping to lessen hunger?