• Food security,  love life and food

    From Malawi with Love

    On a sunny day in February I set off for Malawi, where I would spend a little over three weeks leading a research project for Concern Worldwide. As with anywhere I travel, I’m always curious about the food culture, local ingredients and regional specialities, and Malawi did not disappoint. Today’s recipe – bean stew with polenta and braised green vegetables – was inspired by the delicious, wholesome meals I enjoyed during my stay. But before I get to that, a bit of background to the trip… Malawi is increasingly feeling the effects of climate change and is particularly susceptible to drought and extreme weather patterns. This can have a huge…

  • Zambia village
    Food security

    Neither Feast Nor Famine

    I was never a fussy eater as a child, but on the rare occasion I’d hesitate over a Brussels sprout I’d be treated to that set piece of Irish parenting many of you will recognise: “Eat your dinner – children are starving in Africa”. To my six-year-old mind, Africa was a faraway pit of mass starvation. As kids we competed to fill our Trocáire boxes with loose change every lent, and later harangued the neighbours for sponsorship, after bravely signing up for a 24-hour fast. Still, every year emaciated children too weak to brush the flies from their faces gazed listlessly out of our TV screens during the ad breaks.…