Posted by: JennyRain | July 14, 2006

The Cost of Dirty Rice

What would you give for a bowl of dirty rice?

Probably not much here in the states. It’s just a cheap mixture of .95¢ white rice, mixed with machine-dried vegetables and taste-deprived ground beef. Not exactly finger-lickin’ good.

I decided to try my hand at dirty rice last week. As I began adding 1.25 lbs of ground turkey into the water-saturated rice mix I was stuck by a pointed awareness of the millions of children across the world who will share the same meal with me that night. Only their dish would be minus the meat.

My heart broke…

I stared into the abyss of cooked meat as it multiplied to engulf grease-and-water-drowned-rice. I had more meat than rice. The children would have only rice.

Guatemalan children experience one meat dish per week… If they are fortunate. In Africa, many children survive solely on manioc and other types of mashed roots. Meat dishes are an un-sampled luxury for these children.

Does the reality of their deprivation decrease because I can not make a pot of dirty rice that is big enough to feed a hungry nation? Should a child remain stuck in the pangs of hunger because I can not bear to look towards their pain, so I turn my face away and eat my dirty rice in silent resignation?

How can anyone feed a hunger that is so inescapable?

At age four I was an expert at veggie-racing. My fork moved food around my plate (especially vegetables) faster than an Indy racer with his car on fire. I just had a problem getting it into my mouth. Dinner usually consisted of me stalling, and parents cajoling.

“After all” they would say “there are starving children in Africa.”

I always wondered why we didn’t just box up my dinners and send it to them.

Well, why don’t we? I’ll deliver the food myself.


“I don’t believe God chose you and blessed you so that you could heap those blessings up upon yourself. I believe God chose you and blessed you because he wants to make a difference in this world. And you know what? What I think is scary about God is that he didn’t come up with any ‘Plan B’ – that he left the Church here and the Church is the only group of people and the Church is the only institution in the world that can bring about a change. This government cannot do it, so stop depending on the government. Educational systems cannot do it, so stop trusting educational systems. The Church was chosen by God to make a difference… [and] you’re gonna make a difference when you lay down your life and, in complete submission to God, choose to die with him in service to other people.” Rich Mullins


A list of hunger relief organizations where you can help is below:





  1. Jenny,
    Wonderful blog! The writings, the pictures touch one’s heart. Blessings,

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