Plumpy'nut - from Flickr 2874479122.jpg

In a famine, special foods are needed which act as nutritional supplements, to quickly build strength and restore malnourished individuals.

Some important examples:

  • UnimixW is a vitamin-enriched flour for making porridge.
  • Plumpy'nutW is a high protein and high energy peanut-based paste in a foil wrapper. It is fortified with vitamins and is slightly sweeter than peanut butter. It is easy for children to eat. It is categorized as a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). It has a 2 year shelf life, and is easy to deploy in difficult conditions. It is distributed under medical supervision, and used together with Unimix (above). Ingredients: peanut paste, vegetable oil, powdered milk, powdered sugar, vitamins, and minerals.
  • AtmitW is used in famine relief. Ingredients: rolled oats, powdered milk, powdered sugar, vitamins, and minerals, and is used to feed severely malnourished and weakened adults and children. During 1985 and 1986 it was used in Ethiopia,[1] and it has been used in other countries since then.

Cautions[edit | edit source]

  • Malnourishment may occur for reasons other than an externally-imposed crisis, such as drought or war, e.g. poor dietary habits, growing foods that are inadequate for good nutrition. These reasons need to be seriously addressed as well.[2]
  • Even resistance to drought might be able to be mitigated through appropriate food growing techniques, choice of crops, and especially rainwater harvesting techniques such as groundwater recharge. Of course, these are long term solutions, and do not affect the need for effective food supplements in the short term.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Project Mercy sent 930 tons to Ethiopia[verification needed]
  2. E.g. see the anecdote about distributing Plumpy'Nut in Rwanda, in this blog comment.

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Chlorella pyrenoidosa: another food yielding high amounts of protein (and fat if properly cultivated)
  • Algae as fuel

External links[edit | edit source]

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Authors Chris Watkins
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 2 pages link here
Aliases Food supplement for famine relief
Impact 1,037 page views
Created April 20, 2010 by Chris Watkins
Modified May 8, 2024 by Kathy Nativi
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