Social Entrepreneurs Fight Global Malnutrition

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What if by nourishing yourself you could also help a malnourished child?  A group of social entrepreneurs have set up a program to do just that.

Social entrepreneurs, according to Wikipedia, recognize a social problem and use entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to achieve social change.  They are individuals […]

Still Giving Your Kids “Stone Age” Vitamins?

Fred Flintstone promotes stone age vitamins.Sweet, chewy “gummi” vitamin supplements are a hit with mommies and kids.  Kids like them because they’ve got cartoon characters and bright colors on the label and they taste just like candy.  Mommies like them because they believe they’re making up for any shortfalls in the diet they feed their kids (often heavy on fast foods and processed foods) and they don’t have to fight with their kids to take them.

Good nutrition is critical for children, who are in their growth years, when their bodies and brains are developing, and when they are especially susceptible to stress and infections.

Parents might be surprised to learn that many of these children’s vitamins aren’t nearly as beneficial for their kids as they think they are, because they contain synthetic and artificial ingredients.

Children’s vitamins with synthetic ingredients have the same achille’s heel as adult supplements with synthetic incredients:  They’re  missing the food matrix, the associated micronutrients, that vitamins found in nature come with.

Most nutrients like Chromium, beta-carotene and B-Complex are found in complex groups.  Amino acids, vitamine E, trace minerals and vitamin C all come in families.  It’s important that this family integrity is kept intact.  If it isn’t you are getting only the isolated vitamin and not all the other known and unknown factors, just as nature intended.

“The synthetic vitamins may be identical with naturally occurring substances or closely related.  The close relations, although useful in many ways, pose some problems in that they may have only a fraction, whether large or small, of the biological activity of the natural products…  Synthetic vitamins may perform some of the functions of their natural counterparts while being useless for others.  But what may be more important is the fact that synthetic vitamins, prepared from chemicals instead of nature, are frequently less active biologically than their natural counterparts, thereby reducing any beneficial effect they may have.” – Isobel Jennings of Cambridge University.  Continue reading Still Giving Your Kids “Stone Age” Vitamins?

The New Hidden Hunger

In 2009 Nicolas D. Kristof wrote in The New York Times:   “…  one of the great Western misconceptions is that severe malnutrition is simply about not getting enough to eat. Often it’s about not getting the right micronutrients — iron, zinc, vitamin A, iodine — and one of the most cost-effective ways outsiders can combat poverty is to fight this “hidden hunger.”

Over 5 million children under the age of 5 die every year from the devastating effecrts of malnutrition.  Lack of proper nutrition in the early development years is to blame for issues such as stunted growth, retarded brain development and poor health in the lives of 55 million children worldwide.

Malnutrition affects more than 925 million people globally, including developed countries.

Although the picture that immediately comes to mind when malnutrition is mentioned is people with skinny arms and legs and ribs showing, the new face of malnutrition includes people in developed countries who eat plenty, but consume a diet of mainly fast food and processed foods.

Approximately 90% of the money Americans spend on food is used to buy processed food.  In the 1990’s we started putting “engineered proteins” in food stuffs and children’s food allergies went up 300%.

“young children are so susceptible to malnutrition because what they eat lacks essential vitamins and minerals to help them grow, remain strong and fight off infections.” – Dr. Susan Shepherd, Doctors Without Borders

“Nutritional deficiency has now become epidemic right here in America, where a significant amount of the money we spend on food is used to buy processed foods.  A recent national survey reports that “nearly the entire US population consumes a diet that is not on par with [MyPyramid] recommendations”. – The Journal of Nutrition1401832-1838, 2010 “Americans Do Not Meet Federal Dietary Recommendations”  Continue reading The New Hidden Hunger

Social Entrepreneurs And Global Malnutrition

Malnourished children receive donated food.A group of social entrepreneurs have selected a worthy challenge indeed.. attacking global malnutrition

Social entrepreneurs, according to Wikipedia, recognize a social problem and use entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to achieve social change. 

They are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most presing social problems.  Ambitious and persistent, they tackle major social issues and offer new ideas for wide-scale change.

Global malnutrition is a huge social problem.  According to the UN World Food Programme 925 million people do not have enough to eat.  10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year.  Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths.

Malnutrition is more than a measure of what we eat or fail to eat.  It is characterized by inadequate intake of protein, energy and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and by frequent infections and diseases.  When people are starved of the right nutrition they will die from common infections like measles and diarrhea.  Continue reading Social Entrepreneurs And Global Malnutrition