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Ear to the Ground

‘Plumpynut’ to the Rescue

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Posted on Oct 27, 2007

Moms on the march:  African mothers bring their children to a Plumpynut dispensing site in Niger.

The Doctors Without Borders relief organization has whipped up an ingenious (and, apparently, tasty) lifesaving food product called Plumpynut, a nutritionally enriched mixture of peanut butter, powdered milk and sugar, along with other simple ingredients—and it’s already working wonders on malnourished children around the world.

CBS News:

“It’s a revolution in nutritional affairs,” says Dr. Milton Tectonidis, the chief nutritionist for Doctors Without Borders.

“Now we have something. It is like an essential medicine. In three weeks, we can cure a kid that is looked like they’re half dead. We can cure them just like an antibiotic. It’s just, boom! It’s a spectacular response,” Dr. Tectonidis says.

“It’s the equivalent of penicillin, you’re saying?” Cooper asks.

“For these kids, for sure,” the doctor says.

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By Sandra, June 24, 2008 at 8:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is in no way a new invention. We were probably a test group. We were also given vitamin packed orange milk shakes and cake. We went to the lunckroom in the morning every so often in the Texas school system.

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By tomack, October 29, 2007 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think I’ll do both; laugh because of the sheer and simple good this wonder food can do, and cry because of its necessity in a world of plenty.

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By thomas billis, October 28, 2007 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The most amazing thing is that for years we have taken money from the middle class here to make the elite in Africa rich and called it foreign aid.Here is a program that costs little and is all the difference to the people who really need our help.I hope our government really looks at programs like this one instead of padding bank accounts in Switzerland.

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By boggs, October 28, 2007 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Do you think the republicans are saying,
“They needed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps?” “Why should we be their nannies?” “Lazy kids need sent to Florida bootcamp!”

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, October 28, 2007 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

Food and nutrition science, poverty, starvation and famine are as old as dirt.  In fact the Plumpynut isn’t all that new, either. I read about it awhile back.  If the world had its priorities straight, starving kids could have had the plumpynut 50 or more years ago and that’s infuriating enough to offset any joy I might take in this post. Even so, I admire DRs W/O Borders. They are inspiring and dedicated human beings.

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By Verne Arnold, October 28, 2007 at 2:37 am Link to this comment

Nice to see a ray of sunshine in a world gone mad.

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By Douglas Chalmers, October 27, 2007 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

Here’s another recipe I came across - ANZAC Biscuits (cookies) “...are a snack food most commonly made from the primary ingredients of rolled oats, coconut, and golden syrup….”. Can use peanuts instead of coconut if you must…....

How many more simple recipes abound from past generations just waiting for some dumb medical expert to stumble across, uhh???

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By Douglas Chalmers, October 27, 2007 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

Amazing, eh? Simply the therapeutic value of food and drink, uhh! A science lost upon the modern medico, themselves merely a bunch of “peanuts”....

But aside from that, lets look at another topic in the “third world” still existing in remote communities in Australia. After decades of neglect and incompetent management by bureaucrats and politicians (what’s new, uhh), the entire indigenous population have been made the victims of a smear campaign as an election ploy by prime minister Howard and his federal Neocon politicans.

The result is a forced “intervention” in native Australian communities particularly in the sparsely-populated Northern Territory which is coincidentally where the government wants to acquire land for oil and mining interests and especially investment form China. Thus permanent “aboriginal reserves” are being reverted to leases of ever-decreasing periods by coercing and frighteneing traditional indigenous landowners.

See and also a recent university talk by an indigeous Northern Territory government minister, Marion Scrymgour, opposing the federal land-grab She compares the current scare-mongering to the previous election campaign which was influenced by another scare campaign involving “illegal entry” by refugees form Iraq in “the Tampa affair” off the Northern coast of Australia.

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