Plumpynut Saves?

Earlier this evening, I caught a news piece Anderson Cooper did for 60 Minutes, on this pre-packaged food called Plumpynut (you can also see the video on the Web site).

It’s a peanut-based paste, made also with milk powder, vitamins and minerals – the equivalent, Cooper says in his item, of a glass of milk and a vitamin supplement. It’s used to give some sort of nutritional sustenance to feed malnourished kids (in the case of the news piece, the kids were in Niger).

From what the TV piece suggests – while it obviously can’t be given those past the point of no return – if given to malnourished kids, Plumpynut helps give them appetites, much-needed nutrients, and a fighting chance of sticking around a bit longer.

One of the people interviewed in the item, a doctor working at a health clinic in Niger, was asked various things, including the issue of peanut allergies, which is prevalent in Western nations. She said they didn’t see it – food allergies aren’t nearly the problems they are in developed countries.

In a quick search for news articles I just did, there were about seven references to Plumpynut in the last three and a half weeks.

But checking Wikipedia, apparently this stuff was formulated in 1999 and I suppose has been in use ever since, as a way to rehabilitate famine and hunger victims.

Why are we just hearing about it now? Or maybe other stories have been done about this, but this is just the latest instance.

Either way, interesting. Just thought I’d share.

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