Friday, 11 May 2012
Yesterday I had muesli, banana and milk for breakfast. Peanut butter on wholegrain toast for a mid-morning snack. Lentil soup and toast for lunch, a digestive biscuit at tea, and then chicken and pea risotto for dinner. Oh, and a third of a (big) bar of Green&Blacks ginger chocolate.
Today I am eating muesli. Oats, nuts and raisins, that's three different ingredients.
Why? A good question.
Save the Children approached Crumbs and asked if we would do a 3 food challenge to highlight the ongoing problems which malnutrition cause. In a nutshell, it's not just starvation that kills children. Malnutrition is the reason for a third of children's deaths worldwide. That's 2.6 million every year, 300 children an hour. But because it is not named as the cause of death on a death certificate, it is a subject which has been ignored for decades.
As well as death, malnutrition causes mental and physical stunting. For example, iodine deficiency is believed to lessen an IQ by between 10-15 points. This will have an economic effect on a child and their country: a stunted child is predicted to earn 20% less as an adult and it is estimated that 2-3% of a countries' national income can be lost due to malnutrition. These figures mean it is hard for a country to grow and prosper when some of it's people are physically and mentally stunted.
With all the recent economic crises, the developed world has been focusing on other issues, but Save the Children believe if the situation is not dealt with now there will be massive long term repercussions. They say "well-nourished children are less prone to disease and illness. Investing in nutrition is investing in the future of a country – it creates stronger communities with a healthier, smarter and more productive population." And, obviously, not investing in nutrition causes the exact opposite.
Next week the G8 leaders are meeting to discuss food security. Save the Children want them to put malnutrition on the agenda too. You can help. And it isn't by eating muesli. All you need to do is sign this petition, asking the G8 leaders to discuss food initiatives.
And then go and eat something really delicious and be thankful that a) you're not me, looking dismally at my muesli, or b) your children are not growing up in Niger, set to become the hungriest place on earth.
Sunday night: read about how I manage
Posted by Claire Mcdonald at 07:02