The issue of hunger and learning is well-known. But it goes deeper. Save Our Children recently released The Food for Thought report that details how malnourishment affects intellect. The lack of learning continues to cause problems into adulthood, especially when it comes to making a living.
The report focused on thousands of children in four countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam). The results are staggering:
- “Chronically malnourished children are on average nearly 20 percent less literate than those who have a nutritious diet.” (Source: Save the Children)
- No matter the amount of formal education, children who are undernourished lack basic math and writing skills.
- “Malnourished children could earn as much as 20 percent less in adulthood.” (Source: Save the Children)
The Nutrition for Growth summit in London, held on June 8th brings together government leaders, advocacy groups to work on solutions to chronic undernourishment, especially during the first 1000 days of a child’s life. Money and donations of food are always helpful, but more can be done – providing notorious food, educating expecting mothers about breastfeeding and supplying vitamins and supplements.
I implore the leaders of first world nations, especially President Obama to tackle malnutrition by increasing their funding at the summit. If the United States does so, it takes the lead and other countries are more likely to follow.
We can be examples of nutritious and low cost eating which can encourage low-income families in the US. Here is a GR8 healthy recipe, which costs under $8: (Source: Untrained Housewife)
- 1 lb smoked ham hock or shank – $1.89
- 20 oz mixed dried beans & lentils – $1.19
- 1 large onion, diced – $.33
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes – $.69
- 15 oz can sweet corn – $.69
- 1 tsp chili powder – $.02
- 1 or 2 chopped garlic cloves (optional) – $.05
- Pick through the bean mix to remove shells, pebbles, or sticks.
- Rinse the beans.
- Add 2 quarts of water to pot and soak over night.
- The next day, put 2 quarts of water in a second pot, add the ham hock, and set it to simmer, covered, on low heat.
- Let the hock cook slowly for three or more hours until you can pick it apart easily with a fork.
- Drain the beans.
- Measure the water from the cooked ham hock as you add it to the bean pot (withhold the hock for now)
- Add enough more water to total eight cups.
- Set the bean pot on high heat until the water boils.
- Dice and add the onion.
- Set the beans to simmer uncovered for two hours.
- Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Separate the bones and fat from the meat of the ham hock.
- Shred the meat, and add it to the bean pot.
- Add can of tomatoes, can of corn, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Let the soup simmer for another 30 to 60 minutes.
As a member of the Global Team of 200, I am honored to share my personal opinion and information about Save Our Children and the Food for Thought Report.