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Creamy and CrunchyAn Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food$
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Jon Krampner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162333

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162333.001.0001

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Peanut Butter Saves the World

Peanut Butter Saves the World

(p.210) Eighteen Peanut Butter Saves the World
Creamy and Crunchy

Jon Krampner

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the role of peanut butter in fighting Third World hunger. Third World children starve because their mothers are unable to produce enough milk for them or cannot afford to buy it. Even if they could, there's often no electricity in their villages and therefore no refrigeration. For these starving children, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, peanut butter represents a second chance at life. Peanut-butter-based pastes, known as ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs), consist of peanut butter with milk, sugar powders and vegetable oil, enriched with vitamins and minerals. A three-ounce serving of Plumpy'Nut, the best-known of these pastes, has 500 calories and a lot of protein in addition to the vitamins and minerals. RUTFs don't need to be mixed with water, cooked, or refrigerated, and they keep for two years. Mothers—or children, if they're old enough—simply open the packet and squeeze the stuff out. This chapter evaluates the effectiveness of therapeutic peanut paste in combating starvation and malnutrition in the Third World.

Keywords:   peanut butter, Third World, hunger, children, sub-Saharan Africa, therapeutic foods, milk, peanut paste, starvation, malnutrition

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