Plumpy’nut. Locavores. Lessons from Haiti. – Weekly Link Round-Up

The Peanut Solution [New York Times]
“What is Plumpy’nut? Sound it out, and you get the idea: it’s an edible paste made of peanuts, packed with calories and vitamins, that is specially formulated to renourish starving children. Since its widespread introduction five years ago, it has been credited with significantly lowering mortality rates during famines in Africa. Children on a Plumpy’nut regimen add pounds rapidly, often going from a near-death state to relative health in a month. In the world of humanitarian aid, where progress is usually measured in subtle increments of misery, the new product offers a rare satisfaction: swift, visible, fantastic efficacy.”

Food fights: Locavores, conventional food fans battle over benefits [Chicago Tribune]
“That philosophy — to try to source food from a within a 100- to 300-mile radius — is fueling ‘eat local’ initiatives across the country. These include Green City Market’s annual ‘Locavore Challenge,’ where hundreds of Chicago-area residents are expected to follow a mostly local diet from Sept. 8 to Sept. 22. While such efforts might seem innocuous, a growing chorus of writers, politicians and bloggers is challenging the locavore movement, painting it as naive and elitist at best and dangerous to the livelihood of conventional commodity farmers at worst.”

Lessons From Haiti: How Food Aid Can Harm [The Atlantic]
“In reviewing William Easterly’s book on the failures of development aid, The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Effort to Aid the Rest Have Done so Much Ill and So Little Good (2006), Nobel laureate Amartya Sen wrote in Foreign Affairs, “The challenge is to respond to the plight of the hopelessly impoverished without neglecting to insist that help come in useful and productive forms.”

The Road to Food Security [IFAD blog]
”Recently, I was on a road in the Southern Choma District of Zambia to meet with Rosemary Pisani, a smallholder farmer and mother of eight who struggled to feed her children prior to joining a farmer’s cooperative to raise goats. Thanks to the cooperative and support from other farmers, she now has a thriving business and all of her children are in school.”