Featured Food Security Impacts

STORY: Saving lives with peanut butter

A Florida researcher’s work with maintaining peanut germplasm is helping hungry children in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

This work is part of the Feed the Future Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab, which is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and involves Haitian farmers.

The project works with an organization called Meds and Foods For Kids. Locally-grown peanuts are used to produce a ready-to-use therapeutic food, a fortified peanut paste that’s been formulated to provide all of a child’s basic nutritional needs. It comes in a plastic packet and can be squeezed directly into a starving child’s mouth. Three servings a day can save the child’s life.

Products like this are desperately needed. The science journal The Lancet reported that 3.1 million children worldwide died from starvation in 2011—that’s one child every 10 seconds