Parents in the United States are up in arms about peanut allergies, but in many poverty stricken countries a similar paste is saving children's lives. Founded by Mark Manary, M.D., an American pediatrician who made it his mission to solve malnutrition, Project Peanut Butter makes Ready-to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). The combination of ground, roasted peanuts, vegetable oil, powdered milk, vitamins, minerals and sugar is then used to treat pediatric malnutrition. It has a 90 percent recovery rate.
The nutty paste is versatile. Project Peanut Butter's website explains why. It said:
It can be stored, unrefrigerated, for months without spoiling, requires no cooking and is transported by truck to rural villages for the home-based therapy. Teams of medical personnel measure malnourished children for height, weight and arm circumference, and provide a two week ration of RUTF for children who need treatment. Thereafter, medical teams return to the village every two weeks to reassess enrolled children and provide the next two week ration if necessary. Most often, children are fully recovered in six to eight weeks’ time, achieving normal height, weight and arm circumference for their age group.
The non-profit's factory currently produces food to feed two-thirds of the malnourished tots in Malawi and is starting production in Sierra Leone. The cost of the treatment is about $15 per child. If you would like to get involved, check their site for ways you can help.