Plumpy’nut: a knuckleheaded name for a food that saves lives

Its moniker is misleading, as this nut paste is not intended to fatten kids up but in fact save their lives. In the 90’s, a French pediatrician invented this simple formula containing peanut paste, vegetable oil, milk powder, vitamins and minerals. According to CNN, this “magic potion, as big a development as penicillin…is widely credited with single-handedly lowering mortality rates from famine in Africa.” Crucially, the paste contains a calibrated proportion of saturated fats in order for a child to obtain maximum nutritional benefit from its contents. The fact that it is a paste (contrasted with a chocolate bar) is also key, as it does not wilt into a goo (since it pretty much already is one) on a hot summer day. It stores just as easily, and is more or less just as easy to eat. I haven’t tried it, but if the inspiration for Plumpy’nut was Nutella, then it probably also tastes pretty good, too. Food that fights starvation with deliciousness — that’s big-time, blog-worthy stuff.

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