I thought I’d heard it incorrectly. NPR was on in the background as I was writing yesterday, and I heard mention of this seeming oxymoron.
I was wrong. I hadn’t heard it incorrectly; apparently, over a decade ago, a French doctor “invented a treatment for severely malnourished children that had a revolutionary, life-saving impact; the product goes by different names in different parts of the world, such as Plumpy’Nut, Nourimanba and Chiponde. It’s basically peanut butter with some added ingredients: dried milk, oil, sugar, and essential minerals and vitamins.“
While I could certainly wax poetic about how un-Paleo this is, there’s a more significant problem with this proposition; something that brings to mind something a certain company did a couple of decades ago when they introduced their baby formula to impoverished areas in Africa, suggesting that their product was superior to mother’s breast milk.
The issue is that the peanut butter packages are being promoted by private companies that make them and the concern is “that glitzy, foil-wrapped packets could distract people from local, low-tech nourishment, or from breast-feeding. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t rely on packages of enriched peanut butter.”
Here’s a revolutionary concept: how about developing more programs to fund organization which help parents get good local food like eggs, meat and whichever vegetables and fruit naturally grow in their regions, rather than pushing yet another processed product upon them?
As in, let’s help people get real food?