Moringa for malnutrition


As per 2009 statistics, 1.02 billion people are undernourished, which accounts for 1/6 th of humanity. This has been concurrent with more than 33% increase in commodity prices than in 2005. Among 15% of the world’s malnourished population are children. Research across the globe has found few effective solutions for that moringa leaf powder is one among them. Developing countries where famine and drought are common will be getting benefited through this. Social welfare organizations in developing countries are taking up projects to popularize use of these products.

Malnutrition is a serious issue when the poor people in different geographic locations cannot get balanced diet at affordable cost due to various reasons such as drought, low agricultural inputs. These conditions also arise where the agricultural production is more costly. Poor people living below the poverty line cannot afford to get nutritious food and this affects women and children particularly. Illiteracy, famine, drought conditions and changing face of consumerism are some of the factors that worsen malnutrition. World Health Organizations (WHO) has been researching and investigating about the sad plight of women and children in the developing nations. Staple food and food habits have changes subject to difficulties accompanying malnutrition in underdeveloped countries.

Globalization and changing trends in economy have introduced new foods and altered dietary habits and lifestyle patterns in many developing countries. Transition from rural communities to urban areas, for example, is increasing with less percentage of people producing their own food and the majority of the educated population has to rely entirely on commercial food supply regulated by government.

Changes in dietary habits are mainly due to subsistent nature of agriculture in many third world countries, the composition of food consumption in rural areas generally suffers lot of restrictions. This is due to the rural farmers difficulties in selling their agricultural produces or purchasing other food items. Urban residents have got wide options with variety of food from which they can choose. Studies and research projects revealed that increased opportunity cost of women’s time is increasing the demand for nontraditional fast foods.

Street vendor rice (polished rice) has become popular in West Africa, even for poor consumers in Kenya and West African cities. This has been slowly spreading to rural population in the late 90s. For poorer countries, urbanization lead to the substitution of marketed staple cereals and processed foods for basic rural staple foods such as hand pound rice and cassava. Increased urbanization has leaded to reduce other cereals consumption in Asia and sub Saharan African regions. Now media and social media are publishing the dangers of processed foods.

Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) formed groups with volunteers working to fight against malnutrition. First these groups started to study the food habits of the population their cultivation habits, availability of balanced diet and affordability of the fruits and other dietary supplements. Then they started training the population about changing their food habits and select the nutrients to be added to their existing and traditional food.

Trial for new products that may be palatable along with their regular Fufu made of yam, cassava, maize. These women have also changed their food habits with the changing consumer behavior. In order to reduce poverty more women started to spend more time in their workplace. So, the rural women were trained to introduce moringa tree leaf powder in their recipes. This proved the affordable, alternative way of getting nutrients from a balanced diet.