Nutrient-rich peanuts are made into peanut butter and therapeutic foods than can effectively alleviate hunger within the U.S. and abroad. Peanut Butter for the Hungry encourages the use of these two miracle products to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.
Peanut butter is a staple food item in the majority of homes in the U.S., not only for its outstanding flavor but for its nutrition, versatility and convenience. One serving of peanut butter offers 8 grams of plant-based protein and more than 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients.
Peanut butter is the number one most requested item by food banks; it is shelf stable and an economical source of protein, keeping hunger at bay. The U.S. peanut industry regularly donates peanut butter to food banks throughout the country, and in times of disaster quickly mobilizes forces to donate pallets of peanut butter to those areas in dire need of nutritious food items.
Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) has revolutionized the treatment of severe malnutrition, providing fortified products that are safe and convenient to use at home yet guarantee rapid weight gain for severely malnourished children.
In 1999, a scientist named Dr. Andre Briend with the World Health Organization (WHO) developed a product that combined powdered milk, vegetable oil, sugar, peanut butter, and vitamins and minerals into a “ready-to-use therapeutic food,” or RUTF, which is transforming the treatment of severe malnutrition in some of the most desperate places on earth.
RUTF is based on the tried and true F-100 milk formula; by replacing liquid milk with powdered milk and adding protein-rich peanut butter, the new F-100 formula becomes shelf stable and transportable, allowing aid workers to treat malnourished children in a completely new way. Instead of checking into hospitals, children are fed at home by their mothers, using the ready-to-use food product. No water is needed, so the food stays bacteria free, and can be stored for three to four months without refrigeration, even at tropical temperatures.
Results have been amazing, with a 90% or higher success rate. This new food, which is technically classified as a medicine by the WHO, is particularly effective for treating hungry children ages 6 months to 2 years, which are among the most vulnerable.