Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

Help a Lucky Iron Fish Travel the World

iron fish held in hand and over soup potIron deficiency in the diet is a severe problem in many developing nations. Around 3.5 billion people suffer from anemia and iron deficiency—it ranks as the worst diet/nutritional problem (aside from hunger) and it is so easily treated. The kinds of vitamins and pills we commonly give kids as supplements at our breakfast tables are not as affordable or easy to come by in other societies (and if you live anywhere humid at all, you know your kid’s little cartoon-shaped chewables can, very quickly, get super gloopy and unusable).

Here comes the Lucky Iron Fish to the rescue! Looking like a cool Pottery Barn table decoration, this palm-sized fish made of iron is a simple solution to the problem. This project started in Cambodia, and basically, a family takes this metal fish sculpture, drops it into boiling water for ten minutes, and the small amount of trace iron that leeches from it is enough to help fight the deficiency in a family, straight from their normal food source. Pull out the fish, add all the other ingredients you may want for a soup or stew, and the lucky fish has worked magic in your pot.

The fish is a lucky symbol in Cambodia, and as the project spreads, they can create other shapes for this reusable (just rinse and it is ready to go next time, for hundreds of pots) treasure that in each meal can add 75% of each person’s recommended amount of dietary iron. Locally made and hand-packaged, the project also employs locals, many of them recovering survivors of landline injuries. Safe, easy, socially spectacular, and kinda cool to use. Some lemon or other citrus makes the iron, which doesn’t change the flavor of the food, even better absorbed by the body. Restored iron levels increase energy and health, as well as brain power and focus. In Cambodia, the communities where this project is underway have seen more than a 50% decrease in iron deficiency and anemia.

Check them out, donate, watch the video below to learn more, buy a Lucky Iron Fish for yourself and one is donated to family in need, and help put  fish in every pot.

 

DIG

uganda_intro_sans

Cary Norton/Uganda

DIG (Development in Gardening) is a charitable organization dedicated to improving health and well-being for HIV-positive and at-risk individuals in developing nations. They teach skills and develop infrastructure for sustainable community gardens, thereby improving nutrition, wellness, and earning potential.

The garden projects (currently there are several DIG gardens in Uganda, Senegal, the Dominican Republic, and Namibia) are built and maintained by healthy HIV-affected workers, sometimes on hospital grounds. In addition to helping provide important, vitamin-rich fresh foods, the gardens also provide some income for the community as well as a welcoming gathering space. An offshoot of the program is HUG (Home Urban Garden) where individuals take the skills they have learned in hospital community gardens, and establish their own micro-gardens in previously unused spaces at or near their homes. This supplements the nutrition of entire families as well as a harvest of enough to sell fresh fruits and vegetables and help stabilize income.

Malnutrition in HIV/AIDS patients is a very real threat and almost constant condition in many economically challenged communities. This program not only nourishes individuals, but families and communities, and the skills shared by volunteers and staff can be passed on for generations to follow, potentially raising the level of health and nutrition for entire regions.

Want to get involved? Short term volunteers spend vacations at DIG projects, and longer-term volunteers work as interns taking stewardship of a program. Find out how to pitch in here.

http://www.developmentingardening.org