evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Posts Tagged ‘evidence based cooking tips’

Innovation to Fight Hunger: The Case of Plumpy’nut

In Under-nutrition on July 31, 2012 at 5:26 pm

by José Guimón* and Pablo Guimón** (2010)

UAM-Accenture Working Papers – ISSN: 2172-8143

(download the entire text)


A simple invention can at times prove extremely useful. This is the case with Plumpy‟nut, a variety of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) conceived in 1999 that  is shaping a new regime for emergency interventions to alleviate child malnutrition. This paper applies concepts from the innovation systems literature into the analysis of  Plumpy‟nut with the aim of identifying the forces driving its successful diffusion as an innovation. Special attention is paid to three features that define the diffusion process: 1) shifting from inpatient to outpatient treatment, 2) building networks through licences,  franchises and partnerships, and 3) exploring further varieties of application. We combine the theoretical discussion with insights from field research in Ethiopia, including personal interviews with relevant parties and direct observation of how Plumpy‟nut works in practice. The ultimate objectives of this technology assessment exercise are to better understand the innovation journey of Plumpy‟nut and to identify possible opportunities for policy intervention.

Keywords: food crises; malnutrition; therapeutic food; technology diffusion; technological regimes; Ethiopia

Acknowledgements: An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the Globelics International Conference 2009 organized by CRES and UNU-MERIT (Senegal, October 6-8, 2009).

* Departamento de Estructura Económica y Economía del Desarrollo. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Ctra. de Colmenar km. 15, 28049 Madrid. E-mail: jose.guimon@uam.es

** El País Semanal. El País. Miguel Yuste 40, 28037 Madrid. E-mail: pguimon@elpais.es

Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial Evaluating the Need for Routine Antibiotics as Part of the Outpatient Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (2012)

In Under-nutrition on May 25, 2012 at 9:07 am

from FANTA:

“Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in children contributes to the deaths of 1 million children every year. Until recently, children with SAM were treated as inpatients in crowded hospital wards with milk-based therapy and routine antibiotics for all children. With the advent and widespread acceptance of peanut-based ready-to-use-therapeutic food (RUTF), standard therapy for SAM without medical complications is to treat these children at home.

Even in the home setting, international guidelines recommend that children receive a course of oral antibiotics at the start of their RUTF therapy. Because this places an additional burden on already taxed health systems and caregivers, because clinical experience has shown good recovery rates without antibiotics, and because the bacteria most likely to cause severe infections in these children are unlikely to be susceptible to most options for routine antibiotics, their routine use has been called into question. Thus, FANTA undertook a clinical trial comparing nutritional recovery and mortality outcomes in children with SAM receiving 1 week of amoxicillin, cefdinir, or placebo, in addition to usual RUTF therapy. This report documents the outcomes of the trial, which clearly showed the benefit of using antibiotics in the outpatient treatment of SAM without medical complications”.

Download the document

Sourdough home baking. Seriously

In Over-nutrition on May 8, 2012 at 7:04 am

Sometime you may also long for a good home made bread, crunchy and fruity. But you may happen to live in the anonymous outskirts of a large town in the western world or work in… a refugee camp in Africa or Asia (I am a humanitarian nutritionist). Well, or something in between.

While I was living in the Amazon jungle, I learnt how to bake using industrial yeasts as a starter. The habit of baking did not abandon me, when I moved back to more civilized worlds. So, with the usual ups and downs, friends were still offered the fruits of my kneading exercises.

However, recently the use of sourdough starter revamped my jungle-based enthusiasm for home bread baking. Making a sourdough is not as easy as buying industrial yeasts. However dozens, maybe hundreds of blogs and web sites help you in this endeavour. This is my favourite one, written by a Dutch couple with a pretty scientific approach. I was impressed and I hope to visit them in the next months.

Already experienced? You like challenges? Make people happy around you: give it a try with the sourdough croissant.

Better to eat cooked or raw vegetables?

In Over-nutrition on April 26, 2012 at 7:02 am

Dr Greger helps to pull the available evidence together.


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