Cheap Solutions for Big Problems

By Amelia Hennighausen - 2012-03-29T08:08:26Z

Photograph by Elizabeth Lippman; Styling by Brent Murray

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Plumpy'nut Emergency Nutrition

Cost: $0.33, or $50 for 150 packets to treat one child suffering severe acute malnutrition

Plumpy'nut revolutionized food aid to treat dangerous malnutrition when it was developed a decade ago. Unlike other sources of emergency food, the packets of peanut-based nutrition require no preparation, water or refrigeration. UNICEF estimates that as many as 260 million children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition.

Nutriset licenses its patents to NGOs and manufacturers, which make and distribute Plumpy'nut in countries with the greatest threat of malnutrition. The company asks that manufacturers contribute 1 percent of sales back for R&D.

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