The Oscars put on quite a show, as usual last night. The irony of a millionaire mega superstar actress who devotes her time to the starving children of Africa looking like she is malnurished made my stomach churn.
After the thoughts about how sad our culture is elevating the idea that thin and skinny are the ultimate goal in life I began to think about Plumpy'nut. Do you know what it is?
Plumpy'nut is a Ready-to-Use Theraputic Food (RUTF) that treats severe malnutrition in the third world. It is an amazing peanut based product that, simply put, saves lives. The first time I saw photos of Plumpy'nut success was on Renee's blog. See the pictures of how it works yourself. Quite honestly a product that prevents kids and adults from dying. Taking those on death's door and turning what was a certain death into a chance at life.
There has been a legal battle over the patent rights to the product. A French company, Nutriset, holds the formula rights and has blocked NGO's and foreign companies from developing a cheaper product and distributing it among third world nations. Until recently it was difficult to come by but, according to Nutriset there are many small companies in a few African nations that are now producing the product. Let's hope this means it is more readily available. You can read more about the legal battle here.
My internal angst about our culture's worship of "skinny" juxtapose to my intense concern over the living and dying conditions in many countries around the world leaves me almost speechless. Almost.
I posted on facebook and twitter that I wanted to send Angelina home with some Plumpy'nut. It felt funny at the time. But malnutrition and the state of the culture we live in just aren't that funny.
How does it all sit with you?