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By Janelle Cruz, Humanitas Global We are in the midst of a ‘protein transition’: As incomes in the developing world rise, so does the consumption of meat with projections showing consumption of animal-based foods to increase by 80 percent by 2050. In the developed world, individuals are already overconsuming animal products, with one study indicating that all but 19 countries and territories were consuming more protein than average daily requirements in 2009. Livestock production is incredibly resource-intensive and responsible for nearly 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. While 795 million people suffer from hunger, a third of all calories produced... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2017 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Janelle Cruz, Humanitas Global Happy New Year! In keeping with our annual tradition, we wanted to share our top blog posts of 2016! As we embark into 2017, we want to continue sharing inspiring, innovative and current ideas from our team, as well as those of our fellow peers and colleagues. We always love hearing from you and want to share your thoughts and experiences. If you are interested in becoming our next top blog post, please reach out to us at Highlights from 2016: World Breastfeeding Week 2016: A Look at the History of Breastfeeding and Breast-milk... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2017 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Eileen Little, Humanitas Global December 10th marked 68 years since the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, on the second anniversary of the Declaration’s ratification, the United Nations’ General Assembly established an annual Human Rights Day. Since then, the international community has celebrated Human Rights Day by holding campaigns, seminars, and activities to promote awareness for the 30 articles that define the basic rights each and every person is entitled to. And, more importantly, to continue to take a stand for people whose human rights are still not being met. This year the theme of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global Agriculture is inherently vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which threatens current and future global food and nutrition security. Agriculture accounts one one-fifth of total emissions but it also holds immense potential for adaptation and mitigation to climate change while delivering sustainable food systems. At the 2015 Paris Agreement, 94 percent of all countries included agriculture in mitigation and/or adaptation contributions. One primary reason for the recognition of agriculture in climate change action can be attributed to soils role as one of the major carbon pools (following the lithosphere and oceans). This is also... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global For thousands of years humans have exploited living organisms through food, shelter, medicine and clothing. In doing so many peoples have developed a traditional knowledge (TK) revolving around the plant and animal species located in their environment including their direct and indirect uses. There is no internationally recognized definition of TK, but it commonly refers to knowledge, skills and practices confined to a group of people, passed through generations orally and experientially, often forming part of the cultural or spiritual identity. Though TK is responsible for the discovery of morphine, reserpine and aspirin, it is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global We repeatedly hear about and discuss the need for a multi-stakeholder, inclusive approach to achieving food and nutrition security. With a renewed focus on nutrition stemming from last year’s plenary, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is an intergovernmental forum doing just that. Members are comprised of Member States of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), The World Food Programme (WFP), and non-Member States of FAO that are Member States of the United Nations. Participants in CFS include representatives from UN agencies, civil society and non-governmental organizations,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global Globally, nearly two billion people suffer from micronutrient malnutrition, suffering from impaired growth and development, increased risk of disease and death from infection, preventable blindness and brain damage, and more. The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, is reputed to have said, “Let food be thy medicine”. This quote is symbolic of the work and accomplishment of the four World Food Prize laureates, Dr. Maria Andrade, Dr. Jan Low, Dr. Robert Mwanga, and Dr. Howarth Bouis, being honored this year. Biofortification, breeding vitamins and nutrients into staple crops, unites the four laureates who have developed crops to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Nabeeha M. Kazi, President & CEO, Humanitas Global The 2016 Lancet Early Childhood Development Series, with new scientific evidence that builds off of the 2007 Lancet Series on the same topic, launches this week. It comes at a time of renewed international attention on early childhood development (ECD), and doing right by the world's children and their families. Investments in ECD have been growing, with US$1.7 billion from the Inter-American Development Bank and US$3.3 billion from Work Bank supporting more than 423 projects around the world. Since 2000, publications on the subject of ECD have steadily increased and the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Jorge Rojas, Humanitas Global The most recent post of our overnutrition series, “Temptations, Peer Pressures and Ignorance – The Influence of our Sociocultural Environment on our Weight”, explored the ways in which our surroundings contribute to unhealthy diets and lifestyles. With fast-food chains on every corner, sweet and salty goodies surrounding the check-out lane at supermarkets, ads for fast and junk food on television, and magazines and billboards showcasing calorie-dense foods, it is clear that junk food is readily available and that we are prone to consume it unless we make the conscious decision to avoid it. Average food... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global Along with endorsement of the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and the Framework for Action of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), The UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on 1 April 2016 calls for accelerated global action to achieve an end to hunger and malnutrition within the Sustainable Development Agenda and framed by the Rome Declaration. More specifically, the resolution catalyzes governments to develop, set and commit to national nutrition targets for 2025.The Framework for Action further calls on Member States to act across the following six... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Jane Sherman, Nutrition Education Consultant About the boys In Uganda there is a boys’ youth club, whose members (aged 14-23) are crazy about football, television and music. If they can’t become sports stars, what they want most is a good job and a family. Some have jobs, some are apprenticed or studying, and some are unemployed. Regardless, they all live mainly on cheap street food and junk food, with no notion of what makes for a good diet or the long-term effects of a poor one. Chicken and chips, with pot noodles, washed down with a fizzy drink, is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Jorge Rojas, Humanitas Global Our recent post, “Can Our Genes Explain Overnutrition?” noted that we cannot blame overweight and obesity on a sole factor. Instead, it is a series of variables such as human biology, behaviors and our surrounding environment that together yield overnutrition. This series on the etiology of overnutrition has already focused on the influence physical and biological environments play on overweight and obesity. In this next post we will evaluate different ways in which our social culture—the set of beliefs, customs, practices and behaviors within a population—induces individuals to gain weight. “You are too skinny, you... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global “Not only do women make up half the population of the world - but we also brought the other half into it.” Her Excellency, Dr. Joyce Banda. Despite this undeniable foothold in the world, girls and women face inequalities in all aspects of life. According to World Bank data, women and girls aged 15 to 44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, malaria, and war. Roughly 5,000 honor killings are carried out against women around the world every year. Female genital mutilation (FGM), a procedure which offers... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2016 at Humanitas Global Development Blog
By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global Regardless of where a family or caregiver falls on the poverty line, children deserve adequate nutrition, access to healthcare and the opportunity to enroll in and complete school. Yet, children are often unjustly impacted by poverty and disproportionately represented in measurements of poverty. As of 2012 nearly 900 million people were living on US$1.90 a day, the World Bank measure of monetary poverty. UNICEF’s ‘State of the World’s Children 2016’ revealed that children under the age of 17 make up 34 percent of the total population in low- and middle-income countries, they account for 46... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2016 at Humanitas Global Development Blog
By Jorge Rojas, Humanitas Global We continue our series on overnutrition building up from our previous post, “Physical Activity and Healthy Food Consumption Habits – The Victims of Urbanization”. While the physical environment plays a crucial role in a population’s ability to engage in physical activity and avoid high-calorie, unhealthy foods, it is not a necessary condition for the rise in overnutrition and obesity rates. Biological and health-related factors also play a role in the development of these ills. Today there is a better understanding of the interplay between the environment and genes and impact on human physiology—how fast a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Nicole Graham, Humanitas Global In 1965, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named September 8 the International Literacy Day. This day was created to mobilize the global community around literacy as a means of empowerment. Since then, schools, governments and communities have rallied to increase literacy rates, particularly in the developing world. Demonstrating a large success for the movement, over 60 percent of all countries reporting data had literacy rates of 95 percent or higher. Despite the global achievement, many countries struggle with low literacy rates. Literacy rates for youths, according to UNESCO’s latest data, 2012:... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2016 at Humanitas Global Development Blog
By Nicole Graham, Humanitas Global The Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have just concluded, but Rio’s Olympic-sized water issues are not packing up and leaving. The persistent complaint around unsafe water conditions for athletes and spectators shall continue to plague the citizens of Brazil and the waters of Rio long after the tourists have departed. According to a sixteen-month long study commissioned by the Associated Press, 1,400 athletes faced serious exposure to health risks during the games due to contact with Rio’s contaminated water. The report stated that Olympic and Paralympic venues contained consistently high levels of viruses... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2016 at Humanitas Global Development Blog
By Jorge Rojas, Humanitas Global Our recent post, “A Closer Look: The Complexity of Overnutrition,” introduced a series of blog posts exploring the etiology of overnutrition and obesity. In this first post we will analyze the elements of the Physical/Built Environment described as factors that influence a person’s engagement in physical activities and food consumption behavior patterns. Urbanization has grown at exponential rates in recent decades. For example, the world’s population was evenly split for the first time between urban and rural areas by 2008 – with more than 400 cities with over 1 million residents and 19 megacities with... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Andrew Margenot, PhD, Soils & Biogeochemistry, Univeristy of California, Davis Nicaragua is a Central American nation that, though endowed with natural resources, is considered the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. This largely reflects a combination of political and economic instability due to civil war (1980-1990) and frequent exposure to natural disasters. Agriculture accounts for one-third of livelihoods of Nicaraguans, 80% of which involves family farms. In contrast to the semi-arid, volcanic landscape of the western side, on the Caribbean coast we find ourselves in the lowland humid tropics with three-fold greater precipitation, albeit with soils of inherently... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Nicole Graham, Humanitas Global Car-sharing has surged in popularity within the past decade as an affordable and convenient method of renting a vehicle for a short period of time. Contrary to previous methods employed by companies such as Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, car-sharing tends to cater to those who are living in cities and wish to use a vehicle intermittently for errands, quick trips, or weekend activities. In an age when Uber and Lyft are now verbs rather than just company names, car-sharing seems like a logical jump. Users are in control of the car instead of at the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2016 at Humanitas Global Development Blog
By Jorge Rojas, Humanitas Global What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ‘malnutrition’?—Likely it is the image of an emaciated child in a rural village in South East Asia, Africa or the Andean region of South America as the term ‘malnutrition’ is often associated with undernutrition, poverty and food insecurity. However, a paradox has been identified where food insecurity can lead to either undernutrition or overnutrition, which is often characterized by overweight or obesity. The double burden of malnutrition creates a scenario in which a stunted infant can become overweight in a matter of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global In the conclusion of this two-part blog I will examine examples of responses to development and biodiversity conservation. Current environmental trends showcase the need for immediate action to reverse degradation and damage while simultaneously identifying development solutions that protect the environment. While there is a universal need for sustainable responses to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is no silver bullet solution. Though environmental conservation and sustainability should be inherent in every response to the SDGs, solutions to poverty in a biodiversity hotspot require a much different response than solutions to poverty in an... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2016 at Humanitas Global Development Blog
By Nicole Graham, Humanitas Global The role of the youth is changing rapidly. More so now than ever before, children and teens are seen as change-makers who can positively contribute to improving their environments. The United Nations declared 2011 the International Year of Youth with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sharing, “youth deserve our full commitment – full access to education, adequate healthcare, employment opportunities, financial services and full participation in public life.” With the announcement of the post-2015 agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically call upon youths to aid in implementation and success. Creation of the United Nations Major Group... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2016 at Humanitas Global Development Blog
By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global Prior to World Breastfeeding Week, the results of a study were published identifying cockroach milk as a potential superfood. While cockroaches lack mammary glands, there is one species, the Pacific Beetle Cockroach that produces a form of milk for its young. The ‘milk’ takes the form of protein crystals in the guts of baby cockroaches, fueling growth and development that exceeds that of other cockroach species (no stunting here!) The crystals have high amounts of protein, fat and sugar and four times the energy of an equivalent mass of cow milk. Unfortunately, milking cockroaches is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2016 at Hunger-Undernutrition Blog
By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global In the first half of this two-part blog I will explore the effect of human development on habitat loss and vice versa. Biodiversity, the variation of life in all forms ranging from genes, to species, to communities, to whole ecosystems, is the backbone of human existence. The provision of breathable air, clean water, medicine, fiber and fuel sources, food, buffers to natural disasters, an equitable climate and aesthetic and spiritual experiences constitute the basis of human well-being. Within the diversity of ecosystems, any community of living organisms interacting with nonliving elements, are habitats comprised of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2016 at Humanitas Global Development Blog