In honor of the Thanksgiving Holiday, HKI Discusses a Traditional Dish That Fights Malnutrition
On Thursday, November 26, 2009, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving, and many enjoyed the traditional dish of orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes - a food that is not only tasty but also rich in vitamin A. Most Americans, in fact, don’t realize that sweetpotatoes come in white-fleshed varieties. In addition to being a delicious addition to the holiday table, these potatoes are increasingly playing an important role in reducing malnutrition in Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 42% of children under 5 years old are at risk of vitamin A deficiency (VAD): controlling VAD can save the lives of more than 645,000 children every year. HKI employs several strategies to control VAD, including vitamin A supplementation, fortifying staple foods, and promoting the production and the consumption of foods rich in vitamin A.
Although sweetpotatoes are widely consumed in Africa, they are usually the white-fleshed varieties that do not have vitamin A. HKI collaborates with international, national and community partners to introduce orange-fleshed varieties.