"World’s Healthiest Food"
Nicholas Kristof reports on the critical importance of micronutrients as part of a healthy diet, especially for children and pregnant women, and names HKI as one organization focusing on this issue. A lack of micronutrients can cause serious and life-threatening conditions: a lack of folic acid has been proven to cause neural tube defects (an opening in the spinal cord or brain), a lack of iodine can cause reduced I.Q., a lack of iron can cause anemia, and a lack of vitamin a can cause blindness.
Kristof goes on to report that the most cost-effective way to distribute micronutrients isn’t to hand them out, but rather to add them to common foods as salt, sugar, flour or cooking oil. "Adding iodine, iron, vitamin A, zinc and various B-complex vitamins including folic acid to a range of foods costs about 30 cents per person reached per year."
HKI works extensively throughout West Africa in partnership with the private sector to fortify essential cooking ingredients such as cooking oil and wheat flour with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, iron and folic acid. HKI also actively promotes the use of these fortified products to entire populations.