Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Micronutrients, Big Change

If you think microgreens are the hottest edible thing that begins with the prefix micro, think again. See here for an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof of the NYT regarding the amazing health benefits of micronutrients such as folic acid and iodine.

Kristof lays out one of those familiar scenarios in which it is very, very easy to do good. The basic gist of it is this: micronutrients are extremely important in early development and are cheap to provide yet are lacking in the diets of many residents of impoverished countries. The obvious question then is how to make micronutrients a bigger component of foreign aid.

Here's an idea. If American restaurant goers simply used the money they spend on the pricey but superfluous garnish known as microgreens to instead donate micronutrients to developing nations (according to Kristof, a year's supply costs less than a hamburger), there would be fewer babies born with holes in their heads, and would anyone really miss microgreens?

Seems like a fair trade to me. If anyone out there wants to start an organization called Micronutrients not Microgreens, you have my full support.

And while I appreciate Kristof's effort to raise awareness about this issue, I do find his lede somewhat misleading. Are folic acid and iodine really "scrumptious?"

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