Within Our Grasp: Childhood Malnutrition Worldwide and the Revolution Taking Place to End It

Sharman Apt Russell. Pantheon, $28.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5247-4724-4
Nature writer Russell (Diary of a Citizen Scientist) presents a comprehensive survey of recent trends in the fight to end childhood hunger and malnourishment. In Malawi, where global warming has exacerbated the country’s annual “hunger season” and 37% of children are stunted by malnutrition, she visits a factory that makes ready-to-use therapeutic foods, which don’t require cooking, refrigeration, or mixing with potentially contaminated water. Russell provides a brief and informative history of these foods, which have a peanut butter base for protein and are specifically designed to rehabilitate those severely malnourished, and also details how international aid organizations are working closely with communities in Malawi and other countries to develop educational and subsistence farming programs. According to the scientists and aid workers Russell profiles, childhood malnutrition is a complex problem that demands a multipronged approach, including improved farming methods, greater access to medical care, and empowering and educating impoverished women. Russell also details efforts to get multinational corporations such as Pepsi and Coca Cola to provide fortified, nutritious foods to communities that need them. Expansively reported and gracefully written, this cautiously optimistic account brings an important yet underreported issue to the fore. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 12/31/2020
Release date: 04/06/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-5247-4725-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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