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Sweet Potatoes Are Saving Lives – Will You Help?

Food is the one thing that always unites us – be it a celebration, a mourning, or charitable cause. Today, One.org is using food to unite the blogging community to help a cause we should all be hungry to fight – malnutrition. They’ve banded 25 food bloggers to share the sweet potato love today, and in doing so, help raise awareness of chronic malnutrition, which they say is, “a hidden killer of nearly 2 million children around the world.”

It’s something that mothers around the globe face for their children. We tend to immediately think of poor, underdeveloped countries – those scenes are stark and real and very much deserving of our efforts. It’s very much a domestic issue, too, but one we think isn’t possible right here in our own neighborhoods.

According to CharitySub.org, which made hunger its charitable focus last winter, one in seven American homes is considered food insecure, with one in four children living in food insecure homes.

One.org thinks we can reverse this trend with one little super food - the sweet potato. “We’re on a mission to make the sweet potato famous. Why? Because it packs a huge vitamin A punch, and it’s saving lives in Africa today.”

Last summer, NPR reported on how the “humble sweet potato” was saving lives in Africa, by way of an effort to introduce more orange sweet potatoes in places like Uganda and Mozambique (as opposed to white and yellow). Because it’s a nutritionally dense food, especially for vitamin A, it is truly improving nutrition in some of the world’s poorest people.

In those places, where sweet potatoes have been grown for centuries, traditional plant breeding techniques have been used to grow a better sweet potato, one with more vitamin A. They’re finding that evidence of more vitamin A is showing up in blood tests, and they’re cutting the death rate.

Some of our favorite ways to prepare this hearty vegetable include:

Red and Sweet Potato Salad

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burgers

Parmesan Pepper Sweet Potato Fries

Molasses Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Pie Popsicles

Sweet Potato and Toasted Sage Dip

Sweet Potato Parmesan Hashbrowns – available only in the Baker’s Dozen eCookbook

You might take a heaping pile of sweet potatoes at the grocery store for granted, but you should think twice before you pass them up again. They’re a remarkable food source, quite affordable, and extremely versatile.

One.org is asking you to sign their petition encouraging world leaders to reduce chronic malnutrition for 25 million kids by 2016. Will you be a part of this important change?

February 21st, 2013

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