Making a greener revolution: a nutrient delivery system for food production to address malnutrition through crop science
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During the 1970s, the Green Revolution basically used dwarfing genes in wheat and rice that allowed greater water and fertilizer efficiency which dramatically increased the cereal productivity and thus, increased human caloric intake of the developing world. However, having met caloric intake, there is a need to address the issues of malnutrition through a holistic food production system. For example Ca-deficient induced rickets was found in 9% of children in SE Bangladesh, illustrating the failure of that food production system to address this vital nutrient, calcium. A clinical trial has shown a minimum of increase in calcium intake of 250 mg Ca per child per day was enough to prevent rickets. In Bangladesh, a consortium of universities and other medical institutions and the International Center for Wheat and Maize Improvement (CIMMYT) has developed strategies to infuse calcium within the food delivery system. For treatment of ricketic children, a strategy was developed to use live and video drama to create community awareness of the production and/or consumption of high-calicum crops/food and calcium supplement added to the cooking rice (in this case, highly edible CaCO3 readily available throughout the country). Though this represents a very specific case study, this is a useful example of how collaboration based around crop science can address the 'hidden' hunger of malnutrition throughout the world.
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