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Renowned Chefs Call for End to Hunger-Related Deaths

World Food Day 2009: Culinary icons support the No Hunger Campaign

 

A lineup of celebrated chefs, restaurateurs, and food industry notables are calling on the international community to prioritize acute malnutrition this World Food Day, October 16th. In conjunction with the global humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger | ACF International, food industry icons Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pepin, Eric Ripert, and Tim Zagat have released video statements in support of Action Against Hunger’s No Hunger campaign—a global initiative to end child deaths from hunger.

This innovative campaign—featuring a trailer to what could be Al Gore’s next film—highlights revolutionary new products called Ready-to-Use-Foods (RUFs) that can massively expand global efforts to end acute malnutrition. RUFs are micronutrient-dense products that deliver essential vitamins, nutrients, and calories to young children whose lives are threatened by malnutrition. The most widely known RUF to date is Plumpy’nut, a peanut-butter based therapeutic treatment that restores dying children to health in 45 days.

These new tools are revolutionary because they overcome long-standing obstacles to ending hunger-related deaths: RUFs require no preparation or refrigeration; they enable outpatient care so children can be treated at home; and they can massively expand access using community-based models that could reach millions. “Acute malnutrition kills five million kids a year largely because families can’t access treatment,” states chef Daniel Boulud, proprietor of Daniel. “But RUFs can change this if they are made available on a larger scale.”

Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all acutely malnourished children have access to such treatment. “Acute malnutrition is hunger that kills, but it’s predictable and preventable,” says Tim Zagat of Zagat.com. “If we had enough Ready-to-Use-Foods we could save millions of lives each year—it’s really a historic opportunity.”

To raise awareness about this historic opportunity, Action Against Hunger created No Hunger, a campaign calling on former Vice-President Al Gore to make his next film about acute malnutrition. Featuring a trailer to Al Gore’s next film—a film that doesn’t exist yet—No Hunger asks people to watch the trailer and sign an online petition asking Al Gore to make the film. The petitions will be delivered to Al Gore at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.

“Food is a big part of my life, so it really upsets me to know that so many people go hungry in a world where there’s enough food to feed everyone,” explains Eric Ripert, chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin in New York. “This is a story that needs to be told—an Al Gore film called No Hunger could mobilize the support needed to save millions of children, just as An Inconvenient Truth helped mobilize global action on climate change.”

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