Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala Page: 58
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most foods included in the programs reflect the dietary habits (aside
from agricultural surpluses) of the donor country. Three aspects of
unacceptable food aid have been identified in the literature, and,
1. unacceptable foods which do not adhere to local
2. packaging problems which iicude pesticides found
in the package lining, and
3. health problems which result from poor sanitary
practices in the preparation of these foods.
Jelliffe (1968) notes that many times the food received from food
aid programs has no relation to local food habits, and, furthermore,
as in the case with powdered milk, it has discouraged mothers from
breastfeeding (in favor of an inferior food). Frequently, especially
with respect to grains, the packaging is permeated with pesticides as
a means of preventing insect destruction. The contamination of the
food is, therefore, almost unavoidable under field conditions in many
remote places. Because of poor sanitation practices, local health is
endangered since much of the food requires preparation with water.
This is compounded by the lack of potable water in most underdeveloped
countries. Nevertheless, Jelliffe points out, the advantages of any
food outweigh the disadvantages of malnutrition and hunger (when no
Another aspect of inappropriate food aid which should be discussed
here is based on reports coming out of recipient nations as to people
feeding the donated food to their animals. In Guatemala, for example,
occasionally the recipients of food aid provided by PL-480 will feed it
to their pigs and cattle instead of eating it. Though this might be
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Rodeheaver, Daniel Gilbert, 1954-; Bates, Frederick L. & Murphy, Arthur D. Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala, report, May 1982; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84342/m1/71/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.