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Nutritious, cheaper food supplement for Zimbabwe

TWO international organisations have unveiled a nutritious and cheaper food supplement, the e’Pap, in a bid to alleviate hunger in Zimbabwe.

BY PHYLLIS MBANJE

The food supplement, which costs less than a quarter of a dollar per serving, was introduced by Miracle Missions in conjunction with e’Pap Zimbabwe.

Miracle Missions is a Christian organisation involved in community work around the country.

E’Pap, which is already popular in South Africa, is a pre-cooked cereal made from unrefined maize and soya bean with 28 added nutrients, to focus on addressing micronutrient deficiencies, also known as hidden hunger.

E’Pap Zimbabwe representative, Shelley Lasker said the food supplement was not only full of nutrients, but has also been formulated to improve the ability of the body to digest and break down food, ensuring full benefits in one’s entire diet.

“E’Pap is a great tool for companies with social responsibility programmes,” she said.

The supplement comes at a time when over two million people in Zimbabwe are in need of food assistance following poor yields in most parts of the country, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

Hunger is most prevalent in provinces such as Manicaland, Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland region.

Statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare indicate that about 12 000 children under the age of five die in the country yearly as a result of malnutrition.

Econocom Foods chief executive officer, Basil Kransdorff, a food expert from South Africa, said poverty has seen the emergence of a “sterile mono diet” focussed on maize meal, which does not address the daily nutrient requirements.

This, he said, was now called “hidden hunger” which e’Pap sought to address.

Hidden hunger is not the kind that comes from lack of food, but is a long-term, chronic lack of vitamins and minerals.

“Eating commercially farmed and over-processed sterile food may make us feel full, but our bodies will not ever be nutrient replete. Nutrient repleteness plays a vital role in helping human beings become functional,” Kransdorff said.

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