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Leverage Access to Superfoods

This is somewhat of a controversial topic, but I believe it is nevertheless worth mentioning in this context. The term "Superfoods" refers to types of food that are genetically engineered to contain extensive levels of certain vitamins and nutrients that are crucial for proper nourishment, especially in the first years of a child's life. By expanding the availability of such foods, the basic quality of children's diets in extremely poor areas can be ensured.

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The most well-know (and also hotly debated) superfood is the so-called Golden Rice. By manipulating two genes in common rice plants scientists managed to enable the production of β-carotene in the rice corns. This nutrient is crucial in fighting Vitamin A Deficiency, a common cause of blindness in poor regions.
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The amount of superfoods available is growing steadily and new scientific approaches allow for the manipulation of a variety of genes in plants. See e.g. Purple Tomatoes that include high levels of antioxidants:

However, as "gene-foods", these approaches to fighting malnourishment have somewhat of a difficult standing in society. My idea therefore is to educate people on the benefits of these superfoods and the crucial role that they could play in ensuring the well-being of children in low-income communities all across the world.

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Children from low-income communities all around the globe would benefit from proper nourishment.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

The basic mechanism of action has already been tested, but now it is time to boost public awareness for the benefits of genetically enhanced food in fighting malnourishment.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

Enhanced public support, more people who believe in the idea.
Also feedback from the OpenIDEO community would be appreciated - I'd like to hear your thoughts on this somewhat controversial topic!

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • This idea is meant to inspire. I hope someone else takes it on!


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