Sunday, February 23, 2014

Food Security- Having a secure food supply for 6 to12 months

The beautiful highlands of Ecuador are home to many rural farm families. In many cases their diets are nutrient deficient. They live in very beautiful areas, but do not have the understanding of what foods will give them the nutrients that they need.
The home and beautiful hillsides surrounding of one of our students in Ecuador.
One of the keys to our program at Feed the World is food security. We teach our student families the importance of having a balanced diet, especially for their small children. We teach them to grow gardens with a variety of vegetables that will give them complete nutrition. We also teach them how to improve their harvests and then store the excess.
Board member Rick Brimhall and the Ecuador staff with a recent graduate in front of her supply of food
In addition to teaching them about vegetable and crop production, we also teach them how to better care for their animals. Guinea pigs or cuyes are a very common meat animal in these areas. They reproduce quickly and are very easy to raise. They not only provide a very good source of high quality protein, but the surplus guinea pigs can be sold for additional family income.

Guinea pigs or cuyes raised by the small farmers to feed their families and to sell
In most cases, our student family's level of nutrition can be raised to levels of the first world countries in less than a year. The amazing part is that by teaching them how to do it themselves, it becomes a habit that they will have for the rest of their lives. We encourage them to teach their neighbors and friends in a pay it forward fashion.
During the learning process, we see hope and confidence come into their  lives. It is not uncommon for our graduates to go forward trying new techniques, crops, markets, etc. We encourage them to try new things and learn from their experiences.

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