Moringa and Malnutrition

It has been said that our soil is depleted of nutrients and, therefore, our food is depleted. The question you might ask is WHY and how does that affect me? Researchers are concerned about the nutritional value of our food today and say that there is a 40% decrease in the nutritional value of what we eat (1). Could we be suffering from malnutrition? How can Moringa work to change the course of a starving world? There over 800 studies on the benefits of Moringa oleifera. One of the most popular is through Johns Hopkins Medical Institute (2) and National Academics of Sciences Engineering of Medicine (3).

Let’s look at this phenomenal tree for a moment: Moringa has a powerful punch of nutrition. When you shade dry the leaves the nutritional value increases by 300 to 500%. (the vitamin C value, however, decreases) And what is more interesting is the nutritional value will keep if the dried leaves are stored in a cool dry environment for up to a year or longer.

Moringa has been called the Tree of Life because it is so beneficial and believe it or not it is prevalent in countries where malnutrition and starvation are running rampant. Moringa is the most nutritious plant on earth. But the natives don’t seem know the value or they overcook it to where there are no nutrients left. Thankfully, there are organizations that are teaching the natives the importance of Moringa and how to prepare and cook it properly. Like the old saying goes, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach the man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”.

Moringa can tolerate drought, doesn’t need fertilizer, and it grows extremely fast. What is amazing as well, it doesn’t require much maintenance.

 
Moringa growing in clay soil.

Moringa growing in clay soil.

 

If we look around us it would not seem like anyone is starving. Obesity is on the rise but there is a big difference between being overweight and being fed nutritional food. Usually obesity is coming from over eating processed food, like, pasta, sweets, soda’s, breads, and much more, plus, there is no nutrition in that kind of food. Eating nutritional food, such as vegetables, protein and good fats, obesity wouldn’t be the issue. And yet, on the other side, malnutrition runs rampant, not only around the world, but in the USA.

The rate of population growth is a risk to how much food farmers can produce. Our soils use to be rich and nutritionally dense and the soil would clump together and hold the nutrients and water but today, it is dust. WHY? The mass production of repeating the same crop over and over to keep up with demand, and the over use of pesticides. It’s depleted of nutrients needed to keep it alive.

 
depleted-crop-soil.jpg
 

In 2004 University of Texas did a study where they did an evaluation from 1950 to 1999 - the results were astounding. It seems like we are smarter in all areas of industry as well as farming which should lead the powers in control of farming to be wiser. However, in this study they found a 40% depletion in our soil of vitamin c, protein, calcium, iron, minerals and other vitamins. If it was depleted in 1999, how much more is it depleted now?

How does Moringa fit in to all of this? More and more the value in Moringa is being discovered. Studies continue to show evidence Moringa could be the answer to malnutrition. Every part of the tree is edible and nutritious and its economical.

In 2014 it was reported there were 805 million people suffering from malnutrition around the world. People think that malnutrition is not in the US, that it is in other parts of the world. Think again. According to Child Welfare League, 30 million Americans experience hunger (4). Every single day 3 million children experience hunger in USA alone. Which this is another astounding figure. 13 million children live in impoverished homes where the families rely on food stamps, church outreaches and food banks as their source of provision. This in turn can leave under nourished children vulnerable to infections and disease.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding research for a nutritional feeding program in Tanzania utilizing Moringa. He is cooperating with the University of Western Ontario and Lawson Health Research Institute in Canada testing for a supplement to benefit nursing mothers with milk production and intestinal bacteria using Moringa oleifera (5).

... we could change the course of malnutrition in the US.

Moringa leaves may be tiny, but those tiny leaves deliver an enormous amount of nutrition. If the impoverished homes in the USA could be given one or two trees to plant, maybe even the moringa supplement, or start more Moringa farms in the USA alone, we could change the course of malnutrition in the US.


(1) https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/science/a-decline-in-the-nutritional-value-of-crops.html
(2) https://www.tfljournal.org/article.php/20051201124931586
(3) https://www.nap.edu/read/11763/chapter/16
(4) https://www.livestrong.com/article/487412-malnutrition-in-america/
(5) https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2012/05/Breathalyzers-to-Test-Tuberculosis-and-Stamped-Leaves-to-Detect-Disease-in-Plants