A Buzzing Tale – as told by “Uncle” Norman
There is an African proverb that was brought to the fore by Gyalwa Rinpoche to the Tibetan people (aka the 14th Dalai Lama) which affirms that: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent a night (in a dark room) with a mosquito.” An affirmation that few can dispute. By few we mean Icelanders, as Iceland is the only country in the world where mosquitoes don’t exist – It’s true.
Fortunately, those of us who share the rest of the habitable world with the infamous mosquito, we can at least rest assured that the culicidae around us don’t suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. That is because blood is full of essential nutrients for mosquitoes, namely iron, proteins, and other amino acids. Mosquitoes can’t get these vital nutrients from any other source, and without a blood-rich diet, the circle of life for mosquitoes would cease entirely.
Therefore, to ensure that we protect the mosquito’s circle of life, it’s only fair that we ensure that all 5 milligrams of blood that the female mosquito appropriates per serving, is of Woolworths quality and standards. On the contrary, male mosquitoes feed only on water and plant nectar – rumour has it that they are vegan.
By the same token, homo sapiens – albeit that they don’t openly consume blood; unless it’s a serving of the legendary rare Japanese Kobe beef, obtain essential micronutrients from their preferred and/or available food sources. These micronutrients are understood to be vital for the healthy development, disease prevention and the general well-being of those of us who have the privilege to consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods. As you may know, nutrient-dense foods are high in nutrients but relatively low in calories and contain essential vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Of particular interest to us in this regard, are the little ones – no, not the mosquitoes this time, who during their most critical time periods of development and learning – that is from birth to five years old, do not have access to a variety of nutrient-dense foods. These little one’s diets are often of a substandard quantity and/or quality, which is detrimental to their healthy development, disease prevention and general well-being.
In their research Hurley, Yousafzai, and Lopez-Boo, (2016), highlight that poor nutrition and the lack of early learning opportunities contribute to the loss of developmental potential and life-long health and economic disparities among millions of children aged under 5 years. That vital micronutrient deficiencies are responsible for more than one million of the 3.1 million child deaths that occur as a result of undernourishment. Even more telling, is the financial impact that the resultant stunting has on children that survive under these conditions.
On the perkier side, the clever people – i.e. researchers such as Hurley, et al., also confirm that single-sector interventions representing either early child development (ECD) or nutrition, have been linked to positive child development and/or nutritional status.
For reference purposes – okay maybe a bit of marketing is involved, when you visit HeadStart Kids’ website, you will note that in line with the referenced research recommendations, Headstart Kids provides ECD and nutrition related integrated interventions that are designed to…shall we say, give the precious little ones a “head start” in life. As a humanitarian organisation, Headstart Kids distributes and provides a micronutrient powder, called Nutrilite™ Little Bits™. The micronutrient powder which is gleaned from organic fruit and vegetables and is packaged in 1 -gram sachets of 30 sachets per box, contains 15 essential vitamins and minerals intended to be used as a dietary supplement for children at risk – of micronutrient deficiency. When used correctly and over a stable period, the Nutrilite™ Little Bits™ micronutrient supplement, goes a long way in helping to reduce and prevent micronutrient deficiency, including iron deficiency anaemia. The micronutrient supplements, should be provided to families of malnourished children aged 6 months to 5 years old, in conjunction with established health programs that provide food, education and measurement of children’s health and growth.
As a disclaimer, it is important for us to highlight that, even though the Nutrilite™ Little Bits™ micronutrient supplement, is rich in plant-based essential nutrients, Amway scientists have assured us that, no animal testing takes place during the manufacturing of this micronutrient supplement. So, even though the male mosquito doesn’t or can’t bite humans, unfortunately they don’t get a free meal for their kindness – from the manufacturing sites.
So if there is any lesson to be learnt by and from the male mosquito with respect to these cruelty-free and vegan practices, is that no good deed goes unpunished.
Shame man. A Little Bits™ of kindness from us to the little harmless ones, would really go a long way.