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Dog food proposed as a fix for hunger in Kenya

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  • kellee468
    Is someone trying to tell us that the Kenyan children are no better than dogs? This article can be found at: http://www.stuff.co.nz Dog food destined for
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2006
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      Is someone trying to tell us that the Kenyan children are no better
      than dogs? This article can be found at: http://www.stuff.co.nz


      Dog food destined for starving children
      30 January 2006
      By JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN

      A Canterbury woman's plan to send powdered dog food to starving
      Kenyan children has not been given the thumbs up by Oxfam New
      Zealand.


      A shipment of 6000 emergency packs of dog food mixture is bound for
      Rusinga Island on Kenya's Lake Victoria as part of a relief effort
      for the area's starving children.

      Christine Drummond, founder of Mighty Mix dog food, said she was
      working with a Kenyan aid agency to provide the raw ingredients for a
      special nutritional food.

      A shipment is due to leave Lyttelton in March.

      But the scheme has failed to get the thumbs up from at least one
      international aid agency.

      Drummond said the relief food, called NZ's Raw Dry Nourish, used the
      same ingredients as Mighty Mix dog food biscuits.

      "The first plan was to send dog biscuits and change the vitamins then
      when I heard there were so many little children I could not send them
      a bicky," she said.

      Instead she developed a powder that she says just needs water added
      to form a sustainable meal.

      The formula was packed with freeze-dried meats – beef, mutton, pork
      and chicken, deer velvet, green lip mussel, kelp, garlic, egg, whole
      grain cereals and cold-pressed flax seed flour, she said.

      "I made it out of ingredients they are used to eating, so the main
      bulk product is corn."

      Drummond said she was exporting the raw ingredients to Kenya where it
      would be mixed by charity staff according to her recipe.

      Drummond was devised the mixture after talking to North Canterbury
      woman Lois McGirr whose daughter had recently returned from a poverty-
      stricken village in Kenya. The pair had teamed up to get the food to
      Kenya.

      McGirr said she was distributing the food through the Mercy Mission
      charity, based in Kenya, and was promoting the food as a "nutritional
      supplement" rather than dog food.

      "I do not think it's deceitful. I would be happy to tell them the
      full story but as long as the doctors she (Drummond) has been working
      with have been okaying it, I don't think it's an issue. It's not just
      a dog food."

      The Press tried to contact the Mercy Mission through a number on its
      website, but calls were met by a recorded message.

      Mighty Mix dog food agent Gaynor Siviter said that if the dog food
      mixture helped the Kenyan children as it helped dogs, it would
      be "marvellous".

      "The dogs thrive on it. They have energy, put on weight. It's bizarre
      but if it's edible and it works for these people then it's a
      brilliant idea. It beats eating rice."

      Oxfam New Zealand executive director Barry Coates said he had not
      heard of the scheme but it was unlikely to achieve the desired
      outcome.

      "I think it is much better to get food supplies from within Kenya
      rather than sending it around the world.

      "Sending food shipments from New Zealand to Kenya does not seem to be
      the best use of time and effort and the fact it's coming from a dog
      food manufacturer could make people suspicious."

      Drought, crop failures and massive food shortages in parts of the
      east African country have left millions of people without access to
      adequate food supplies.

      Oxfam International estimates the number of people at risk is between
      2.5 million and 3.5 million.

      ---------------------------- End of Article -------------------------

      I remember when dog food was primarily made from ingredients unfit
      for human consumption. Broken down ingredient by ingredient, many may
      be inclined to consume most if not all of which comprises this
      mixture. I actually eat garlic, flax and whole grains daily. In all
      fairness, judging by the ingredients, lots of tender loving care
      seems to have gone into making this product wholesome and healthy for
      dogs. However, there seems to be something inherently wrong with
      sending something marketed as dog food to the children of Kenya for
      their personal consumption. I wonder if this woman sits down and
      feasts on her product herself.

      Famine in Kenya and other third world countries is a major issue, for
      which there just isn't any quick fix. Perhaps this money would be
      much better spent otherwise in famine-ravaged Kenya by using it to
      target some of the contributing factors to food shortages. This idea
      of feeding hungry children some type of "dog mixture" just seems to
      test the notion of what many would deem ethical.
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