So, about this Plumpy Nut business…

…a few hours ago I was feeling a bit cocky. I wasn’t THAT hungry, Plumpy Nut tastes a bit grim (actually, it tastes bloody disgusting by the third sachet!) but it’s edible, I was making patterns with Plumpy Nut and tweeting pix.

Now I am really hungry. My head aches. I stood up too quickly and got dizzy. I keep getting these weird white flashing lights in front of my eyes. I can’t concentrate (as the numerous half written emails in my draft box are testament to!). I wasn’t listening properly during a phone call earlier. I could feel myself getting unnecessarily cross during another call.

Obviously I am very aware of what my body is saying to me today but I am still quite fascinated by how quickly the signs of hunger manifest themselves both physically and mentally. But none of that really matters. I work at home so in about five minutes I’ll be on my sofa, I’ll watch some nonsense on TV tonight and tomorrow morning there’ll be porridge and coffee and I’ll make sense of my muddled emails.

What matters (and what I can’t get my head around) is what it must feel like to always be hungry. To always be lacking in concentration and a little bit grumpy. I also keep thinking about Alice who I met in Kenya last November.

Alice travelled for a whole week in temperatures of up to 40 degrees to get her son Joseph to a feeding centre. He was so severely malnourished that he couldn’t sit up or speak. I asked her a stupid question about what she was thinking during the journey. “I only hoped I would get there in time”, she said. Of course that is what she was thinking. She wasn’t thinking about red wine and burgers.

She did get there in time and what was waiting for her and Joseph was the Merlin team and Plumpy Nut. Now read that sentence again and say PLUMPY NUT in a superhero voice. That’s better.

Because in places like Turkana in Kenya Plumpy Nut is not a one day Challenge, it’s a lifesaver. It’s an eight week therapeutic feeding programme that can bring a severely malnourished child back to life. And it costs just £50 for the whole eight weeks. And because Merlin is particularly brilliant and cares about the sustainability bit, while children are being treated their mothers get training on things like health, nutrition and cooking with limited resources.

So that’s what me eating Plumpy Nut for one day is about. Isn’t that the coolest and simplest fundraising idea?

Now will someone somewhere PLEASE cough up £10 and get me up to £500!

You can also sign up at


2 thoughts on “So, about this Plumpy Nut business…

  1. Hy every one,
    Hy Catherine,
    I like the way you tell your story. Relativity is always a good approach for a better understanding of complex problems.
    Here is a video called “Nutritional Autonomy for All” (I participated to the shootings) made by Nutriset that precisely describes what Plumpy’Nut is and why it is so useful for all humanitarian actors involved in the fight against malnutrition.
    Have a good day

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