Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fighting malnutrition in Belize with habenero peppers, grown hydroponically.



MALNUTRITION AND VITAMINS IN BELIZE

by Ray Auxillou, Nov/2008

There is a fair amount of malnutrition in Belize and mostly it comes from lack of vitamins. Invariably whenever you see someone sick with the flu, a cold, or some other illness, the underlying cause is malnutrition, or in other words the diet that they are accustomed to eat.

Food grown locally are fairly cheap for the basics. What is not understood by large numbers of the population is the role of vitamins. Of all the foods grown in Belize none is probably more effective for the supply of vitamins than the HABENERO PEPPER. This pepper usually red, sometimes orange, is jam packed with multi-vitamins in mega millions of doses. The Habenero Pepper can really described as the miracle food of Belize !

The trouble with Habenero Pepper is that it is HOT! Really hot. Yet a tiny slice of a Habenero Pepper each day in your food, will boost your immune system; that eaters of this pepper will rarely get sick. Certainly any flu, or colds are very light and of short term, if you get them at all.

Forty years ago, I noted when living on Caye Caulker as a school teacher,that some children were always chronically sick. They always had ulcers and sores, particularly on their legs. It took me months to figure out what was wrong. Finally one day, as a guest in their home, I noticed that the diet being fish, rice and beans was served with optional hot pepper. The children would not eat the hot pepper, because the pepper was really very hot and burned the lips and pallet. The adults ate it and were healthy. Using a book on nutrition donated to me by the Agency of International Development out of Washington 25, D.C. on nutrition and vitamins, I started to sort through different tropical foods and was startled to find that a hot red pepper was richer in ALL the vitamins, beating out fruit like apples, or Vitamin A found in cod liver oil in Canada. The amounts of vitamin quantities were outstanding. In the multi-millions of doses. Further study revealed that almost any tropical fruit that was colored, RED, ORANGE , or YELLOW had more vitamins than anything of any other color. Many food sources that are eaten GREEN lack any vitamins, yet if you wait until they turn RED, they become rich in vitamins.

In the case of the primary school children, I reported this to the National Health Authority and they started a program of giving school children tablets of vitamins nationwide and this cured a lot of early childhood health problems.

As recently as yesterday, one of the High School boys that do odd jobs for me, was sick with a COLD and FLU. I asked him if he ate hot peppers, particularly RED HABENERO PEPPERS and he said no! They were too hot. So, I gave him a lecture on vitamins and this boy was 18 years old. I told him to eat a small slice of one pepper each day in his rice, or whatever food he ate and he would stay healthy. You do not have to eat a lot, just a little piece. There is no reason to have the flu, or a serious cold. These peppers are small to start with. I have the same problem with my wife and brother-in-law. They do not like to eat hot peppers. Yet the road to a strong immune system is any kind of RED fruit, or vegetable. I’ve proved it over and over again to my satisfaction in Belize . Yet, still today, there are too many people here in Belize that will not eat healthy. The thing is, a small habenero pepper bush will grow in your yard for two or three years, producing peppers with almost no attention at all and fabulously, if you scatter a little food scraps around the base of the bush and give it some water when it is dry. Three such habenero bushes will supply a family of five, with enough fresh peppers monthly.

The photo up top is hydroponic grown habenero peppers.

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