research institute for compassionate economics

more mint on malnutrition

Written by Dean Spears on May 27th, 2014
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Live Mint invokes a martial metaphor: Launching a war against malnutrition. What would such a war look like? Who would be the enemies? How would they be defeated?

It is not an easy question. Wars are usually things that states do these days. But an important point of the article is that malnutrition in India appears to have deeply social causes: the social status of young women (who are mothers) and people’s preferred way to relieve themselves are both challenging forces for a state to oppose. Perhaps the best a state could do is lead, experiment, and create a space for countervailing social forces and examples? I don’t know; there is much to learn here.


I wanted to post the link but didn’t have much more to say, so I edited a poem:


Some say that kids are small ’cause mom is

Some say it’s poop.

From what I’ve totaled in the data

I hold with those who say excreta;

But if I could add an endnote

I think I know enough that’s sad

To say that where the subzi goes

Is also bad.

It’s probably both.


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