Photo story: Pictures measure nutrition

By Ali Hussain

Speech is not the only way people engage with their surroundings.  Information hard to express in words may be better communicated with photographs.

Christopher Bielecki used photography to measure people’s access to nutritious food in rural Guatemala when he was a researcher at Texas A&M University.

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Energy from animal poop

 

Taisha5Taisha Venort

They say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure…but what about one farmer’s animal’s…poop! Could we turn that into a renewable energy source? Could we turn something so dirty…and smelly into clean energy used to feed people?

Biogas research and technology does just that. By turning animal manure into clean, renewable energy, researchers working in rural Kenya are helping farmers improve their quality of life.

Taisha Venort is a masters student in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. She is here today to talk about finding energy in unique places.

Listen to the podcast here.

Using bitter melon to treat diabetes

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A bitter-tasting plant that looks like a cucumber with warts growing all over it might help treat the symptoms of diabetes. The bitter melon, or bitter gourd, is popularly used to treat diabetes in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

According to World Health Organization, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were caused by diabetes in 2012.

The cost of treating diabetes can add up over a lifetime, and fruits and vegetables with medicinal properties could be treatment options in low-and-middle income countries with poor access to health care.

Jose Perez researches the potential of bitter melon to treat diabetes. Jose is currently a doctoral student at the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center in the department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

Listen to the podcast here.

Researcher uses photography to measure nutrition

Chris project photo

Researchers who are figuring out how to better feed the world need to know something before they can start: how well is the world being fed right now? That is, they need to be able to measure and quantify people’s access to affordable and nutritious food. That access to good food is called food security.

But it can be logistically challenging and expensive to measure food security, especially if you want to get repeated measurements to monitor changes over time. Photography could be a powerful and inexpensive tool that captures information about food security that is hard to get through interviews and focus groups.

Chris Bielecki used photography in his research to measure how people’s access to healthy food is changing over time in Guatemala.

Listen to the podcast here.