It's Thanksgiving week and thoughts turn to food. What should I eat on the Kayak Safe Passage Maine to Guatemala expedition?
When paddling long hours everyday, I need to eat a lot of calories, but I don't like to spend much time eating. To fit into the kayak the food needs to be light and compact. For my arctic expeditions I take a lot of fat, as it generate the most calories per pound, and turns out to be very appetizing when you are in a cold environment. But what should I pack for this warmer environment?
I found my inspiration in reading an article about feeding malnourished children in Africa. The aid workers created a food substance called RUTF – ready-to-use therapeutic food. It is easy to make, very portable, needs no refrigeration and can be the sole food consumed by the children. It creates a goop that is packaged so that parents feed one package a day to a child, squeezing out blobs throughout the day. Sounds perfect for eating in a kayak. My modified recipe is peanut butter, honey, powdered soy milk, olive oil and vitamins. To my surprise, I found this mix to be delicious. I spread it on toast or rye crisps for lunch for the past week. On a backpacking trip I found it great to eat on a rainy, cold day. Time will tell if this becomes the basis around which my kayak meals will be built.
Good nutrition is a small challenge on a kayaking trip, but it is a huge challenge for children in Guatemala, as they have the fourth highest rate of malnutrition in the world. A UNICEF report states: “The latest government survey reveals nearly one in two children under 5 years is chronically malnourished.” Our children from the garbage dump community initially showed an even higher incidence of malnutrition. One of the many success stories of Safe Passage is that through our nutrition programs we have reached the point where none of our pre-schoolers are malnourished. It is so easy to volunteer time and money to an organization where the successes are so evident.
Ready to make some RUTF for Thanksgiving dinner?