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A food “lifeboat”: food and nutrition considerations in the event of a pandemic or other catastrophe

Jennie C Brand-Miller, Jennifer McArthur and Anna Haug
Med J Aust 2008; 188 (11): 679.
Published online: 2 June 2008

In reply: Dalton et al have raised several important points for discussion. They suggest that an adequate food “lifeboat” can be procured by simply encouraging a family to continue their usual purchasing patterns. Unfortunately, accumulating non-perishable items in this way would be a fast route to certain nutritional deficiency. It is the perishable items — fruit and vegetables, bread, meat and dairy products — that supply the bulk of micronutrients in modern food supplies. Within a few short months, an individual relying on usual pantry supplies could be suffering from acute deficiencies of vitamin C, and folate and other B vitamins. Babies conceived during this period would be at risk of neurological defects.

  • Jennie C Brand-Miller
  • Jennifer McArthur
  • Anna Haug

  • School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


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