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Paraguay: Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There

NPR, Washington, D.C.


JuJu Harris didn't set out to write a cookbook, but then again, she didn't set out to raise seven children or accept public assistance to feed them, either. Harris always wanted to work with nature.

"My dream job was, I was going to grow up and be a national park ranger," she says. It didn't quite work out that way. She drifted from job to job in Oakland, Calif., where she was born. At 32, she joined the Peace Corps, traveling to Paraguay to help local farmers improve their crops.

While she was supposed to be helping the men — the ones who held the farming jobs and the money — she found herself drawn to the women and children. She encouraged the families to put their money into both their agricultural businesses and their children.

"I learned the importance of nutrition for women and how it impacts her family," Harris says. When the women improved their diets, they had "more mental energy" to deal with their children, too, she says.

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