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Two Degrees of Freedom

I don’t often write about commercial ventures here, but from time to time, one that has a broader public service mission emerges. Here’s the latest, recently announced.

A company called Two Degrees is marketing a new, nutrition bar.* That’s nothing special (although it does taste good**), but what is special that for every one they sell, they will produce and distribute — working with Partners in Health — a nutritional pack to a hungry child in the world. The nutritional packs themselves are manufactured locally, so the company is creating jobs in the areas being served. Here’s more information about those packs.

“Nutrition packs are revolutionary treatments for severe and chronic malnutrition. Known as Ready-to-Use Food (RUF), these nutrition packs have been endorsed by the World Health Organization and treat chronic and severely malnourished children with up to 95% success rates.

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As convenient packs that do not require water or refrigeration, they have shifted the treatment of hungry children from doctors in hospitals to a community-based model focused on mothers in homes.”


* Disclosure: My friend Lauren Walters is a founder, but I have no financial interest in the company.
** The other founder’s grandmother says: “I can’t believe how good this is! I usually don’t eat bars unless they have the word ‘candy’ in front of them.”

Paul Levy is the President and CEO of Beth Israel Deconess Medical Center in Boston. Paul recently became the focus of much media attention when he decided to publish infection rates at his hospital, despite the fact that under Massachusetts law he is not yet required to do so. For the past three years he has blogged about his experiences in an online journal, Running a Hospital, one of the few blogs we know of maintained by a senior hospital executive.

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