Meet the companies tackling nine of humanity's biggest problems -- and making millions saving us from ourselves.
Problem #3: Hunger and Malnutrition
Problem #3: Hunger and Malnutrition
The background: More than 850 million people live in a state of hunger.

The solution: Nutriset, a private French company, has a hit on its hands. Plumpy'nut, its patented nutritional supplement, was distributed to an estimated 500,000 children last year - double the number in 2005 and up from just 120,000 in 2004. One 3-ounce packet delivers 500 calories. Plumpy'nut is a thick brown paste made from ground peanuts, sugar, and powdered milk, fortified with vitamins and minerals. Plumpy'nut isn't perishable and travels easily.

The payoff: Orders from big buyers like Unicef helped Nutriset's sales topped $25 million in 2006, up from $6.5 million in 2001. Nutriset reinvests 80 percent of its profit - or about $2.5 million during the past year - into developing new products, and the firm is partnering with entrepreneurs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Niger to produce Plumpy'nut locally.

The opportunity: With no direct competitors and so many hungry people on the planet, Nutriset's future growth looks certain. Sometimes the best solution to a big problem is a small one.

Global Warming

Oil Dependency

Hunger and Malnutrition

Dirty Air

Dirty Water

Overfishing

Epidemics

Drug-Resistant Infections

Waste Disposal
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