Exploring how Seasonality and Diet Affect Iron Levels for Adults in Oaxaca, Mexico

Graduate Research Grant
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Being the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, iron-deficiency anemia affects nearly 2 billion people.1,2 To examine this, my project will include four two-week field excursions from JanuaryDecember 2019, investigating how people in Oaxaca, Mexico offset anemia through the cultural practice of consuming insects. Utilizing these field excursions, I will explore how seasonality affects people’s diets in Oaxaca. Specifically, I will examine the correlation between diet, seasonality, blood iron levels, and health status in relation to individuals with anemia and those that consume insects. I propose that the consumption of grasshoppers during the wet season (May-October) reduces the prevalence of anemia in Oaxaca. By examining dietary practices and taking blood spots concurrently, I will test how consumption patterns are directly expressed via hemoglobin levels. Funding from the Kellogg Institute for International Studies will allow me to travel to Oaxaca during the first, second, and third sessions of this project.


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