It makes famine
preferable to feast!
In Mozambique, extreme
starvation drove thousands to eat unprocessed cassava root (also known
as Yucca in Latin America) as a survival crop. Unable through drought to
find water to wash out the toxin meant the difference between life
and living hell.
Over three hundred millions in the
tropics subsist on a diet that includes this carbohydrate-rich foodstuff
with a potentially toxic poison. Yet many have learned to cure and
prepare it to remove deadly cyanide. Those ignorant of the practice that
extracts the toxin suffer from a number of disabling diseases, including
paralysis, impaired vision, goiter, and cretinism.
Konzo (Mantakassa) is the name used in
Mozambique for the disease from untreated cassava root that bequeaths
its victims these debilitating afflictions.
This is so in Mozambique, and other
parts of Africa, where The Grim Reaper at the Feast has seen that vast
numbers-especially women and children- leave the table to face an evil
worse than death.
Cassava is one of several critically
important food staples, including maize, millet, sorghum, and sweet
potato, that liberate hydrogen cyanide from chemicals called
cyanogenetic glucosides naturally present within the plant.
THE TURNING POINT
The Third World Medical Research
Foundation is geared up to sponsor a team of physicians and
scientists to examine the whole problem urgently. These
specialists will study the susceptibility of women and children to this
hideous form of paralysis; and produce guidelines for the preparation
and consumption of cassava that's safe and wholesome.
Success depends on funding
for TWMRF's field and laboratory program:
Cost should be $300,000.00 for three (3) years.