People urged to plant root crops in vacant areas
TACLOBAN CITY – People other than the farmers should plant root crops, where there is available area, as an alternative food to rice.
Francisco Rosaroso, chief of the regional agriculture and fisheries information division (RAFID), of the Department of Agriculture Regional Office 8, said that their agency is strongly pushing for an intensified planting and consumption of root crops in the whole Eastern Visayas under the Food Staple Sufficiency Program.
More root crops produce will address as an alternative food, the 3% insufficiency of rice in the region based on the first quarter result of the Food Consumption Survey undertaken by the Bureau of Agriculture Statistics (BAS), he said.
Rosaroso said that among the most popular root crops being promoted as substitute to rice are banana, sweet potato, cassava and gabi. Results of the Food Consumption Survey in the region revealed the following per capita requirement of the abovementioned root crops: banana 69, 132 metric tons, sweet potato-16, 781 mt; cassava- 25,966 mt; and gabi-5,139 mt.
Cassavas and sweet potatoes are good for health. Besides providing carbohydrates as energy for the body, cassavas and sweet potatoes are also good sources of fibers. Cassavas and sweet potatoes, like other tubers are good sources of vitamin B17 or amygdalinVitamin B17 or amygdalin, which is called laetrile when used as medication for some forms of cancers.
Cassava root crop or tuber has a high content of vitamin B17. It contains 500 mg of nitrilosides per 100 g serving, and sweet potato has 100 mg per 100 g serving. The Hunzas and the Eskimos who are noted for their longevity eat foods that are high in nitriloside content, and cancer is unknown in their cultures. (Fred Padernos)
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