Surviving on cassava only

Discussion in 'Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Food' started by Corzhens, May 31, 2016.

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  1. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist

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    May I share this story of my mother-in-law when she was a young woman during the second world war. The had to leave their home in Manila to escape the invading Japanese soldiers. Her family walked their way to Laguna, about 50 kilometers south of Manila. Although a hat maker, the patriarch has little knowledge in farming. They settled in the foot of Mt. Makiling, a legendary mountain that is the source of hot spring water. The family pitched whatever work they can. In one week's time, they have a hut that is decent enough to protect them from the rains. They also have a small garden planted with cassava. For the other needs, her father and brother would walk 10 kilometers to the nearest market.

    After several months, the war raged on and the province was also captured by the invaders. They couldn't go to the market anymore for food. It's a good thing that they were able to dig a well which provided clean water. With the critical situation, they subsisted on cassava for 2 months. Often it is boiled cassava but sometimes they broil it in open fire just to have a different taste. But in terms of nutrients, they did not suffer to be malnourished like the other evacuees in the mountain area.

    Maybe that's part of the reason why my husband loves to plant cassava. Here's our small bed of cassava, picture taken yesterday - IMG_1964 cassava.JPG
    koolhandlinc, Keith H. and cluckeyo like this.
  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member

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    We used to grow cassava in the Territory, but have not tried growing it here in New England. I suspect it may be too cold here.
    Great post Corzhens, thank you for posting.
  3. remnant

    remnant Expert Member

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    Among my ancestors and in the history of my country in the tropics, there is a narrative of how an intense drought hit the land resulting in famine. People had to rely on cassava which is drought tolerant to a fault and that particular time is named after cassava in the local dialect. Today, some people are shy to plant cassava in their farms for fear of being passively labelled as poor, the precedent being that period of famine. This is a disservice for the root tuber is very filling and has a low glycaemic index. You don't feel hungry quickly after consuming cassava.
    Keith H. likes this.
  4. tb65

    tb65 Active Member

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    This is really interesting. I am one who believes that people can survive on plants alone, and your story confirms this may be true.
    There are people who now live away from civilization and live off of food they grow. This cassava plant intrigues me I think I'll learn more about it.
    Keith H. likes this.
  5. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Expert Member

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    I remembered my grandparents when I was still small they are telling me stories about their life before and that most of the time they are only eating root crops like the cassava. They had available lot and space to plant any kind of root crops that is why they said that they do not get hungry because of that. Maybe now if also I have the lot and space I will also plant root crops just in case there is a shortage of food I will have something to eat.
    Keith H. likes this.
  6. koolhandlinc

    koolhandlinc Expert Member

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    thanks for sharing
    Keith H. likes this.
  7. explorerx7

    explorerx7 Expert Member

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    In my country, the cassava is not usually cooked and eaten like other tubers like yam or potatoes. The popular way to consume cassava is to grate and extract the starch, the pulp is then dried and processed into a powder which is then heated and baked into a cake-like form. This cake is known as a bammy. The Bammy is then soaked in milk and either fried or steamed and mostly eaten with fried fish. Cassava is a good source of minerals, such as calcium, phosphorous, manganese, iron and potassium. It's also one of the richer sources of carbohydrate
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