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  • Writer's pictureKamille D. Whittaker

Cassava From My Mother's Garden: "Our ancestors had to tap into the rhythm of the plants …"

This year's harvest of Cassava.

I am always intrigued by mom's growing of Cassava, knowing what I know about the rules surrounding its harvest and consumption. Every year, when she harvests her haul of cassava, I revisit this video featuring anthropologist Fatimah Jackson of Howard University, who talks about epigenetics, co-evolutionary diets and how plants domesticated humans. Beginning her research in Liberia, she studies the vast differences in occurrences of sickling with Sickle Cell Anemia and traces it alongside the geographic variances in Cassava Root consumption. Where the exposure to Cassava was much more prevalent (main dish vs. side dish for example), sickling was far more inhibited.

DESCRIPTION: "Humans have domesticated plants and animals for agriculture for thousands of years. What is less well-known is that plants and the chemicals they produce for defense have also had a significant effect on human biology and evolution."


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