Moringa as a Food Substitute for Cubans

Fidel Castro’s projects for Moringa cultivation and processing are back

An old edition of Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party (and so the official newspaper of Cuba), follows Fidel’s lead and gets all excited about the Moringa tree’s ability to supply Cubans with “an inexhaustible supply of milk, eggs and meat.”

By Elias Amor Bravo (14ymedio)

HAVANA TIMES – We all remember that back in 2012, Fidel Castro, already retired from the political front line, began to publish a series of articles in the state press to explain, with quasi-scientific details, the properties of moringa and mulberry. Those explanations drew attention, because after a long life at the head of the regime created by his communist revolution, no one thought of Fidel Castro as an amateur scientist, much less, as a moringa specialist. So, in that article now distant in time, Castro devoted himself to detailing the benefits that, according to him, could be attributed to moringa, a plant native to India that had all types of amino acids and numerous medicinal properties, although he clarified at some point that it should never be consumed in excess.

Castro’s article went on to point out that “we have supplied samples of seeds of different varieties to agricultural research institutes. Soon we will learn more about its potential. From my point of view, its greatest benefit for the population lies in its qualities as animal consumption for the production of meat, milk, eggs, and even the cultivation of fish,” something like the Castro manna that can do anything.

So those “scientific” collaborations coincided with the aggravation of the ailments that the old revolutionary was already suffering at the time, at age 86, and the state press used them as a talisman to stop the tide of rumors about an alleged worsening of his health. From that time the images of a Fidel Castro in a wheelchair visiting moringa fields are remembered, and in one of his last collaborations, he proposed the massive cultivation of these vegetables as alternatives to food and for health.

Some time later, and once the old dictator died, the regime did what it had to do, and in that way, by 2018 the council of ministers approved the creation of the science, technology and innovation entity “Sierra Maestra,” with the aim of investigating and putting into practice the reflections of the late Cuban dictator related to the medicinal properties of moringa and other plants that occupied his “studies.” No expense was spared for this project; it was, as on other occasions throughout history, about validating Castro’s ideas and proposals, no matter how absurd they might seem. Ideas that bordered on “devotion” for the moringa tree and its medicinal properties. Rivers of ink ran.

Fidel Castro had not said it, but his followers, determined to give continuity to those “collaborations” stressed that “the conditions are created for the country to begin to massively produce moringa oleífera and mulberry, which are also inexhaustible sources of meat, egg and milk, (and) silk fibers that are spun by hand.”

In this way, coming out of nowhere, the “Sierra Maestra” institution was aimed at guaranteeing, in addition, the continuity of the investigations ordered by Castro, related to the production of silk, fodder and the sacha inchi, the native seed of the Peruvian Amazon known as the “peanut of the Incas,” much appreciated for the properties of its oil.

And you will wonder, what is all this about?

Well, the heirs of Fidel Castro, in 2023 have launched the first integral moringa powder plant in Cuba, inaugurated in La Sierpe, Sancti Spíritus, destined to produce 20 tons. According to the state press, “the powder will have three destinations of vital importance for the development of the nation: the pharmaceutical industry, export and as a nutritional supplement in the manufacture of cookies,” a project conceived by Fidel Castro and, as it could not be otherwise, “an honor for us to comply with it.”

Apparently the entity has state-of-the-art technology of Austrian origin — you can imagine the cost — “and the processor dries the leaf in conditions of airtight darkness, avoiding the denaturing of chlorophyll and other nutritional properties of the tree.”

It is assumed that the plant will have various benefits for the local economy, such as “providing a nutritional supplement for human beings, as well as, from the protein content of the green mass, food for sheep, goats, pigs and birds,” following the script of Fidel Castro, who identified moringa “as a miraculous tree of life, light and hope, like an angel turned into plant. It is a very complete food.”

The inauguration of the entity was attended by Jorge Luis Tapia, member of the central committee of the party and deputy prime minister, and the division general of the reserve Ulises Rosales.  Teresita Romero, governor of the province, also participated. We are talking about moringa again after 11 years.

Translated by Regina Anavy for Translating Cuba

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times

One thought on “Moringa as a Food Substitute for Cubans

  • When consulted about the nutritional and medical merits of moringa, the US expert in nutritional matters, the other Donald – Duck not Trump – responded “Quack”.

Comments are closed.