By Arch Ritter
Fidel’s latest enthusiasm for the Moringa and the Mulberry arouses my disbelief, mainly because we have been through this movie too many times already. [See the previous blog entry: Still More “Good Advice” from Fidel!] The following articles from the Cuban press do not assuage my skepticism, the first four and the sixth having been written after Fidel’s great insights, making me think that Cuban journalistic sycophancy lives.
Could I be wrong? Sure. But the Moringa has been around for a while and has not turned out to be quite the miracle crop Fidel makes it out to be anywhere else. This makes me think that Fidel’s enthusiasms may have gotten out of hand one more time.
Here are some articles on the Moringa from the Cuban press for anyone that may be interested, courtesy of Ana Julia Faya:
1. Periodico Adelante, de Camaguey, junio 26, 2012, “Plantadas en Camaguey más de 200 hectáreas de Moringa”, http://www.adelante.cu/index.php/noticias/de-camagueey/1702-plantadas-en-camagueey-mas-de-200-hectareas-de-moringa-oleifera.html
2. Radio Maboas, de Amancio, junio 21 de 2012. “Agricultores amancieros apuestan por los beneficios de la Moringa Oleifera”, http://www.radiomaboas.cu/index.php/las-tunas/7-noticias/amancio/1387-los-agricultores-amancieros-apuestan-por-los-beneficios-de-la-moringa-oleifera
3. Periódico Escambray, Sancti Spiritus, 21 de junio de 2012, “La moringa: reseña de un árbol maravilloso,” http://www.escambray.cu/2012/la-moringa-resena-de-un-arbol-maravilloso/
4. Periódico Victoria de Isla de Pinos, 20 de junio de 2012, “De la Moringa, todo“, http://www.periodicovictoria.cu/index.php/isla-de-la-juventud/medio-ambiente/de-la-moringa-todo
5. Periódico Trabajadores, mayo 3 de 2012 (before Fidel Castro’s note on the moringa) “Sin temor a la sequía”, http://www.trabajadores.cu/news/20120503/259364-sin-temor-la-sequia
6. Granma, 26 de junio de 2012: “La Moringa'” http://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/2012/06/26/nacional/artic03.html
Here is Wikipedia’s discussion of the Moringa: Moringa oleifera, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Wikipedia article emphasizes the possible role of the Moringa for purposes of Malnutrition relief. One hopes hat this is not the property of the Moringa that Fidel is expecting will be useful in the Cuban context. Here is a Wikipedia quotation:
Moringa trees have been used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers. Four NGOs in particular have advocated moringa as “natural nutrition for the tropics.” One author stated that “the nutritional properties of Moringa are now so well known that there seems to be little doubt of the substantial health benefit to be realized by consumption of Moringa leaf powder in situations where starvation is imminent.” Moringa is especially promising as a food source in the tropics because the tree is in full leaf at the end of the dry season when other foods are typically scarce.
As for the other wonder-plant, the Mulberry, the most famous Mulberry was the portable artificial harbor constructed on the Normandy beaches for the WWII D-Day liberation of Europe, as pictured below.