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Tuesday, November 25

Another "Lost Crop of the Inca" makes headlines

Root from Peru holds hope for dieters, diabetics: "Yacon, which is native to an Andean region stretching from Venezuela to northern Argentina, has a crunchy texture like a water chestnut and is refreshingly sweet and juicy. Left in the sun, its sweetness intensifies, and it can be eaten as a fruit, consumed in drinks, syrups, cakes or pickles or in stir-fries. Though packed with sugar, its principal appeal to the health conscious lies in the fact that the sugar in question is mainly oligofructose, which cannot be absorbed by the body. That means yacon is naturally low-calorie -- a jar of yacon syrup contains half the calories as a same-sized jar of honey -- and its sugar does not raise blood glucose levels." Reuters AlertNet The International Potato Center (CIP), where I used to work, has been researching for 20 years to get some of the marginal Andean root and tuber crops back into the agricultural mainstream.

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