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Cassava is a shrubby plant growing to about 1-3m, with thin stems and attractive large palm-shaped leaves. A perennial shrub cassava produces a high yield of tuberous roots in 6 months to 3 years after planting. The tubers are the main part that is eaten, but the leaves can be enjoyed as a vegetable dish.Cassava is an important daily source of starch for 300-600 million of the poorest people around the world. It is among the most productive uses of subsistence land, producing 40% more starch than rice, and 25% more than maize..Note that all cassava is poisonous!! In some bitter varieties, all parts of the plant are laced with a highly toxic poison (hydrocyanic or prussic acid). Sweet varieties have lower or marginal concentrations of the toxin. But the more toxic varieties produce bigger tubers! Plants from the tropics have evolved toxins as a defense against predators more so than those from temperate climates which is why they require cooking in order to eat them. Thorough cooking dispels or denatures the harmful toxins, and makes the remaining portion safe to eat.Powdered cassava is treated like a flour and made into cakes, unleavened bread, pasta, crackers. Sliced cassava is also made into crisps. Flat bread made from cassava meal can keep for a year without spoiling. Dried chips or pellets are used as animal feed.Young tender leaves are rich in Vitamin B and protein, but also has more of the toxins. They are eaten as a vegetable. Like the tubers, they have to be properly cooked to remove their toxins.