Many scientists believe that biotechnology is the most promising route to fighting and possibly eradicating chronic malnutrition among the 800 million people in the developing world who live in poverty. Researchers are working to develop improved versions of African staples, including a strain of sweet potato that is resistant to a virus that regularly devastates the crop, cassava that is resistant to the cassava mosaic virus, and corn that is resistant to the maize streak virus. Also under development is cotton that is less susceptible to insect infestation. However, genetically modified crops are controversial in some African countries. Zambia has banned donations of genetically modified food, and Zimbabwe has raised concerns about donations of corn from the United States that is not certified to be free of genetic modifications.
—Paula Kepos rainforests of Africa), beans, sweet potato leaves, or cassava. Other vegetables are eggplant, cabbage, carrots, chilies, french beans, lettuce, okra, onions, and cherry tomatoes. All the stews in this territory tend to be heavily spiced, often with chilies.
West African Fruit. Plantain, a variety of banana, is abundant in the more tropical West Africa. Sweet plantains are normally fried, while hard plantains are boiled or pounded into fufu. Dates, bananas, guava, melons, pas-sionfruit, figs, jackfruit, mangos, pineapples, cashews, and wild lemons and oranges are also found here.
Protein Sources. Meat sources of protein include cattle, sheep, chicken, and goat, though beef is normally reserved for holidays and special occasions. Fish is eaten in the coastal areas. Because of the Islamic influence, pork is localized to non-Muslim areas. In these regions, "bush meat" is widely eaten, including bush rat, a large herbivorous rodent, antelope, and monkey. Giant snails are also eaten in various parts of West Africa.
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