Moringa: Superfood?

A moringa tree (tallest plant in the back left of the photo)

There’s a Moringa tree in the coffee plot at Xandari’s west farm area, and the head gardener José Luis always points it out to guests as a plant with dozens of healthy properties, in addition to its value as a shade-provider to the coffee shrubs. The genus of trees is beginning to be touted as a “miracle tree” and superfood in the United States, but has yet to really catch on among the denizens of developing nations in the dryland tropics, where Moringa grows best. Amanda Little writes for the New Yorker:

On the western margin of Agua Caliente [Mexico], Mark Olson, a professor of evolutionary biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, has a farm. “It may look like a shitty little field with runty little trees in a random little town, but it’s an amazing scientific resource,” Olson said, as he led me through the hilly, hardscrabble acre that constitutes the International Moringa Germplasm Collection. This is the world’s largest and most diverse aggregate of trees from the genus Moringa, which Olson believes are “uniquely suited to feeding poor and undernourished populations of the dryland tropics, especially in the era of climate change.”

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