The Universe Self-Corrects

I'm going to attempt to not sound crass or cold about this, but I swear there's an affirming quote to come.

Nearly 30 elementary school children in the Philippines have died after eating fried cassava balls obtained from a vendor, a local official told CNN. [Ed. I added the link.]


Cassava is a starchy, tuberous root that is a low-cost source of carbohydrates in humid, tropical areas; it is also the source of tapioca.

Cassava contains amino acid-derived cyanogenic glucosides -- some more than others -- and must be thoroughly cooked to remove toxic levels.

Eaten raw, the human digestive system will convert part of it into cyanide. Two cassava roots contain enough to be fatal.

Ok, that's the (very) bad news. But, if there's anything to take away from this story, it's this:

The vendor who sold the cassava balls insisted nothing was wrong with them and ate a few to prove the point. Now she, too, is in critical condition.

Thank you, universe. My heart goes out to those families; I'm sure they have a few wishes for that vendor.


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