What are cassava benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are cassava pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers.
Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on cassava benefits and side effects.
You are going to learn all about cassava benefits and side effects. This will include cassava benefits for your health and potential risks, cassava water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if cassava is vegan or impacts animals in other ways, and much more.
After learning if cassava is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about cassava benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.
Must-Know Cassava Benefits And Side Effects
Cassava health benefits may include:
- aided digestion
- boosted energy
- reduced appetite
- regulated blood sugar levels
- diabetes management and prevention
- gut health
- reduced inflammation
Cassava health side effects may include:
- risk of weight gain if consumed excessively
- note: cassava must be peeled and never eaten raw, cassava products contain extremely little to no cyanid and are safe for human consumption
Additionally, cassava benefits also include…
Water footprint: low, it takes 387 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of starchy roots / 46 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of starchy roots
Carbon footprint: low, 0.4 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of starchy roots, a car driving equivalent of 1 miles or 1.5 kilometers
Destruction: low, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc., cassava is a hardy crop, resistant to drought does not require much fertilizer
Kills: none, cassava production does not require any animals to be killed
Harms: none, cassava production does not require any animals to be used
Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from cassava production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat
- Harmful to wildlife and ecosystems unless organic
- Perfect for children ages 2-8.
- Available in paperback, ebook, audio formats.
- Suitable for vegan kids and vegan families (does not include farm animals, animal food products or byproducts).
- Written + Illustrated by HEALabel's Adriane Marie.
Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible
Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation
Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits
- May have labor issues
The world’s top cassava producing country is Nigeria, followed by Democratic Republic of the Congo and Thailand.
The world’s top cassava exporting country is Costa Rica, followed by Honduras, Thailand, Portugal, Netherlands, Spain, USA, Ecuador, Vietnam and Philippines.
Yes! Cassava is high in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
Other names for cassava are manioc, Brazilian arrowroot and yuca.
cassava is gluten free.
Is cassava gluten free?
Yes, cassava is gluten free. cassava does not contain gluten.
Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:
- recurring abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea
- numbness in hands and feet
- chronic fatigue
- joint pain
- unexplained infertility
- low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.
Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List
cassava is not a common food allergen.
Is cassava a common food allergen?
No, cassava is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to cassava but it is relatively rare by comparison.
A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:
Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.
Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List
cassava has a low water footprint.
Does cassava have a high or low water footprint?
Cassava has a low water footprint compared to other foods.
What is the water footprint of cassava?
It takes 387 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of starchy roots / 46 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of starchy roots.
Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?
How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?
We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.
Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
cassava has a low carbon footprint.
Does cassava have a high or low carbon footprint?
Cassava has a low carbon footprint compared to other foods.
What is the carbon footprint of cassava?
It takes around 0.4 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of starchy roots, a car driving equivalent of 1 miles or 1.5 kilometers.
When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…
- farm equipment
- animal feed production
- hothouses (greenhouses)
- food processing
- package waste and more
But that’s not all!
It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
cassava is sustainable.
Overall, is cassava eco friendly? Is cassava sustainable?
Cassava production is relatively sustainable. There is no known significant damage as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.
A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.
Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.
cassava is vegan.
Is cassava vegan?
Yes, cassava is vegan. Cassava is a starchy tuberous root of a tree and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food.
Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.
Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.
Go vegan for animals!
It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.
Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List
cassava is a product that may or may not have labor issues.
Is cassava a product that has known labor issues?
At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding cassava farming but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Cassava may or may not have labor issues.
Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized.
Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death!
Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation.
Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards.
We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.
Cassava, raw – FoodData Central – USDA
Agricultural Marketing Service
Cassava Plant Guide – USDA Plants Database
yuca (cassava) – Market News – Fruit and Vegetable
Adriane MarieHi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.
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