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Defend SARS--Eat more sweet potatoes!! 

 Are you still wearing face masks to keep SARS away? Why not try eating sweet potatoes! National Taiwan University Director of Graduate Institute of Food Science and Technology, Chiang Wenchang, announced yesterday at the Sweet Potato Ceremony (held by the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan R.O.C.) press conference that sweet potatoes are anti-oxidants which can help decrease the free radicals in our body, and boost immunity. More than a hundred members from the Taipei City Bakery Association are starting to sell more than 200 sweet potato cakes.

NTU Director of Graduate Institute of Food Science and Technology, Chiang Wenchang, has done a research on sweet potatoes for about 20 years. He explains that higher alkaline sweet potatoes contain rich fiber, it helps stimulate peristalsis and neutralizes acid materials inside the body. It contains abundant collagen and sweet material which helps prevent arteriosclerosis, keeps the elasticity of the blood vessel, and resolves cholesterol. Moreover, sweet potatoes are anti-cancer foods. From a medical aspect, eating sweet potatoes and its skin can make us healthy and is a more safer way to prevent SARS than wearing face masks.

Named, "Professor Sweet Potato", Chia-Yi Agricultural Experiment Station Director of the Department of Agronomy, Chiang Wenchang, explains that earlier in Taiwan, sweet potatoes were thought as pig forage so it was generally neglected. But 20 years ago, the Japanese already considered sweet potatoes as a high class healthy product, and was sold for 500-1,000 Yen for each sweet potato. The people in Japan and China, Shan Tung Chang Shou Village (reads "long life" in Chinese) liked eating sweet potatoes a lot, so it was popularly known that sweet potatoes are very healthy. He encourages everyone to eat more sweet potatoes.

So far, Tainun 57 and Tainun 66 are the biggest value of circulation for sweet potatoes yielded in Taiwan, mainly providing the sweet potatoes to traditional markets. For the past years, Taiwan has finally exported sweet potatoes to Japan for the first time. It was the Tainan, Shin-Hua County sweet potato sales department Tainun 57 sweet potato who led this trend. To promote this trend, the Council of Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Development combined Shin-Hua County's sweet potato and Taipei City Bakery Association "Sweet Potato Ceremony" for further development.

With a month of careful research and development from bakery chefs, the orange, red, and purple sweet potatoes became the inside stuffing of puffs, cakes, bread. They can also bake sweet potato flavored pudding, yogurt, ice cream, and so on. Exceeding more than 200 flavors of bakery. This sweet potato ceremony will proceed until the 27th. You can purchase various flavors of sweet potato bakery any bakery store with banners written on top of it.

Source: China Times, April 8, 2003, Edition 21, Taipei City

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