October 02, 2005


Datashak (Amaranth) are the herbaceous plants of the genus Amaranthus, family Amaranthaceae, native to the India, Bangladesh and Indo-Chinese region (source). The tender leaves are fried and stems are generally cooked with fish or other vegetables. The leaves and stems are rich in vitamin A and C, calcium and iron.

It finally become known to many in USA thanks to the federal agents, who raided a Muslim (deobondi) campground in Moodus, CT Friday morning, seizing specimens and seeds from what they believe is datashak. According to this report, the property caretaker Rahman, a Bangladeshi was perplexed with the feds action and commented:

"That is our country's vegetable. Our people like it. ... It's like spinach. They are regular vegetables. You can find them in New York."

Some of the datashak seeds were originally mailed from Bangladesh, while others were purchased in stores and planted. The Datashak were cooked at a recent summer camp attended by 20-plus Muslim youths.

So why were the seeds and plants were confiscated? Whose fault was it: the plant itselve or those who ate it? May be the feds thought that as these were planted by the Muslim campers, probably these are variants of poppy plants the Talibans cultivate to finance their (holy?) war. Or probably these are lethal as anthrax. I hope datashak comes clean and continue to nourish those, who cherish it.

Raven at the Reality Cafe has this to say citing a couple of examples (including above):

"The biggest threats to society, according to the Bureau, are not terrorism, hurricanes, paedophiles, bearded brown people or even kidnappers of attractive white women.

The two clearest and most present dangers facing the FBI are porn and weed."


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