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Perijá Deforestation does not end in Frito Lay but in Mercal

There is a legend in the mountain chain Sierra de Perijá that blames its felling on a transnational company. A journalist traveled the route of taro (locally known as ocumo) and after a trip through western Venezuela, he found that - contrary to official complaints - the root of discord is served in Bolivarian government markets.

03/10/2015 15:00:01

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Fried taro looks like Ruffles potato. It is identical. Its texture makes it turn immediately toasted when cooked in oil. It tastes similar to potato. Although it is totally white, it turns yellowish as the famous potatoes advertised by the exceptional Lionel Messi.

Anyone could say that taro is the raw material of Frito Lay's potatoes. Not surprisingly, the environmental authorities of Venezuela, together with the Azul Ambientalista organization, last year concentrated 2,000 people in three different cities to protest against the production of taro. There, the defenders of the forest directly blamed company Frito Lay for promoting —with no other reason than to enrich itself through the production of snacks— the deforestation of Sierra de Perijá, the northernmost of the Andes, which acts as a vegetable lung of Zulia state, north of the border of Venezuela with Colombia.