The best of the crops were used for human consumption. Sometimes they were made into balls or patties that could be preserved for later eating, and sometimes they were distilled into a fiery alcoholic drink, shochu. The poorer sweet potatoes were mashed and used as feed for pigs and goats. Even the tops were cut up for this purpose. It was a case of total crop consumption, for after the major yield the sweet potato vines and the tubers left in the ground were turned over for fertilizer when the field was prepared for a new crop. [Okinawa: History of an Island People, Kerr, 1958]


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