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The Chronicle, a Zimbabwean newspaper, wrote earlier this week that no fewer than three southern Zimbabwean schools have officially banned cereal made of sorghum, a drought resistant grain popular in low-income countries. As of the official start of classes on Tuesday, they've been confiscating any sorghum cereal carried onto campus out of concern that it can be made into beer.
Tennyson Hlabangana High School reportedly texted parents to announce the ban. One of the parents who got the text said it also advised parents not to buy sorghum-based cereal for their kids.
The specific product targeted by the ban is a pulverized millet product called Morvite, which—if you're so inclined—you can make into a sort of drinkable breakfast porridge. It comes in flavors like vanilla, strawberry, and honey, but according to a local consumer blog, they all just taste like sorghum, because "it's really just the aroma that differs."
Alternatively, you can just make Morvite into booze. All you have to do, according to the Chronicle, is mix in brown sugar and yeast, and leave it out in the sun. Soon the yeast will convert the sugars into alcohol, and the liquid will become a delicious "opaque beer," of unknown alcohol content.
A local pharmacist named Michael Dube weighed on on the danger, saying, "the danger of doing this is that there is no method to control the alcohol content." Dube also told the paper that "their beer might have high alcohol levels, which may be a threat to their health."
Zimbabwe is in the midst of a moral panic about supposed "sex parties" called vuzu parties, described by the Daily Mail as parties involving drugs, alcohol and sex. Last month, the Chronicle reported on a case of 224 teens being arrested at one such party in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
There's no mention of sorghum being seized at that party, but police did reportedly confiscate a bunch of condoms they found there. So at least 224 teens no longer have condoms.
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