what were the pirates eating in Captain Phillips?

Saw an early release of the movie Captain Phillips this weekend. Throughout the movie the Somali pirates were eating this green leafy plant. What is it and why were they eating it? There were many references to this plant in the movie and many close ups of them eating it, so it seems the director wanted to give it some significance in the plot.

2 thoughts on “what were the pirates eating in Captain Phillips?

  1. DeeDee

    I’m guessing that it was Chicory.
    Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a 1.8 meter tall plant with clusters of leaves on the stem and its base that look like dandelion leaves. Similar to the dandelion, it grows as a weed in Africa. Chicory bears sky blue flowers that open in the sun. Every part of the chicory plant can be eaten. Many Africans use the leaves in salads; the roots, as well as the leaves, are eaten as vegetables. Some use the roots as a coffee substitute, as well.
    But most important is that it’s highly nutritious, containing the following:
    1. Vitamin C
    Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin which helps the body to eliminate harmful toxins. Vitamin C also helps the body to absorb iron and calcium, which are also essential for the body. Have you ever heard of scurvy? Back in olden days, sailers died of scurvy when they didn’t get enough Vitamin C from fruits and leavy vegetables.
    2. Thiamine
    3. Vitamin K
    4. Beta Carotene
    5. Folate
    6. Calcium
    7. Iron
    8. Magnesium
    9. Potassium
    10. Omega Fatty Acids

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  2. HoneyBunny

    I think it’s KHAT (pronounced “cot”) and it’s a stimulant drug derived from a shrub (Catha edulis) that is native to East Africa and southern Arabia. The pirates chewed that to keep awake and hyped up.

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