One great advantage of the Moringa tree in providing food for undernourished populations is the exceptional shelf life of the foods provided. The leaves of the tree can be used fresh, cooked in the same way as spinach or dried and stored for months without requiring refrigeration. Fresh pods are known as drumsticks and are often served in much the same way as green beans; they typically are described as having a taste somewhat similar to asparagus. Dried leaves can be stirred into a sauce or consumed on their own depending on available dietary options. The dried leaves retain all or nearly all of their nutritional value, allowing storage even in tropical conditions. The leaves and seed pods are excellent botanical sources of protein, a nutrient that is often in short supply in developing regions. The protein present in the leaves is highly digestible and can be used as a supplemental food for infants; because the tree continues to bear leaves even at the end of the dry season, it is especially well suited to serve as a food source in semi-arid conditions like those found in much of Africa. The fresh leaves are an outstanding source of Vitamin C, while the dried leaf powder offers a more concentrated version of the same nutrients including about ten times the Vitamin A available from fresh carrots. Other vitamins and minerals present in the plant leaves and seed pods include high concentrations of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and the B vitamins. Even in areas where food is relatively abundant, the exceptional nutritional content of these plants and seeds have led to their use in complete vitamin and mineral supplements.