Addressing constraints in promoting wild edible plants’ utilization in household nutrition: case of the Congo Basin forest area uri icon

abstract

  • It is worth raising the question, why are wild edible plants (WEPs) which are rich in diverse nutrients and widely abundant underutilized despite the increasing rate of undernourishment in poor regions? One reason is that their culinary uses are not quantified and standardized in nutrition surveys, and therefore, they are not properly included in household diet intensification and diversification across regions and cultures. Active steps are needed to bridge this gap. This paper outlines the constraints to including WEPs in nutritional surveys as the lack of standard ways of food identification of diverse WEPs, lack of specific food categorization and therefore difficult dissemination across regions and cultures. As a way forward, a functional categorization of 11 subgroups for WEPs is introduced and discussed. In labeling these sub-food groups, the paper advocates that more WEPs food items and culinary uses should be enlisted during household nutrition surveys. Food researchers could then capitalize these enlisted species and disseminate them to promote diverse food use of WEPs in other regions where they exist but are not utilized as food. © 2017 The Author(s)

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017