As food supplements, forest foods provide certain proteins, fat, vitamins and minerals that are not found in many staple crops, and may even stave off hunger and famine when drought, floods or pests and diseases cause crops to fail.
Half a million pre-school children go blind every year because of vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is abundant in many tree foods, such as mango.
Bushmeat or edible wild mammals, reptiles, birds and insects which live in forests or trees can account for up to 85 percent of the protein intake of people living in or near forests.
Some 80 percent of the people living in developing countries depend on non-wood forest products, such as fruits and herbs, for their primary health and nutritional needs. Source
Natural products are the only source of medicine for 75 to 90 percent of people living in developing countries. Source: FAO 1996