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Re: Indigenous methods of food preparation: what is their impact on food security and nutrition?

23.05.2013
Hiwot

I find the topic of discussion interesting to participate since it is also in line with my current project. I will contribute the discussion point 1 and 3

  1. Are there any lively examples of indigenous methods of food preparation and how do they influence food security and nutrition? Formal published research will be welcome on this point

I want to share about traditional food processing in Ethiopia. Injera is thin fermented bread which is usually made from cereal named tef (Eragrostis tef). It could also be made from other cereals like barley, sorghum and maize. The fermentation process is started by using dough saved from previously fermented dough. One of the side effects of making injera is the shelf life; it can only be stored for three to four days at room temperature. It could stay longer if put in refrigerator but not affordable by the majority. However, recently a study was published that could help to preserve it longer. http://www.bioline.org.br/request?nd12059  Injera has major contribution to nutrition and food security in Ethiopia, and globally there is interest as gluten free and iron levels compared to other cereals.

Traditional Food-Processing and Preparation Practices to Enhance the Bioavailability of Micronutrients in Plant-Based Diets in Malawi is worth looking at http://jn.nutrition.org/content/137/4/1097.long

 3. What is the perception of formal public institutes in your country towards integrating IKS in food preparation programs? Are there any opportunities for modifying some methods for example for child nutrition based programs?

Institutes working to improve nutrition have interest in using traditional food processing like fermentation, soaking and germination to improve nutrient deficiency. Alive and thrive http://www.aliveandthrive.org/where-we-work/country/ethiopia is working to improve complementary feeding, promoting soaking, germination and preserving meat powered during preparation of complementary foods. However, the challenges were lack of evidence on safety of fermentation to be used for complementary food preparation and nutritional value and impact of the traditionally preserved meat powder.  The following link is quick reference book developed to promote traditional complementary food preparation. it is also adopted by the Federal Ministry of Health  http://aliveandthrive.org/sites/default/files/Quick%20ReferenceBook_ENG_rev5.pdf

Hiwot A Haileslassie
PhD candidate
College of Pharmacy & Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan