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

Edward Mutandwa Mississippi State University, United States of America

Dear Forum members,

Once again, I would like to thank you for your contributions. The centrality of the market mechanism in shaping the role of indeginous foods has been emphasized by experiences from West Africa, Brazil and Costa Rica (Gerardo). However, the forces of urbanization and Western diets are likely to result in loss of local knowledge. Laura highlights that markets for products such as fufu, garri and cassava are still rudimentary in West Africa. She reiterates the need for education for example through the use of celebrity chefs to train local communities about indeginous food preparation methods. Other other hand, Francisca from Zambia observes that too much boiling results in loss of nutritional value for instance in cabbages. This was also pointed out by Gill earlier on. Francisca further suggests that elders are important in the transmission of local knowledge from generation to generation (KV Peter). Carla refers to a multisectoral approach which is encapsulated in the UNDP report for Brazil. An interesting aspect of this discussion are the different types of foods including garri, fufu, sweet potato chips, cassava bread and a different array of fruits and the interesting methods of food preparation. Francisca indicated that sweet potato chips are sliced, salted and dried. This can take up to six months and therefore provide and important strategy for alleviating transitory food shocks that households face during the dry season. Although it seems that public institutions are supportive of efforts to promote indeginous food preparation methods, do you have any experiences of any legislative frameworks created in this regard? Another related aspect to this discussion is the role of insects in the food security because most are prepared using locally known methods of preparation (FAO report).

Thanks and well appreciated,