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Indigenous Food Systems

In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), different food systems that could provide answers in terms of sustainability, resilience and environmental management are considered in a more integrated manner. It is within this global debate for sustainable food systems that indigenous food systems have gained international recognition. 

Indigenous food composition analysis

Of particular relevance is the nutritious value of indigenous foods. While some of them are known and have been extensively analysed in terms of micro and macro nutrients, others remained considered as nutritious but no proper nutrition composition analysis has been undertaken.

FAO has started the coordination of the analysis of the food composition of several indigenous foods from the seven socio-economic indigenous regions. In collaboration with the Nutrition division, a pilot project has been led in North-East India, in the Khasi hills of Meghalaya, to determine the food composition of several indigenous foods. It showed important results on the content of some essential micronutrients and minerals that the regional diets are lacking and which could therefore be considered in FAO programmes to implement the food security of indigenous peoples in the region.