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Article

Gathered Wild Food Plants among Diverse Religious Groups in Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan

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Department of Botany, Hafiz Hayat Campus, University of Gujrat, Gujrat, Punjab 50700, Pakistan
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University of Gastronomic Sciences, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II 9, 12042 Pollenzo/Bra (Cuneo), Italy
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Department of Medical Analysis, Tishk International University, Erbil 4401, Iraq
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Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Mestre, Italy
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Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University, Tbilisi 0162, Georgia
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Department of Botany, Govt. Hashmat Ali Islamia Degree College Rawalpindi, Rawalpindi 46000, Pakistan
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Department of Botany, Sargodha Campus, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, The University of Lahore, Sargodha 40100, Pakistan
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Department of Botany, Women University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Bagh 12500, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcello Iriti
Foods 2021, 10(3), 594; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030594
Received: 5 February 2021 / Revised: 22 February 2021 / Accepted: 4 March 2021 / Published: 11 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ethnobiology of Wild Foods)
Recent ethnobotanical studies have raised the hypothesis that religious affiliation can, in certain circumstances, influence the evolution of the use of wild food plants, given that it shapes kinship relations and vertical transmission of traditional/local environmental knowledge. The local population living in Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan comprises very diverse religious and linguistic groups. A field study about the uses of wild food plants was conducted in the district. This field survey included 120 semi-structured interviews in 27 villages, focusing on six religious groups (Sunni and Shia Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, and Ahmadis). We documented a total of 77 wild food plants and one mushroom species which were used by the local population mainly as cooked vegetables and raw snacks. The cross-religious comparison among six groups showed a high homogeneity of use among two Muslim groups (Shias and Sunnis), while the other four religious groups showed less extensive, yet diverse uses, staying within the variety of taxa used by Islamic groups. No specific plant cultural markers (i.e., plants gathered only by one community) could be identified, although there were a limited number of group-specific uses of the shared plants. Moreover, the field study showed erosion of the knowledge among the non-Muslim groups, which were more engaged in urban occupations and possibly underwent stronger cultural adaption to a modern lifestyle. The recorded traditional knowledge could be used to guide future development programs aimed at fostering food security and the valorization of the local bio-cultural heritage. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethnobotany; wild food plants; traditional food; religious diversity; bio-cultural heritage; local resources ethnobotany; wild food plants; traditional food; religious diversity; bio-cultural heritage; local resources
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MDPI and ACS Style

Majeed, M.; Bhatti, K.H.; Pieroni, A.; Sõukand, R.; Bussmann, R.W.; Khan, A.M.; Chaudhari, S.K.; Aziz, M.A.; Amjad, M.S. Gathered Wild Food Plants among Diverse Religious Groups in Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan. Foods 2021, 10, 594. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030594

AMA Style

Majeed M, Bhatti KH, Pieroni A, Sõukand R, Bussmann RW, Khan AM, Chaudhari SK, Aziz MA, Amjad MS. Gathered Wild Food Plants among Diverse Religious Groups in Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan. Foods. 2021; 10(3):594. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030594

Chicago/Turabian Style

Majeed, Muhammad, Khizar H. Bhatti, Andrea Pieroni, Renata Sõukand, Rainer W. Bussmann, Arshad M. Khan, Sunbal K. Chaudhari, Muhammad A. Aziz, and Muhammad S. Amjad. 2021. "Gathered Wild Food Plants among Diverse Religious Groups in Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan" Foods 10, no. 3: 594. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030594

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