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Open AccessArticle

Wild Food Plants and Trends in Their Use: From Knowledge and Perceptions to Drivers of Change in West Sumatra, Indonesia

1
Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 16500 Praha-Suchdol, Czech Republic
2
The Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty, c/o The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Via dei Tre Denari 472, 00054 Rome, Italy
3
Department of Community Nutrition, Faculty of Human Ecology, IPB University, Bogor 16680, Indonesia
4
Department of Forest Resources Conservation and Ecotourism, Faculty of Forestry, IPB University, Bogor 16680, Indonesia
5
Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, via dei Tre Denari 472/a, 00054 Rome, Italy
6
Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor 16115, Indonesia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(9), 1240; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9091240
Received: 18 August 2020 / Revised: 31 August 2020 / Accepted: 1 September 2020 / Published: 4 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ethnobiology of Wild Foods)
Wild food plants (WFPs) are often highly nutritious but under-consumed at the same time. This study aimed to document the diversity of WFPs, and assess perceptions, attitudes, and drivers of change in their consumption among Minangkabau and Mandailing women farmers in West Sumatra. We applied a mixed-method approach consisting of interviews with 200 women and focus group discussions with 68 participants. The study documented 106 WFPs (85 species), and Minangkabau were found to steward richer traditional knowledge than Mandailing. Although both communities perceived WFPs positively, consumption has declined over the last generation. The main reasons perceived by respondents were due to the decreased availability of WFPs and changes in lifestyle. The contemporary barriers to consuming WFPs were low availability, time constraints, and a limited knowledge of their nutritional value. The key motivations for their use were that they are free and “unpolluted” natural foods. The main drivers of change were socio-economic factors and changes in agriculture and markets. However, the persistence of a strong culture appears to slow dietary changes. The communities, government and NGOs should work together to optimize the use of this food biodiversity in a sustainable way. This integrated approach could improve nutrition while conserving biological and cultural diversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: wild edible plants; indigenous foods; agrobiodiversity; nutrition and diets; food systems; food environment; local knowledge; ethnobotany wild edible plants; indigenous foods; agrobiodiversity; nutrition and diets; food systems; food environment; local knowledge; ethnobotany
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Pawera, L.; Khomsan, A.; Zuhud, E.A.; Hunter, D.; Ickowitz, A.; Polesny, Z. Wild Food Plants and Trends in Their Use: From Knowledge and Perceptions to Drivers of Change in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Foods 2020, 9, 1240.

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