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Enhancing leafy foods’ intake for optimal nutrition and human security in the South Pacific

Roshni, Rita and Prasad, Surendra and Bhati, Jagdish P. (2014) Enhancing leafy foods’ intake for optimal nutrition and human security in the South Pacific. The South Pacific Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences, 32 (1). pp. 27-32. ISSN 1838-837X

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In the Pacific Island countries (PICs) major nutritional problems are under-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies due to low dietary intake of leafy foods. Edible leaves of food crops are some of the inexpensive abundant sources of protein, carbohydrate, minerals, vitamins and fibres. In high natural calamity-prone areas, such as PICs, people frequently remain cut-off from the external sources of food for many days and they mainly survive on leafy food material available in their surroundings. This study investigated about what leafy foods are available in Fiji, which of these are commonly consumed by people and which of these are not used. This study is based on primary data obtained by a household sample survey on a structured questionnaire by personal interview method. The study revealed that a rich variety of leafy foods are available and known to people in Fiji. However, out of twenty six leafy foods listed only ten are regularly consumed by majority of the people. A small proportion of households have used up to five leafy foods i.e. underutilization. However, there are several known leafy foods (eleven) which no one has tried i.e. such leafy foods have not been utilized. The respondents reported many constraints in improving their intakes of leafy foods: (i) higher prices of leafy foods in the market; (ii) lack of space to grow own leafy foods in their backyards; (iii) lack of knowledge about how to prepare delicious dishes out of many leafy foods material; (iv) lack of information about the nutritional value of some of the leafy crops. Hence, to popularize the consumption of underutilized or not-utilized local leafy food crops, there is a need to generate more information on nutritional aspects of those leafy food crops and disseminate it to the people.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: T Technology > TX Home economics
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Agriculture and Food Technology
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2014 02:21
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 02:28

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