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The role of wild edible plants in household food security among transitioning hunter-gatherers: evidence from the Philippines

Author

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  • Homervergel G. Ong

    (Hallym University)

  • Young-Dong Kim

    () (Hallym University)

Abstract

Abstract The Ati Negrito people, a recently settled hunter-gatherer indigenous group in the Philippines, are faced once more with the challenge of adapting to new settlements and gradually declining areas of prime food sources. The research is a documentation of uses and importance of wild edible plants the group collects and consumes as a transitioning hunter-gatherer community. Interviews were conducted with 44 female key informants representing 40 households. A total of 69 wild edible plant taxa in 31 plant families were recorded. Informant consensus revealed that many wild food plants are prioritized for their caloric content and dietary structure to complement oftentimes monotonous diets. Some of the recorded edibles were found to be non-native weedy introductions, signs of mechanisms for coping with environmental and socio-cultural changes. Preferences for certain wild edible plants also revealed that non-food factors underlay food choices. Significant factors that influence food knowledge and selection appeared to be household income, acculturation and past experiences of food scarcity. Further studies, however, have yet to provide concrete evidence that there is erosion of traditional knowledge. Regardless, determining informant confidence in selecting wild food plants has emphasized that preferences are decided based on socio-economic, cultural and ecological conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Homervergel G. Ong & Young-Dong Kim, 2017. "The role of wild edible plants in household food security among transitioning hunter-gatherers: evidence from the Philippines," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 9(1), pages 11-24, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s12571-016-0630-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s12571-016-0630-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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