Feb - 2019

Dear nature lovers,
Greetings from oikos !
Food is the primary need of all living organisms including human beings. But type of food has been changing since ancient times. In rural or tribal parts wild food is used regularly as a part of diet. This food is obtained by collecting fruits, tubers or leafy herbs, honey etc. or by hunting wild animals or by catching aquatic species like fishes, crabs etc.
This wild food is rich in nutrients – mainly proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals. So the key is – ‘diversity’ which is harvested as per ‘seasons’. In monsoon, a variety of leafy herbs are used as vegetables. Many of those are medicinal. For example, curry made from Bamboo shoots is useful in curing indigestion. Kartoli fruits are used as vegetable and it is eaten in cold, cough and fever. Tubers of Karanda, Dioscorea is great source of carbohydrates. Local drinks extracted from various trees like Mad, Taad, Moha is a good tonic.
Few plant parts are dried and stored and used throughout the year. One of those is Moha flowers which are also used to make bhakri (a kind of roti). Leaves of Lot i.e. Amorphophallus, available in monsoon are also dried and stored by adding salt to it to use it as vegetable even after monsoon.
A great diversity of Wild fruits – रानमेवा is eaten throughout the year as they ripe. E.g. Ambulaki in March, Karwand in April, Alu in May, Meki in September, Amla in November…
Meat obtained from various animals including fishes is a great source for proteins.
But, all this diverse nutritious food is slowly disappearing from their diet due to availability of farm produce, connections to market and degrading habitats of wild food. Generally, this food is considered inferior due to urban influence. Many naturalists love this food and are trying to make it popular. But while doing so we must watch the demand and supply ratio. We need to protect, conserve and restore forests and aquatic ecosystems to harvest this wild food sustainably for the growing populations.
Ketaki & Manasi
With Team oikos !
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Oikos for ecological services
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