Hey hey Ghanastronomists! Hope you are doing well!! If you have yet to see the latest installation of Ghanastronomy Originals, check out my previous post here!
Today’s post will be dedicated to highlighting research initiatives related to sustainability on the continent. In particular, we will be looking at the work done in an effort to improve both nutrition and income generation. Recently, a multidisciplinary conference with an emphasis on food was held in Rutgers, New Jersey.
One of the talks focused on the Horticulture Innovation Lab Nutrition Research Program and their work in Central and East Zambia and Western Kenya . The aim of the program is to focus on African Indigenous Vegetables and how its implementation can help foster an increase in nutrient consumption and by extension, an increase in income generation.
You can read more about the Horticulture Innovation Lab Nutrition Research Program here
I found the topics raised in this conference to be very interesting as it touches on the issues of food and nutrition consumption, an area in which Ghanastronomy is very heavily invested in. Although the aim of Ghanastronomy is to highlight the gastronomical side of food as an artisanal expression, it is also important to highlight the sustainability side of food because with this emphasis, we wouldn’t have the food to work with in the first place. That being said, Ghanastronomy also functions as an all-encompassing dialogue relating to the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of food systems.
I was really inspired by this particular project and wanted to dive even further into the dialogue. As a way of making sense of this research program, I also wanted to highlight other initiatives that are currently being implemented on the ground. I took it upon myself to continue the research and was happy to find that the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Association, an NGO based on the continent is also doing work to promote healthy lifestyles via re-implementing African Indigenous Foods back into the mainstream markets. You can read more about their work here.
In an effort to merge the findings from the Horticulture Innovation Lab Nutrition Research Program and applying it to the work done by the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Association, I decided to create this info-graphic poster. Read it, internalize it, question it!
If you ask me, sustainability is the key to growth for many generations to come. And by reclaiming the foods that are native to the soil and have been growing on the continent for so many years, not only can you reap the nutritional benefits from amaranth and moringa for example, but you are also cutting out the “middle-man” and taking it upon yourself to support the economic autonomy of local small-scale farmers.
I would love to hear your thoughts regarding this dialogue of African indigenous foods as a source of generational wealth. Remember, this conversation does end here! In fact, I am so inspired by this topic of sustainable food systems and will definitely continue to do more surrounding this discourse and how it relates to the Ghanaian context. Let me know if you would like to see more!
Maame Amma ❤