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Contribution of Indigenous fruits and vegetables to dietary diversity and quality Bruce Cogill, Ph.D. Keynote 45 SYM13 Friday 22 August 2014

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Contribution of Indigenous fruits and vegetables to dietary diversity and quality Bruce Cogill, Ph.D. Keynote 45 SYM13 Friday 22 August 2014


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OUTLINE Section 1: Global malnutrition Section 2: Consequences of changing diet Section 3: Reasons for trends Section 4: Policy and programme actions Section 5: What is the evidence Section 6: Five case studies Section 7: Challenges Section 8: Conclusions


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Section 1: Global malnutrition


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Changing Diets – 10 major food companies Source: The Huffington Post, April 2012


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Dietary transition Changing markets Refrigeration Changing consumer demands Changing lifestyles Urbanization


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Section 2: Consequences


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Increasing contribution of NCDs to cause of death (Rural Bangladesh 1986-2006) Source: http://www.globalhealthaction.net/index.php/gha/article/view/19/2301 Rising NCDs Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, obesity


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Section 3: Reasons for trends


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Less choices, more choices


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Section 4: Policy and programme actions PHOTO


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Dietary guidelines tell us something Diversity is key – sustainability is coming WHO (2003) ? 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per day Other examples - Brazil Food Guide - Health Council Netherlands - Swedish National Food Council - Nordic Council - Australia dietary guidelines


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INCREASING COSTS COMPLEXITY TOWARDS PREVENTION CULTURAL RELEVANCE RESILIENCE SUSTAINABILITY Ecosystem Services Conservation Behaviors Lifestyle Knowledge Learning Agenda Treating and preventing under and overnutrition – from pills to improved diet and livelihoods September 2013 Nutrition Marketing Diversity Programme, Bioversity International


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Section 5: What is the evidence?


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Causality – bi-directional biodiversity ? diet diversity ? diet quality ?nutrition/health Challenges in understanding the linkages, pathways of biodiversity in human nutrition and health (Hough 2014) Reductionist approach to nutrition with focus on single nutrients and foods (Hoffman 2003 and Burlingame 2004)


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Some challenges to understanding relationships and action (Diverse Diet – Nutrition) Complex Lack of clear definition of what is meant by biodiversity and diet diversity Modelling is challenging with complex pathways and limited or different levels of data Lots of studies associating environmental change and dietary diversity


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What is the evidence? The value of traditional foods and diets is being re-evaluated worldwide (e.g. the Mediterranean diet) All countries have valuable and rich traditional foods There is a need to assess the relative nutritional benefits and related health outcomes of these traditional foods and dietary patterns


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State of Origin – “Common” Fruits and Vegetables Source: memolition.com


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Key concepts


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Comparison of nutrient content of select South Pacific Fruits and Vegetables (per 100 g)


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Section 6: Five case studies – on the role of indigenous fruit and vegetables


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Case Study 1: From indigenous food to global commodity – Arugula or Rocket Eruca sativa 1994 -1998: Project on underutilized Mediterranean species By research and advocacy Italian project’s experience evolved over the years into a solid framework now being tested and disseminated to many countries around the world Source: S. Padulosi, Bioversity International


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Case Study 2: Bananas and beta-carotene Cavendish Common Variety <5 µg/100g pro-Vit A carotenoid <8500 µg/100g pro-Vit A carotenoid South Pacific banana varieties Source: Burlingame, FAO (2013) and Bioversity International


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Case Study 3: Traditional African leafy vegetables (ALV) in Kenya Local ALV - nutritious, affordable, adapted to local growing conditions and cultural traditions 2007: Over 40 different species (10% wild) including Amaranth, African nightshade, cowpea, pumpkin, spider plant, bitter lettuce and vine spinach Considered to be an inferior good but consumption rising – information lacking (Gotor and Irungu, 2010) Also see ARDC


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Case Study 4: Role of wild foods in reducing the cost of a nutritionally adequate diet in Baringo District, Kenya Bioversity International, Save the Children UK and the Museums of Kenya Objective: Documenting the role of wild and underutilized foods in reducing the cost of a nutritionally adequate diet for children aged 6 to 24 months and women Method: Ethnobotanical surveys to inventory wild species Market price assessments and seasonality Culturally acceptable average food consumption frequencies and portion sizes Selection of 5 wild neglected and underutlized species (NUS) for modelling in Cost of Diet analysis Cost of Diet linear programming to assess the cost of a locally appropriate, culturally acceptable, cost-optimized, nutritious diet in dry and wet season. Analysis with and without wild NUS foods.


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Percentage of nutrient requirements met by the modelled diet without wild foods (only deficient nutrients are shown) and additional percentage of nutrient requirements met by including all 5 wild foods together or the wild fruit Berchemia discolor apart in the modeled diet for the dry and wet season


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Case Study 4: Results from Running LP Tool Without wild foods: modelled diets were deficient in Fe for all age groups (women and children) during dry season Infants aged 6 to 8 months: Vit. B6 and Ca deficient during dry season, Fe and Zn deficient the whole year With 5 wild foods: modelled diet could lower the cost of the diets (up to 64% for some age groups) and contributed to meet FAO/WHO recommended nutrient intakes Berchemia discolor had the highest impact on the cost of the diet and on meeting recommended nutrient intakes for Fe With or without wild foods, it was not possible to meet all recommended nutrient intakes in all seasons for children aged 6 to 12 months


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Case Study 5: Orange fleshed sweet potatoes from indigenous staple to global phenomenon Source: Low et al. 2009; Harvest Plus Plant breeding, adaptation, behaviour change, consumer


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Section 7: What are the challenges in identifying and promoting indigenous fruits and vegetables to improve dietary quality


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Some Challenges include: Confusing nomenclature Lack of identification, naming and cataloguing Propagation and value chains underdeveloped Considered an inferior product or good Need to be commercial, scalable, and researchable Quality control, food safety, information


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Questionable nutrition and health claims Superfood claims e.g. moringa, kale, acai Elevated nutrient and health claims Lack of understanding of nutrient content/bioavailability Interactions among nutrients and food components Food handling, processing and preparation Level of intake or dose Source: www.kulikulifoods.com


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Section 8: Conclusions


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We need to climb out of the reductionist hole – Look at Food Systems & Diet Patterns A ‘Whole of Diet’ Approach - Foods are more than just the sum of nutrients, agricultural systems more than the sum of crops => whole of diet / landscape approaches are needed Optimize use of available biodiversity to provide quality diets, decent incomes and sustainable production systems while conserving biodiversity for future generations Better evidence and tools, such as linear programming, to identify nutrient gaps, and optimize the choices of foods across the seasons to close gaps Concluding observations I


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Local populations have a wealth of knowledge on biodiversity and indigenous fruits and vegetables plus rigorous science Evidence of the importance of dietary diversity including fruits and vegetables and dietary quality with links to both over and undernutrition and some diet related NCDs Less evidence of links between indigenous fruits and vegetables and dietary quality.  This is due to the lack of standard measures, data and the challenges of modelling complex systems. There are plenty of anecdotes and case studies but attribution remains a challenge Given public, private sector and even some policy interest in the importance of indigenous fruits and vegetables, especially given diet transition and rising diet related non communicable diseases, there is a strong need to: generate better evidence of the health and nutrition attributes; ensure the cultural and non-nutrition aspects are captured and shared; identify the scalability and accessibility of these foods; further develop and reach agreement around measurements of biodiversity, diet diversity and intake; look for opportunities to monitor policies and programmes that link biodiversity, indigenous fruits and vegetables and nutrition; and engage with teaching and other capacity strengthening to improve training and capacity. Concluding observations II


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Indigenous fruits and vegetables -- We need to know more Food components appreciated by consumers, manufacturers, etc. Diversity, hardy, good adaptability, versatility in use, resilient, sustainable Rich food culture and traditions Not easily scalable compared with some commodity crops Lack of improved/enhanced varieties and practices Lack of information on nutrient content, development etc. Drudgery in processing Disorganized or non-existent market chains Perception of being ‘food of the poor’ Scarcely represented in ex situ collections + –


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The 29th International Horticultural Congress 17-22 August 2014 Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Brisbane, Australia SYMPOSIUM No. 13: Promoting the Future of Indigenous Vegetables Worldwide Plaza Room 9 b.cogill@cgiar.org For more info: www.bioversityinternational.org


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