Food Plant Solutions, (who I represent) creates educational materials that identify local food plants for a country or region that are high in the most beneficial nutrients (Iron, Zinc, Protein, Vit A, Vit C) and we include starchy staples. Our materials explain how to grow these plants, what parts are edible, photos, how to use the parts and nutritional information. We also include information on sustainable and ecologically sound growing practices.
From our experience we have found that there is often a disconnect between nutrition and agriculture. Ask any agronomist what the nutritional value of the food plants they grow is, and most (if not all), will not be able to answer you. Likewise, ask a nutrition specialist how to sustainably grow nutritious plants and often they may not be able to answer you. Contrary to popular belief, there is a wealth of edible food plants in the world, over 32,000. Each country has hundred, (some have thousands) of edible plants know to grow there. And yet, worldwide we only eat a small portion of these.
Food Plant Solutions never sends people to a country, instead linking in with existing providers - they best know their communities and how to empower them. Changing diet is difficult and it’s a world-wide issue. We have found through our program partners that most parents want what is best for their children. And most will be doing what they think is best. Using our materials, in-country organisations explain what nutritious food is, why human bodies need it (and how they use it) and then what to grow and eat that will meet nutritional needs. Our materials are science based (our information comes from Bruce French’s Edible Plants of the World Database), and all materials are written in plain English. There are various levels of materials that are suited to varying degrees of literacy.
This approach is gradual but is proven to work, Many people now want quick fixes to everything; a supplement (as an example) for things missing from the diet. That only provides a short-term answer. What happens when the supplement is ceased, has the participants learnt anything that will enable them and their families to prosper in years to come? Our approach is long-term and sustainable.
Our materials are being used by contacts in various refugee camps, all around the world. We are constantly seeking new partners, who can use our existing materials or who we can create materials for.
All our materials are available free from our website www.foodplantsolutions.org or of course through ECHO .
Food Plants of Nigeria