African Indigenous Vegetables Contribution Towards Food Security and Safety in Kenya: A Meal Cultures Perspective
Anne Aswani Musotsi1, Mary Abukutsa-Onyango2
1Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, Kenya
Food insecurity and micronutrient deficiencies have been persistent issues in Kenya that are averting the achievement of the sustainable development goals. One of the existing strategies to alleviate the situation is the use of African indigenous vegetables (AIVs). Notable for their high levels of bioactive compounds, AIVs have been recommended as beneficial for nutrition and health. Besides, some species grow naturally and their minimal requirement for fertilisers and pesticides contributes to food safety. AIVs were part of the meal culture of most Kenyan households during the pre-colonial times. However, during the colonial times, there was a change in the meal cultures resulting from introduction of exotic vegetables. Thus, AIVs were neglected but as a result of concerted efforts by researchers and other stakeholders increased consumption of the vegetables has been noted. Consumption at the household level, however, still faces a number of challenges. Several studies have been conducted on production and marketing of AIVs, but preparation and cooking, and thus food safety at the household level still remain a missing link.
Keywords: African indigenous vegetables, food safety, food security, meal cultures
Contact Address: Anne Aswani Musotsi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, P.O Box 62000, 00200 Nairobi, Kenya, e-mail: aswaniannegmail.com