An assumption widely held the world over is that local indigenous and wild foods are highly nutritious.
While information on the nutritional values of many indigenous foods belonging to the summer rainfall parts of Southern Africa is available, there is very little known about the winter and cross-over rainfall Cape foods that were historically wild harvested.
This lack of information poses a significant barrier to promoting them for use as easy to grow locally well adapted nutrient dense foods that can contribute to solving our local health concerns related to nutrient deficiencies and resulting non-communicable diseases.
Local WILD is currently conducting a study on 60 Cape foods, to establish what nutritional information is in circulation and what gaps need to be filled about their macro nutrient, micro nutrient and mineral contents. In addition to the nutrition information, which of the 60 are in cultivation will also be established.
The outcomes of the study will be made available on this platform and will also be published in relevant journals.
Project partners in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch as well as in the Western Cape Government's Departments of Health will be participating in the project's future actions based on the outcomes the study delivers.
Loubie Rusch - Local WILD founder and indigenous food expert, responsible for framing the research parameters
Michelle Rorich - Local WILD researcher conducting the review and capturing the outcomes for publication
Dr Laura Pereira - Local WILD advisor on research methodology
Lauren Todd & Mpho Tshukudu - nutrition advisors
Prof Mbenyane - Stellenbosch University academic partnering on the project's future actions
Dr Frederick Marais - Western Cape Government Dept health, partnering on the project's future actions