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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2005 Nov;56(7):529-42.

The gathering and consumption of wild edible plants in the Campoo (Cantabria, Spain).

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Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.


This paper discusses the traditional consumption of wild edible plants in the rural communities of the Campoo (Cantabria), a region in northern Spain. Through semi-structured interviews with key informants, data on the perception, gathering, preparation and use of 60 edible wild plant species were collected. Social, economic and cultural factors need to be taken into account when trying to understand why some wild foods and traditional vegetables continue to be consumed while others are not. Wild foods were traditionally important as a supplement to the diet (particularly during food shortages), to which they bring diversity and serve as a source of vitamins and minerals. However, only a few people who like the taste of wild species and enjoy gathering them continue to consume them. Many people consider wild food to be old fashioned, unprofitable, or too time-consuming, and prefer to cultivate or buy their food. The most frequently cited species in the region (Rumex acetosa, Origanum vulgare, Rosa canina, Vaccinium myrtillus, Crataegus monogyna and Prunus spinosa) are widely consumed in the Mediterranean area. Unusual food species, such as Pedicularis schizocalyx, Romulea bulbocodium or Viburnum lantana, have also been gathered in the study area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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