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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Culture, food and nutrition
Author:Claxton, MervinISNI
Periodical:Présence africaine
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:food policy
Abstract:Food, cooking and eating habits play a central role in all cultures. This means that the gradual disappearance of traditional food and of traditional cuisine in Africa, as a result of increased internationalization of certain standardized Western foods, is an erosion of African culture and of African cultural identity itself. Food aid from the North, which often takes the form of foods that cannot be grown locally in the South, has helped to promote the view that traditional foods, like cassava, are poor people's food. The growing importance of wheat flour and wheat bread in the food habits of African consumers is alarming for food security in the medium and long term. The concept of natural resources in the dermination of the food potential of a given country is essentially a cultural one. An inventory of food resources, based on intrinsic nutritional values and not on Western-determined commercial ones, is necessary. Greater promotion of traditional foods can play an important role in tackling the problem of undernutrition in Africa. Furthermore, a greater importance given to the production of traditional foods could provide a stimulus for local artisanal industry, stimulate technological innovation and could constitute the basis for industrial development. Ref., sum. in French.