Traditional gathering of wild vegetables among the luo of western Kenya - A nutritional anthropology project

Charles Ogoye-Ndegwa*, Jens Aagaard-Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work
53 Citations (Scopus)


In many developing countries the food and nutrition security situation is worsening due to climatic and socioeconomic conditions. This article discusses the sociocultural factors associated with the consumption of traditional vegetables among the Luo of western Kenya. Through semi-tructured interviews with key informants and market surveillance, data were collected on vegetable identification, availability and procurement, preparation, perceptions and practices as well as availability and pricing at local markets. Altogether 72 different edible vegetables were identified, most of which were growing wild. While some traditional vegetables are still consumed, many of them are used more and more rarely, except for the lean days when no alternatives are available. Traditional vegetables and other wild food items constitute an under-utilized resource when it comes to food and nutrition security in vulnerable communities. However, cultural and social factors need to be taken into consideration and anthropological studies can play an important role in that endeavor.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcology of Food and Nutrition
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)69-89
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Action fesearch
  • Africa
  • Consumption
  • Food security
  • Kenya
  • Luo
  • Micronutrients
  • Socioultural factors
  • Traditional vegetables


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