Revista Digital Universitaria
Revista Digital Universitaria ISSN: 1607 - 6079 | Publicación mensual | 1 de mayo de 2015 vol.16, Núm. 5


Evaluation of the Mexican Traditional Diet: an Interdisciplinary Overview

Amanda Gálvez Mariscal, Carolina Peña Montes

Food production in the world is enough to feed all inhabitants of the planet. However, inequity, socioeconomic problems and a huge wasting worsen the situation of food security in regions where children undernourishment still prevails. In Mexico, besides than important prevalence of undernourishment, there is a high prevalence of obesity and diabetes as part of the population malnutrition. Large-scale food production and the privileged production of animal vs. vegetable protein, such as legume seeds, have had a consequence the abandonment of foods of the Mesoamerican traditional diet. Many vegetables produced or collected by small farmers are now neglected and underutilized species (NUS) in the prevailing supply and marketing systems, with a concomitant decrease in their supply and demand. Mesoamerican NUS include verdolagas, quelite cenizo, quintoniles, huauhzontles, squash/zucchini flowers, beans tendrils and squash itself, among others., amounting to more than 200 species. These foods are an important source of macro, micronutrients, phytochemicals and molecules that should provide consumers with a healthy diet. The think-tank that met in a closed workshop last August, 2013 produced an analysis and diagnostic of this situation with an interdisciplinary scope that allowed to propose a series of actions with the purpose of revaluating these important species of the Mesoamerican diet that even today are cultivated or collected in the family plots (milpas), thanks to the farmers who respect tradition.

Keywords: family plots, traditional diet, ”quelites”, neglected and underutilized species, NUS