Weeds as important vegetables for farmers

Gisella S. Cruz-Garcia, Lisa L. Price

Abstract


The objective of this study was to investigate the multiple uses and cognitive importance of edible weeds in Northeast Thailand. Research methods included focus group discussions and freelistings. A total of 43 weeds consumed as vegetable were reported, including economic, naturalized, agricultural and environmental weeds. The weedy vegetables varied considerably on edible parts, presenting both reproductive (flowers, fruits and seeds) and vegetative organs (shoots, leaves, flower stalks, stems or the whole aerial part). The results of this study show that weedy vegetables are an important resource for rice farmers in this region, not only as a food but also because of the multiple additional uses they have, especially as medicine. The fact that the highest Cognitive Salience Index (CSI) scores of all wild vegetables freelisted corresponded to weeds, reinforces the assertion that weeds are culturally cognitively important for local farmers as a vegetable source. This is a key finding, given that these species are targets of common pesticides used in this region.

Keywords


weed; wild food plant; vegetable; salience use; edible part; Thailand; Southeast Asia

Full Text:

PDF

References


Duke JA. Handbook of edible weeds. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 1992.

Rapoport EH, Raffaele E, Ghermandi L, Margutti L. Edible weeds: a scarcely used resource. Bull Ecol Soc Am. 1995;76(3):163–166. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/20167947

Ogle BM, Grivetti LE. Legacy of the chameleon: edible wild plants in the Kindom of Swaziland, Southern Africa. A cultural, ecological, nutritional study. Part II – demographics, species availability and dietary use, analysis by ecological zone. Ecol Food Nutr. 1985;17(1):1–30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03670244.1985.9990879

Price L, Ogle BM. Gathered indigenous vegetables in Mainland Southeast Asia: a gender asset. In: Resurreccion BP, Elmhirst R, editors. Gender and natural resource management livelihoods, mobility and interventions. London: Earthscan; 2008. p. 213–242.

Grivetti LE, Frentzel CJ, Ginsberg KE, Howell KL, Ogle BM. Bush foods and edible weeds of agriculture: perspectives on dietary use of wild plants in Africa, their role in maintaining human nutritional status and implications for agricultural development. In: Akhtar R, editor. Health and disease in tropical Africa: geographical and medical viewpoints. London: Harwood Academic Publishers; 1987. p. 51–81.

Tanji A. Edible weeds in Morocco. Weed Technol. 1995;9(3):617–620.

Díaz-Betancourt M, Ghermandi L, Ladio A, López-Moreno I, Raffaele E, Rapoport E. Weeds as a source for human consumption. A comparison between tropical and temperate Latin America. Rev Biol Trop. 1999;47(3):329–338.

Casas A, Del Carmen Vázquez M, Viveros JL, Caballero J. Plant management among the Nahua and the Mixtec in the Balsas River Basin, Mexico: an ethnobotanical approach to the study of plant domestication. Hum Ecol. 1996;24(4):455–478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02168862

Vieyra-Odilon L, Vibrans H. Weeds as crops: the value of maize field weeds in the Valley of Toluca, Mexico. Econ Bot. 2001;55(3):426–443.

Linares Mazari E, Aguirre J. Los quelites, un tesoro culinario. México: National Autonomous University of Mexico; 1992.

Etkin NL. The cull of the wild. In: Etkin NL, editor. Eating on the wild side: the pharmacologic, ecologic, and social implications of using noncultigens. Tucson AZ: University of Arizona Press; 1994. p. 1–21.

Etkin NL, Ross P. Pharmacologic implications of “wild”plants in Hausa diet. In: Etkin NL, editor. Eating on the wild side: the pharmacologic, ecologic, and social implications of using noncultigens. Tucson AZ: University of Arizona Press; 1994. p. 85–101.

Galt AH, Galt JW. Peasant use of some wild plants on the island of Pantelleria, Sicily. Econ Bot. 1978;32(1):20–26.

Pieroni A. Gathered wild food plants in the upper valley of the Serchio River (Garfagnana), Central Italy. Econ Bot. 1999;53(3):327–341. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02866645

Turner NJ, Łuczaj ŁJ, Migliorini P, Pieroni A, Dreon AL, Sacchetti LE, et al. Edible and tended wild plants, traditional ecological knowledge and agroecology. Cr Rev Plant Sci. 2011;30(1–2):198–225. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07352689.2011.554492

Marcelino LR, Inocencio AI, Zaballa CC, Paller EC. Bicol's weed recipes. Philipp J Weed Sci. 2005;23:40–43.

Sinha R, Lakra V. Edible weeds of tribals of Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal. Indian J Tradit Know. 2007;6(1):217–222.

Pemberton RW, Lee NS. Wild food plants in South Korea; market presence, new crops, and exports to the United States. Econ Bot. 1996;50(1):57–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02862113

Maneechote C. Utilization of weeds and their relatives as resources in Thailand. In: Kim KU, Shin DH, Lee IJ, editors. Utility of weeds and their relatives as resources. Daegu: Kyungpook National University; 2007. p. 107–121.

Datta SC, Banerjee AK. Useful weeds of West Bengal rice fields. Econ Bot. 1978;32(3):297–310. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02864704

Kosaka Y, Takeda S, Sithirajvongsa S, Xaydala K. Plant diversity in paddy fields in relation to agricultural practices in Savannakhet Province, Laos. Econ Bot. 2006;60(1):49–61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1663/0013-0001(2006)60[49:PDIPFI]2.0.CO;2

Vongsaroj P, Nuntasomsaran P. Weed utilization in Thailand. Proceedings II of the 17th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference “Weeds and environmental impact”, 22–27 November, 1999. Bangkok: The Organisation of the 17th APWSS Conference; 1999.

Dalodom A. Weed technology in the 2000. Good agricultural year in Thailand. Proceedings II of the 17th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference “Weeds and environmental impact”, 22–27 November, 1999. Bangkok: The Organisation of the 17th APWSS Conference; 1999.

van Chin D. Utilization of weeds in Vietnam. Proceedings II of the 17th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference “Weeds and environmental impact”, 22–27 November, 1999. Bangkok: The Organisation of the 17th APWSS Conference; 1999.

Kim KU, Shin DH, Lee IJ, editors. Utility of weeds and their relatives as resources. Daegu: Kyungpook National University; 2007.

Global compendium of weeds [Internet]. Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR). 2007 [cited 2010 Dec 8]; Available from: http://www.hear.org/gcw/

Moody K. Weeds reported in rice in South and Southeast Asia. Los Baños: International Rice Research Institute; 1989.

Cruz-Garcia GS, Price LL. Ethnobotanical investigation of “wild” food plants used by rice farmers in Kalasin, Northeast Thailand. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2011;7(1):33. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-7-33

Grandstaff S, Grandstaff TB, Rathakette P, Thomas DE, Thomas JK. Trees in paddy fields in Northeast Thailand. In: Marten GG, editor. Traditional agriculture in Southeast Asia: a human ecology perspective. London: Westview Press; 1986. p. 273–292.

Lyndon W, Yongvanit S. Biological diversity and community lore in Northeastern Thailand. J Ethnobiol. 1995;15(1):71–87.

Moreno-Black G, Price L. The marketing of gathered food as an economic strategy of women in Northeastern Thailand. Hum Organ. 1993;52(4):398–404.

Price LL. Wild plant food in agricultural environments: a study of occurrence, management, and gathering rights in Northeast Thailand. Hum Organ. 1997;56(2):209–221.

Somnasang P, Moreno-Black G. Knowing, gathering and eating: knowledge and attitudes about wild food in an Asian village in Northeastern Thailand. J Ethnobiol. 2000;20(2):197–216.

Coomklang A, Sakulcoo S, Prakanong R. Food dishes in Northeast Thailand. Bangkok: Institute for Agricultural Training; 2000.

Bernard HR. Research methods in anthropology. Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Walnut Creek CA: Altamira Press; 2002.

Pelto PJ, Pelto GH. Anthropological research: the structure of inquiry. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1996.

Moreno-Black G, Somnasang P, Thamthawan S. Women in Northeastern Thailand: preservers of botanical diversity. Indigenous Knowledge and Development Monitor. 1994;2(3):24.

Somnasang P. Indigenous food use: gender issues in rural Northeast Thailand [PhD thesis]. Eugene OR: University of Oregon; 1996.

Price L. Farm women's rights and roles in wild plant food gathering and management in North-East Thailand. In: Howard PL, editor. Women & plants: gender relations in biodiversity management and conservation. New York NY: Zed Books; 2003. p. 101–114.

Borgatti S. Elicitation techniques for cultural domain analysis. In: Schensul JJ, Le Compte MD, Nastasi BK, Borgatti SP, editors. Enhanced ethnographic methods: audiovisual techniques, focussed group interviews and elicitation techniques. Walnut Creek CA: AltaMira Press; 1999. p. 115–151.

Sutrop U. List task and a cognitive salience index. Field Methods. 2001;13(3):263–276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1525822X0101300303

National Statistical Office of Thailand. The 2000 population and housing census. Kalasin: National Statistical Office; 2001.

Price L. Wild food plants in farming environments with special reference to Northeast Thailand, food as functional and medicinal, and the social roles of women. In: Pieroni A, Price LL, editors. Eating and healing: traditional food as medicine. New York NY: Food Products Press; 2006. p. 65–99.

Ogle BM, Tuyet HT, Duyet HN, Xuan Dung NN. Food, feed or medicine: the multiple functions of edible wild plants in Vietnam. Econ Bot. 2003;57(1):103–117. http://dx.doi.org/10.1663/0013-0001(2003)057[0103:FFOMTM]2.0.CO;2

Pieroni A, Quave CL. Functional foods or food medicines? On the consumption of wild plants among Albanians and Southern Italians in Lucania. In: Pieroni A, Price LL, editors. Eating and healing: traditional food as medicine. New York NY: Food Products Press; 2006. p. 101–129.

Vandebroek I, Sanca S. Food medicines in the Bolivian Andes (Apillapampa, Cochabamba Department). In: Pieroni A, Price LL, editors. Eating and healing: traditional food as medicine. New York NY: Food Products Press; 2006. p. 273–295.

Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jamous RM, Al-Shafie JH, Elgharabah WA, Kherfan FA, Qarariah KH, et al. Traditional knowledge of wild edible plants used in Palestine (Northern West Bank): A comparative study. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2008;4(1):13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-4-13

Wujisguleng W, Khasbagen K. An integrated assessment of wild vegetable resources in Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, China. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2010;6(1):34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-6-34

Geldenhuys CJ. Weeds or useful medicinal plants in the rural home garden? Food Nutr Bull. 2007;28(2 suppl):392–397.

Oudhia PP. Common rice weeds used for first aid by Chhattisgarh farmers. Agric Sci Dig. 2001;21(4):273–274.

Hu SY. Food plants of China. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press; 2005.

Kang Y, Łuczaj Ł, Ye S, Zhang S, Kang J. Wild food plants and wild edible fungi of Heihe valley (Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, central China): herbophilia and indifference to fruits and mushrooms. Acta Soc Bot Pol. 2012;81(4):405–413. http://dx.doi.org/10.5586/asbp.2012.044