New study in Nature Food


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We examined monthly variation in women’s wild food consumption in two districts in India. After identifying that women most frequently consumed foods from forests and common lands in June and July, we estimated the contribution of wild food consumption to dietary diversity (a measure of diet quality), in these months. We used matching — a rigorous, quasi-experimental method — and regression analysis to isolate the causal relationship between wild food consumption and dietary diversity. Women who consumed wild foods were matched to women who did not consume wild foods on key socioeconomic, dietary and forest-level covariates – to ensure that differences in dietary diversity could be attributed to wild food consumption.

We found that women who consumed wild foods had higher average dietary diversity. In June, those women consumed an extra 0.34 food groups and, in July, they consumed an extra 0.30 food groups compared to women who did not consume wild foods.