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MLCU spreads awareness on indigenous food system

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SHILLONG, Oct 3: The Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU) celebrated the National Nutrition Month or ‘Rashtriya Poshan Maah’ with a series of programmes and activities on the theme ‘Embracing Indigenous People’s Food System’ in a bid to create awareness on the role of nutrition in different stages of life with emphasis on dietary diversity and revitalising the use of traditional food for a healthy life.
The programme was organised by Department of Nutrition and Dietetics of the University.
Collaborating with the Social Services Center (SSC), Laitumkhrah, the department organised an agrobiodiversity walk in Shakhoikuna, Ri-Bhoi on September 22 for students to identify wild edibles and medicinal plants.
Local expert R Makri not only showed students but also explained the preparation methods for the wild edibles.
The department conducted a webinar on September 23 featuring Dr Jamuna Prakash, retired professor of University of Mysore, as the speaker.
She spoke on the topic ‘Traditional Indian Food system: A Health and Nutrition Prospective’ with stress on the dietary diversification of the food system and the age-old traditions of preparing food which are now advocated by scientists. More than 60 people participated in the webinar.
On September 27, the department conducted a seminar in keeping with the theme, in which Senior Research Associate, Northeast Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS), Chenxiang Rimchi N Marak, was the guest speaker.
Marak stated that the recent government data showed a high prevalence of “hidden hunger” and malnutrition in Meghalaya.
Hidden hunger is one form of malnutrition where the body lacks vital minerals and vitamins. She highlighted that the forest in the Northeast has rich sources of wild edibles that are rich in minerals and vitamins, and they hold the solution to curb malnutrition in people.

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