A survey of wild plant species for food use in Sicily (Italy) - results of a 3-year study in four Regional Parks

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Abstract

Background: This paper illustrates the results of a study carried out in four Regional Parks of Sicily (Italy), concerningtraditional knowledge on food use of wild plant species. The main aims of the paper were: (i) to verify which wild plantspecies are used for food purpose in the local culture based on information provided by elderly inhabitants (ii) to verifythe presence of wild plant species which have not been cited for food use in previous studies in the Mediterraneanarea (iii) to determine how many of the most frequently cited wild plant species are cultivated by the local populationin the four Sicilian Parks.Methods: Semi-structured interviews were carried out in the local communities of the four Regional Parks between2007 and 2010. A total of 802 people over the age of 60 were interviewed. Cultural Importance Index was used toevaluate the level of importance given to any wild plant species as a food in the local culture. The level of appreciationof the wild plant species and the possible effects of wild plants on human health were also investigated.Results: Local communities currently use a total number of 119 wild species for food purposes. Asteraceae andBrassicaceae were the most represented botanical families. In each of the four Sicilian Parks, Cichorium intybus L. andFoeniculum vulgare Mill. obtained the highest Cultural Importance Index values. Sixty-four species were indicated asalso having medicinal properties. Leaves and other aerial plant parts were the parts most-used for the preparation oftraditional recipes.Conclusions: The research shows that the level of traditional knowledge on the food uses of wild plant species in thestudy area is poor. The food uses of plants which are most likely to survive over time are those at the interface of foodand medicine. Further agronomic studies are needed for a number of species with a view to introducing them as acrop into non-intensive agricultural systems.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-24
Numero di pagine24
RivistaJournal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
Volume12
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

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Sicily
Edible Plants
wild plants
Italy
food
Food
Aerial Plant Components
Chicory
Cichorium intybus
Asteraceae
medicinal properties
indigenous knowledge
Surveys and Questionnaires
plant anatomy
inhabitant
community
human health
interviews
medicine
Medicine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Cultural Studies
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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@article{30da6ec587304811bb6a71484ae960fe,
title = "A survey of wild plant species for food use in Sicily (Italy) - results of a 3-year study in four Regional Parks",
abstract = "Background: This paper illustrates the results of a study carried out in four Regional Parks of Sicily (Italy), concerningtraditional knowledge on food use of wild plant species. The main aims of the paper were: (i) to verify which wild plantspecies are used for food purpose in the local culture based on information provided by elderly inhabitants (ii) to verifythe presence of wild plant species which have not been cited for food use in previous studies in the Mediterraneanarea (iii) to determine how many of the most frequently cited wild plant species are cultivated by the local populationin the four Sicilian Parks.Methods: Semi-structured interviews were carried out in the local communities of the four Regional Parks between2007 and 2010. A total of 802 people over the age of 60 were interviewed. Cultural Importance Index was used toevaluate the level of importance given to any wild plant species as a food in the local culture. The level of appreciationof the wild plant species and the possible effects of wild plants on human health were also investigated.Results: Local communities currently use a total number of 119 wild species for food purposes. Asteraceae andBrassicaceae were the most represented botanical families. In each of the four Sicilian Parks, Cichorium intybus L. andFoeniculum vulgare Mill. obtained the highest Cultural Importance Index values. Sixty-four species were indicated asalso having medicinal properties. Leaves and other aerial plant parts were the parts most-used for the preparation oftraditional recipes.Conclusions: The research shows that the level of traditional knowledge on the food uses of wild plant species in thestudy area is poor. The food uses of plants which are most likely to survive over time are those at the interface of foodand medicine. Further agronomic studies are needed for a number of species with a view to introducing them as acrop into non-intensive agricultural systems.",
author = "Ignazio Cammalleri and Mario Licata and Teresa Tuttolomondo and Claudio Leto and {La Bella}, Salvatore and Giuseppe Virga and Giuseppe Bonsangue",
year = "2016",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
pages = "1--24",
journal = "Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine",
issn = "1746-4269",
publisher = "BioMed Central",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - A survey of wild plant species for food use in Sicily (Italy) - results of a 3-year study in four Regional Parks

AU - Cammalleri, Ignazio

AU - Licata, Mario

AU - Tuttolomondo, Teresa

AU - Leto, Claudio

AU - La Bella, Salvatore

AU - Virga, Giuseppe

AU - Bonsangue, Giuseppe

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Background: This paper illustrates the results of a study carried out in four Regional Parks of Sicily (Italy), concerningtraditional knowledge on food use of wild plant species. The main aims of the paper were: (i) to verify which wild plantspecies are used for food purpose in the local culture based on information provided by elderly inhabitants (ii) to verifythe presence of wild plant species which have not been cited for food use in previous studies in the Mediterraneanarea (iii) to determine how many of the most frequently cited wild plant species are cultivated by the local populationin the four Sicilian Parks.Methods: Semi-structured interviews were carried out in the local communities of the four Regional Parks between2007 and 2010. A total of 802 people over the age of 60 were interviewed. Cultural Importance Index was used toevaluate the level of importance given to any wild plant species as a food in the local culture. The level of appreciationof the wild plant species and the possible effects of wild plants on human health were also investigated.Results: Local communities currently use a total number of 119 wild species for food purposes. Asteraceae andBrassicaceae were the most represented botanical families. In each of the four Sicilian Parks, Cichorium intybus L. andFoeniculum vulgare Mill. obtained the highest Cultural Importance Index values. Sixty-four species were indicated asalso having medicinal properties. Leaves and other aerial plant parts were the parts most-used for the preparation oftraditional recipes.Conclusions: The research shows that the level of traditional knowledge on the food uses of wild plant species in thestudy area is poor. The food uses of plants which are most likely to survive over time are those at the interface of foodand medicine. Further agronomic studies are needed for a number of species with a view to introducing them as acrop into non-intensive agricultural systems.

AB - Background: This paper illustrates the results of a study carried out in four Regional Parks of Sicily (Italy), concerningtraditional knowledge on food use of wild plant species. The main aims of the paper were: (i) to verify which wild plantspecies are used for food purpose in the local culture based on information provided by elderly inhabitants (ii) to verifythe presence of wild plant species which have not been cited for food use in previous studies in the Mediterraneanarea (iii) to determine how many of the most frequently cited wild plant species are cultivated by the local populationin the four Sicilian Parks.Methods: Semi-structured interviews were carried out in the local communities of the four Regional Parks between2007 and 2010. A total of 802 people over the age of 60 were interviewed. Cultural Importance Index was used toevaluate the level of importance given to any wild plant species as a food in the local culture. The level of appreciationof the wild plant species and the possible effects of wild plants on human health were also investigated.Results: Local communities currently use a total number of 119 wild species for food purposes. Asteraceae andBrassicaceae were the most represented botanical families. In each of the four Sicilian Parks, Cichorium intybus L. andFoeniculum vulgare Mill. obtained the highest Cultural Importance Index values. Sixty-four species were indicated asalso having medicinal properties. Leaves and other aerial plant parts were the parts most-used for the preparation oftraditional recipes.Conclusions: The research shows that the level of traditional knowledge on the food uses of wild plant species in thestudy area is poor. The food uses of plants which are most likely to survive over time are those at the interface of foodand medicine. Further agronomic studies are needed for a number of species with a view to introducing them as acrop into non-intensive agricultural systems.

UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10447/208391

M3 - Article

VL - 12

SP - 1

EP - 24

JO - Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine

JF - Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine

SN - 1746-4269

ER -