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From economic survival to recreation: contemporary uses of wild food and medicine in rural Sweden, Ukraine and NW Russia

Stryamets, Natalya and Elbakidze, Marine and Ceuterick, Melissa and Angelstam, Per and Axelsson, Robert (2015). From economic survival to recreation: contemporary uses of wild food and medicine in rural Sweden, Ukraine and NW Russia. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 11:53, 1-19
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13002-015-0036-0

Abstract

Background: There are many ethnobotanical studies on the use of wild plants and mushrooms for food and medicinal treatment in Europe. However, there is a lack of comparative ethnobotanical research on the role of non-wood forest products (NWFPs) as wild food and medicine in local livelihoods in countries with different socio-economic conditions. The aim of this study was to compare the present use of wild food and medicine in three places representing different stages of socio-economic development in Europe. Specifically we explore which plant and fungi species people use for food and medicine in three selected rural regions of Sweden, Ukraine and the Russian Federation.Methods: We studied the current use of NWFPs for food and medicine in three rural areas that represent a gradient in economic development (as indicated by the World Bank), i. e., Smaland high plain (south Sweden), Roztochya (western Ukraine), and Kortkeros (Komi Republic in North West Russia). All areas were characterised by (a) predominating rural residency, (b) high forest coverage, and (c) free access to NWFPs. A total of 205 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with local residents in the three study areas. The collected NWFPs data included (1) the species that are used; (2) the amount harvested, (3) uses and practices (4) changes over time, (5) sources of knowledge regarding the use of NWFPs as wild food and medicine and (6) traditional recipes.Results: In Sweden 11 species of wild plant and fungi species were used as food, and no plant species were used for medicinal purposes. In Ukraine the present use of NWFPs included 26 wild foods and 60 medicinal species, while in Russia 36 food and 44 medicinal species were reported.Conclusions: In the economically less developed rural areas of Ukraine and Russia, the use of NWFPs continues to be an important part of livelihoods, both as a source of income and for domestic use as food and medicine. In Sweden the collection of wild food has become mainly a recreational activity and the use of medicinal plants is no longer prevalent among our respondents. This leads us to suggest that the consumption of wild food and medicine is influenced by the socio-economic situation in a country.

Authors/Creators:Stryamets, Natalya and Elbakidze, Marine and Ceuterick, Melissa and Angelstam, Per and Axelsson, Robert
Title:From economic survival to recreation: contemporary uses of wild food and medicine in rural Sweden, Ukraine and NW Russia
Series/Journal:Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (1746-4269)
Year of publishing :2015
Volume:11
Number:53
Page range:1-19
Number of Pages:18
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1746-4269
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:X Agricola extesions > X38 Human medicine, health, and safety
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 3 Medical and Health Sciences > 301 Basic Medicine > Other Basic Medicine
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 3 Medical and Health Sciences > 301 Basic Medicine > Pharmaceutical Sciences
Keywords:Non-wood forest products, Traditional uses, Edible plants, Europe, Conservation
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3995
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3995
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000356580900001
ID Code:14091
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > School for Forest Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:28 Feb 2017 13:58
Metadata Last Modified:28 Feb 2017 13:58

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