Foraging for the future: traditional culinary uses of wild plants in the Western Himalayas–Kashmir Valley (India)

Abstract

Background

In the intricate tapestry of food security, wild food species stand as pillars, nourishing millions in low-income communities, and reflecting the resilience and adaptability of human societies. Their significance extends beyond mere sustenance, intertwining with cultural traditions and local knowledge systems, underscoring the importance of preserving biodiversity and traditional practices for sustainable livelihoods.

Methods

The present study, conducted between February 2022 and August 2023 along the Line of Control in India’s Kashmir Valley, employed a rigorous data collection encompassing semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and specific field observations facilitated through a snowball sampling technique.

Results and discussion

The comprehensive inventory includes 108 edible plant and fungal species from 48 taxonomic families, with Rosaceae (N = 11) standing out. Young and soft leaves (N = 60) are an important component of various culinary preparations, with vegetables (N = 65) being the main use, followed by fruits (N = 19). This use is seasonal, with collection peaks in March–April and June–August (N = 12). The study also highlights the importance of use value (UV), with Portulaca oleracea standing out as the plant taxon (UV = 0.61), while Asyneuma thomsoni has the lowest use value (UV = 0.15). Many species such as Senecio chrysanthemoides, Asperugo procumbens, Asyneuma thomsoni, and Potentilla nepalensis were classified as new for gastronomic use. Furthermore, the study underlines the great cultural importance of mushrooms such as Morchella esculenta and Geopora arenicola in influencing social hierarchies within the community. However, the transmission of traditional knowledge across generations is declining in the region. At the same time, the conservation of endangered plant species on the IUCN Red List, such as Trillium govanianum, Taxus wallichiana, Saussurea costus, and Podophyllum hexandrum, requires immediate attention.

Conclusion

Conservation measures should be prioritized, and proactive remedial action is needed. Further research into the nutritional value of these edible species could pave the way for their commercial cultivation, which would mean potential economic growth for local communities, make an important contribution to food security in the area under study, and contribute to scientific progress.

Vernacular branding: sustaining city identity through vernacular architecture of indigenous villages

Abstract

This qualitative research explores the intricate relationship between city branding and vernacular architecture within the context of indigenous villages, focusing on sustaining city identity. Leveraging data from various tourism sources, traveler blogs, and big social media data, the study identifies the most sought-after indigenous village destinations and corroborates visitor experiences. In-depth interviews further enrich and verify the collected data, incorporating research from 19 indigenous villages across Indonesia, with a specific focus on two case studies: Indigenous villages Trusmi in Cirebon, West Java, and Kajang in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The research uncovers a novel substantive theory in city branding, highlighting the profound connection between vernacular architecture and the perception of a city's identity. Indigenous villages, renowned for their rich cultural heritage, offer a unique lens through which to examine this symbiotic relationship. By reviewing the architectural elements of these villages and understanding how they contribute to the city's overall image, this study sheds light on innovative approaches to city branding. One of the significant findings of this research is the development of the "vernacular branding" theory, which elucidates how indigenous vernacular architecture plays a pivotal role in shaping a city's brand identity. Through an interdisciplinary lens that merges architecture, tourism, and cultural preservation, this research informs urban planners, policymakers, and city marketers about the potential of incorporating vernacular architecture as a cornerstone of city branding strategies. The findings the importance of nurturing indigenous villages as authentic cultural assets that sustain their identity and contribute significantly to the broader narrative of urban branding and city development.

Signs of Dysconscious Racism and Xenophobiaism in Knowledge Production and the Formation of Academic Researchers: A National Study

Abstract

The relation of social ethics to knowledge production is explored through a study about academic research enquiry on minoritised and racialised populations. Despite social change related to migration and ethnicity being a feature of contemporary Northern Ireland, local dynamics and actors seemed under-studied by its research-intensive ‘anchor universities’. To explore this, a critical discourse analysis of published research outputs (n = 200) and related authors’ narratives (n = 32) are interpreted within this paper through conceptualisations of consciousness. Insiders’ perspectives on the influences and structures of the research journey demonstrate the ways in which research cultures (mis)shape the politics of representation, authorship and ethicality. Societal and political disregard for the new publics, reproduced within universities’ hidden curriculum, has been negotiated and to some extent resisted in the research practices of those marginalised (such as women academics), those entering the system (migrant academics), and those local-born whose referential frames were developed external to local universities. Of concern is that the few research enablers were characterised by techno-rationality and doublespeak, impoverishing the depth of theorisation, complexity and intellectual debate necessary for challenging the existing dysconscious racism and xenophobiaism of the social imaginary.

The socioeconomic drivers of pesticide use in floriculture: insights from greenhouse rose production in Ecuador

Abstract

While a significant body of research has addressed the negative health implications of the use of pesticides in flower production, little attention has been paid to the socioeconomic factors shaping operators’ decisions on the amount and type of pesticides to be applied. With data from the Continuous Area and Agricultural Production Survey (ESPAC) 2021, this paper analyzed the socioeconomic determinants of the amounts of pesticides used in rose production in Ecuador. The results of Tobit models reflect that more educated operators tend to use higher amounts of—less toxic—Class III pesticides, while farmers with low education endowments apply higher amounts of—more toxic—Class II pesticides. Comparatively, larger farms use more pesticides, regardless of biological target and toxicological category. Providing operators with technical education about pests and pesticides management, promoting environmental awareness among operators and enforcement of the regulatory body concerning pesticides use are explored as alternatives to reduce the use of pesticides in flower production.

A Public Participation GIS for Infrastructure Assessment in Rural Human Settlements

Abstract

A significant part of the rural problems is related to infrastructure issues, which can cause economic, cultural, and social problems in villages or rural human settlements. Various methods for evaluating infrastructure issues are currently used traditionally in many countries. However, due to the rapid growth and range of infrastructure problems in the villages, as well as the need for immediate and optimal handling of the problems in the villages, the need for a tool to record and monitor the problems as best as possible is felt more than ever. Today, with the advancement of Geographic Information System (GIS) and web-based tools, a quick and easy platform for participatory and collaborative spatial problem solving has been provided at any place, at any time, and with any means. The current research involves the evaluation of infrastructures in rural human settlements using the Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) tool. The research consists of three main stages: (1) the needs assessment of the PPGIS to solve the infrastructure problems of rural human settlements, (2) the design of the system based on the needs assessment, and (3) the evaluation of the usability of the designed system in the villages. To achieve the above goals, first, a system needs assessment questionnaire was designed and distributed in the villages of Shahriar County, Tehran province, Iran. Then, based on the needs assessment results, a PPGIS was designed and implemented in the villages of Eskman, Dehshad Bala, Razi Abad Bayan, and Asil Abad. The people of these villages were invited to report their problems in a location-based manner through the PPGIS tool and finally to complete the questionnaire related to the system’s usability. The results show that 24% reported that water and sewage problems were the highest infrastructure problems. Regarding using the system’s features, 92% of the participants used point features to report problems, and 20% uploaded their problem reports along with a photo. The results of the evaluation of the system’s usability show that despite the willingness of the villagers to use the system, the need for training in the use of maps and geographic information tools, simplifying and improving the user interface, creating a culture in the field of using geographic information systems to participate in reporting problems is felt.

Prevalence of diabetes among Indigenous women in Guatemala: a retrospective chart review

Abstract

Objective

The objective of this study is to investigate the prevalence of diabetes in a clinical population of primarily Indigenous women in Guatemala.

Results

In a retrospective chart review of a clinical program serving 13,643 primarily Indigenous women in Guatemala, crude diabetes prevalence was 8.3% (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 7.8 to 8.7) and age-adjusted diabetes prevalence was 7.9% (95% CI: 7.3 to 8.5). Among those with diabetes, 37.9% (95% CI: 35.1 to 40.8) of women were undiagnosed. Diabetes prevalence rose significantly with increasing age and was significantly higher among women with obesity (risk ratio: 1.4 [95% CI: 1.1 to 1.8]) and among women least likely to be in poverty (risk ratio: 2.0 [95% CI: 1.5 to 2.6]). Diabetes prevalence was significantly lower among Indigenous women (risk ratio: 0.7 [95% CI: 0.6 to 0.9]) and among women who spoke Mayan languages rather than Spanish (risk ratio: 0.7 [95% CI: 0.6 to 0.9]). There was no significant difference in diabetes prevalence between women who lived in rural settings and women who lived in urban settings.

Preserving culinary heritage and promoting sustainability: an overview of botanical nutrition regarding herbs and spices used on the territory of today’s Cameroon

Abstract

Herbs and spices are not merely condiments; they are the essence of our cultural heritage, infusing our cuisine with flavors that do more than tantalize the palate, they offer a spectrum of health benefits. This study meticulously reviews 59 botanicals, 44 spices and 15 herbs, cherished in Cameroon, presenting a treasure trove of ethnobotanical and ethnonutritional wisdom. Fruits emerge as the most favored part of plants used in spices. Herbs often hail from Asia and Europe, and spices from the lush tropics and subtropics of Africa. This review casts a spotlight on the critical role these plants play in culinary artistry and health promotion, thanks to their rich array of bioactive compounds. It navigates through the complexities of sustainable management and conservation, advocating for the longevity of these botanicals for the enrichment of future generations. The paper calls for rigorous scientific research to substantiate the health claims associated with these natural wonders and promotes sustainable harvesting and market expansion. It underscores the necessity of educating the public about the value of these plants. In conclusion, the paper urges continued research into the scientific validation of health benefits, the adoption of sustainable practices, the exploration of value-added products, market development strategies, and heightened public awareness. This research aims to lay a robust foundation for future endeavors, aspiring to holistically manage health and well-being through the sustainable harnessing of these invaluable natural resources.

The role of refutation texts in the revision of Ecuadorian Psychology and Nursing college students’ misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease

Abstract

Misconceptions or inaccurate ideas about Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can be found in college students from health-related careers. Refutation texts explicitly introduce inaccurate information, refute it, and introduce alternative, more accurate information. This study examined the role of refutation texts in revising misconceptions about AD in Ecuadorian Psychology and Nursing college students. Eighty undergraduate students completed a questionnaire about misconceptions on AD before and after reading eight texts in one of two conditions: refutation (texts that corrected a misconception following a refutational structure) or control (texts that corrected the misconception with no refutational structure). As a result, participants read the spillover sentence (next to the refutation) faster and improved performance on a misconceptions’ posttest questionnaire in the refutation compared to the control condition. These results highlight the effectiveness of refutation texts in promoting the revision of inaccurate ideas about AD in college students during reading and 1 week later.

The role of refutation texts in the revision of Ecuadorian Psychology and Nursing college students’ misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease

Abstract

Misconceptions or inaccurate ideas about Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can be found in college students from health-related careers. Refutation texts explicitly introduce inaccurate information, refute it, and introduce alternative, more accurate information. This study examined the role of refutation texts in revising misconceptions about AD in Ecuadorian Psychology and Nursing college students. Eighty undergraduate students completed a questionnaire about misconceptions on AD before and after reading eight texts in one of two conditions: refutation (texts that corrected a misconception following a refutational structure) or control (texts that corrected the misconception with no refutational structure). As a result, participants read the spillover sentence (next to the refutation) faster and improved performance on a misconceptions’ posttest questionnaire in the refutation compared to the control condition. These results highlight the effectiveness of refutation texts in promoting the revision of inaccurate ideas about AD in college students during reading and 1 week later.

Freedom Waived: A Systematic Review of Research on People in Prison Who Forgo the Opportunity for Release on Parole

Abstract

This paper presents a systematic review of 18 studies about people in prison who forgo the opportunity for parole. Employing a Mixed Methods Research Synthesis, the review encompasses qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods studies that identify the factors and motivating reasons associated with parole waiver decisions, as well as recidivism outcomes for individuals who decide to forgo parole. Findings reveal a predominance of quantitative research that suggests that individuals who waive parole tend to be high-risk, violent offenders who are serving lengthy sentences. They are male, Indigenous, with a history of mental illness and/or substance addiction, and prior parole experience. Motivating reasons for avoiding parole include perceptions that prison is easier than parole and fear of parole denial and re-entry barriers. Studies also report less favourable recidivism outcomes for ‘maxed-out’ offenders. The study emphasises the necessity for additional in-depth research to understand motives and disincentives influencing parole engagement decisions. In particular, the need for research outside of North America and that uses sources other than administrative data is identified.