Presentation on theme: "IRREVERSIBLE LOSS: THREATS TO HUMAN HEALTH &"— Presentation transcript:
1 IRREVERSIBLE LOSS: THREATS TO HUMAN HEALTH & FOOD SECURITYZabta K. ShinwariQuaid-i-Azam University
2 Scenario of Natural Resource A large proportion of species in all assessed taxa are currently threatened with extinction (12% of birds, 23% of mammals, 32% of amphibians; 31% of gymnosperms; 33% of corals) and the best estimate of population trends of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish indicates that since 1970 global population sizes have declined by almost 30%.Symbionts of other organisms, extinction of theirhosts can cause their extinction too.Loh, J. et al. in 2010 and Beyond: Rising to the Biodiversity Challenge (ed. Loh, J.) (Living Planet Index, WWF, 2008).
3 Reduced Biodiversity unable to---- If ecosystems with reduced biodiversity are less able to provide the ecosystem services—such as carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling and resistance to drought—on which humans rely.Ecosystem functions decline as biodiversity is lost. Reduced disease transmission is an important ecosystem service provided by high biodiversity.(Naeem et al. 2009, Oxford University Press).
4 Impacts of biodiversity on the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases Current unprecedented declines in biodiversity reduce the ability of ecological communities to provide many fundamental ecosystem services.Reduced biodiversity affects the transmission of infectious diseases of humans, other animals and plants.Evidence indicates that biodiversity loss frequently increases disease transmission.Areas of naturally high biodiversity may serve as a source pool for new pathogens.Current evidence indicates that preserving intact ecosystems and their endemic biodiversity should generally reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases.Keesing et al., Nature vol. 468: Dec., 2010
5 Emerging Disease Events----- Between 1940 and 2004, over 300 emerging disease events were identified in humans around the world. Concomitantly, other emerging infectious diseases also appeared in wildlife, domesticated animals, and crop and wild plants. Emerging infectious diseases include those in which the pathogen has evolved into a new strain within the same host species, for example, through the evolution of drug resistance (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA) or switched to new host species (for example, human immunodeficiency virus or HIV, severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS). In some cases, the switch to new host species is accompanied by a change in geographic range (for example, West Nile virus in the Americas).
6 Drivers and locations of emergence events for zoonotic infectious diseases in humans from 1940–2005. a,Worldwide %age of emergence events caused by each driver; b, Countries in which the emergence events took place, and the drivers of emergence. The size of the circle represents the number of emergence events: for scale, the number of events in the United States was 59. Globally, almost half of these diseases resulted from changes in land use, changes in agricultural and other food production practices, or through wildlife hunting, which suggests that contact rates between humans and other animals are an important underlying cause of zoonotic disease emergence. ‘Other’ includes international travel and commerce, changes in human demographics and behaviour, changes in the medical industry, climate and weather, breakdown of public health measures, and unspecified causes.
7 Biodiversity loss may accelerate --- Infectious disease include a host and a pathogen; often many more species are involved, including additional hosts, vectors and other organisms with which these species interact.West Nile virus is a mosquito-transmitted virus for which several species of passerine birds act as hosts. Three recent studies detected strong correlations between low bird diversity and increased human risk or incidence of West Nile encephalitis in the United StatesAllan, B. F. et al. Ecological correlates of risk and incidence of West Nile virus in the United States. Oecologia 155, 699–708 (2009).
8 Links between diseases and the diversity In human bodies, for example, 90% of all cells are microbial. A number of studies have begun to show links between diseases and the diversity of an organism’s ‘microbiome’. Changes in the composition of microbiomes are frequently associated with infection and disease.A rich microbial community appears to regulate the abundance of endemic microbial species that can become pathogenic when overly abundantTurnbaugh,P. J. et al.Thehumanmicrobiome project.Nature449,804–810(2007).
9 Biodiversity loss may accelerate --- For hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a directly transmitted zoonotic disease, correlational and experimental studies have shown that a lower diversity of small mammals increases the prevalence of hantaviruses in their hosts, thereby increasing risk to humansWith species losses increasing the transmission of two fungal rust pathogens that infect perennial rye grass and other plant species (Source: Roscher et al. Oecologia 153, 173–183 (2007).
10 Biodiversity loss – it will make you sick A new generation of antibiotics, new treatments for thinning bone disease and kidney failure, and new cancer treatments may all stand to be lost unless the world acts to reverse the present alarming rate of biodiversity loss.The natural world holds secrets to the development of new kinds of safer and more powerful pain-killers; treatments for a leading cause of blindness – macular degeneration – and possibly ways of re-growing lost tissues and organs by, for example, studying amphibians, salamanders etc.
11 Amphibian speciesNearly one third of the approximately 6,000 known amphibian species are threatened with extinction.Promising Treatment for Peptic Ulcers Lost (Brooding frog (Rheobatrachus)Alkaloids made by species like the Ecuadorian Poison Frog, which could be the source of a new and novel generation of pain-killers.Antibacterial compounds produced in the skin of frogs and toads such as the African Clawed Frog and South and Central American leaf frogs.One compound, known as ziconotide, is thought to be 1000 times more potent than morphine and has been shown in clinical trials to provide significant pain relief for advanced cancer and AIDS patients. Another cone snail compound has been shown in animal models to protect brain cells from death during times of inadequate blood flow.Marine snail
12 BearsSeveral medical benefits have already arisen from the study of bears, including the development of rsodeoxycholic acid, found in the gall bladders of some bear species such as polar and black bears, into a medicine.The substance is used to prevent the build up of bile during pregnancy; dissolve certain kinds of gallstones; and prolong the life of patients with a specific kind of liver disease, known as primary biliary cirrhosis, giving them more time to find a liver transplant.‘Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity’Oxford University Press, April 2008
13 Pakistan: Geographical Dispersion of Districts 13
14 Forest-based communities Forest communities involved in relatively new initiatives in local forest managementOver-arching goals such as enrichment of forests, poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods.However, in Pakistan - forest –based communities getting marginalized in mainstream development with limited optionsNow exposed to the worst (Extremism vs State actions)Socio-economic context:Widespread povertySubstantial reliance on remittances from migrant household members.Strong dependence on natural resources e.g. fuelwood, wild foods, medicinal plants, thatching grass, construction timber etc.Wild plant products formed an important part of household diet.
15 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ? Conservation goals cannot be divorced from economic development.SOCIALECONOMICENVIRONMENTBiodiversity encompasses the diversity of genes, species and ecosystems.
16 Link of reduce Biodiversity with invasiveness of species Plants with weedy traits become more abundant when plant diversity declines. Consequently, the very species that have traits permitting persistence in degraded and species-poor ecosystems are also more likely to carry high pathogen and vector burdens.Pilgrim, et al., Biol. Conserv. 120, 161–170 (2004).
17 Sustainability – an ethical concept We are trustees, or stewards, of the planet's vast resources and biological diversityWe must learn to make use of the earth's natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable, in a manner that ensures sustainability and equity into the distant reaches of time.This requires full consideration of the potential environmental consequences of all development activitiesWe must temper our actions with moderation and humilityThe true value of nature cannot be expressed in economic termsThis requires a deep understanding of the natural world and its role in humanity's collective development both material and spiritualSustainable environmental management is not a discretionary commitment we can weigh against other competing interestsIt is a fundamental responsibility that must be shouldered, a pre-requisite for spiritual development as well as our physical survival. (based on Bahá'í International Community, Valuing Spirituality in Development. A concept paper written for the World Faiths and Development Dialogue, Lambeth Palace, London, February 1998)
18 JUSTICE AND EQUITYIt is unjust to sacrifice the well-being of the generality of humankind -- and even of the planet itself -- to the advantages which technological breakthroughs can make available to privileged minorities.Only development programmes that are perceived as meeting their needs and as being just and equitable in objective can hope to engage the commitment of the masses of humanity, upon whom implementation depends.(adapted from Baha'i International Community, Prosperity of Humankind)
19 SolidarityThe poor are most vulnerable to climate change and least able to protect themselves.We should consider every human being as a trust of the whole.The goal of wealth creation should be to make everyone wealthy.Voluntary giving is more meaningful and effective than forced redistribution.
20 Moderation in Material Civilization The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men.... The day is approaching when its flame will devour the cities...Bahá'u'lláh ( )Global warming is a perfect illustration of this
21 Contentment – moderate lifestyles All faiths have taught the spiritual value of a simple life and detachment from material things:...be content with little, and be freed from all inordinate desire.(Bahá'u'lláh)What does this imply for the consumer society and its energy consumption?
24 Note correlations in the data. The Ozone HoleGlobal Warming
25 Climate change will bring great environmental changes (Aral Sea, from UNEP, GEO 3) Food insecurityWater shortagesTerrorism, refugeesNatural, economic and social disastersLoss of biodiversity
26 Human Impacts of Climate Change An increase in extreme weather events: floods, droughts, cyclonesLess winter snowfall, melting glaciers, water shortagesChanging conditions for agriculture and forestry, shifting fish stocksSea level rise, flooding low-lying areas and islandsMillions of environmental refugeesHigh costs of mitigation and adaptationGreatest impact on the poor
27 Global warming is driven by our addiction to cheap energy Our industrial economy was built on cheap energy, mostly from fossil fuelsTransportation, communications, trade, agriculture, heating/cooling, consumer lifestyle all depend on energyEnergy demand is rising rapidly and the supply is shrinkingGlobal warming is just one more reason to address the energy challenge urgentlyAdaptation will be extremely expensive
28 Controlling greenhouse gases? UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (Rio, 1992) call for controlsKyoto Protocol on reduction of greenhouse gases – return emissions to 1990 levels by 2012CO2 emissions rose 4.5% in 2004 to 27.5 b tonnes, 26% higher than 1990China and India have doubled CO2 production since 1990, US +20%, Australia +40%US released 5.8, China 4.5, Europe 3.3, India 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2004
29 Fossil energy use is still growing World oil use is growing 1.1%/year, Latin America 2.8%, India 5.4%, China 7.5%From , world oil consumption will rise 56%, with OPEC production doubling, but non- OPEC production has already peakedOil provides 40% of world's primary energyTwo thirds of future energy demand will come from developing countries where 1.6 billion people have no electricity.Energy demand and global warming are on a collision course
30 Religion and the challenges of today - Progressive globalizing of human experience- Loss of faith in the certainties of materialism as its negative impacts become apparent- Lack of faith in traditional religion and failure to find guidance there for living with modernity- Still longing to understand the purpose of existence- Now there is a sudden resurgence of religion, based on a groundswell of anxiety and discontent with spiritual emptiness.- Desperate people without hope are easily attracted to radical, intolerant, fanatical movements.- The world is in the grip of a war of civilizations based on irreconcilable religious antipathies- This situation paralyses our ability to address global challenges such as climate change
31 We can chooseBusiness as usual in a materialistic society ignoring the futureRetreating to a fortress world of old valuesMaking a transition to sustainability with science and religion in harmony
32 Age structure in MDCs and LDCs 24.1 Human population growthAge structure in MDCs and LDCs
33 Our unsustainable society 24.4 Working toward a sustainable societyOur unsustainable societyPopulation growth in the LDCs is at a high rateConsumption in the MDCs is at a high rateAgriculture uses a lot of the land, water and fossil fuels and produces pollutionAlmost ½ of the agricultural yield feeds our farm animalsIt takes about 10 lbs of grain to produce about 1 lb of meat therefore the overeating of meat in the MDCs is wastefulCurrently we mostly use nonrenewable forms of energy leading to acid deposition, global warming and smogAs the human population grows we encroach on other species that results in habitat loss and species extinction
34 Indoor air pollution and rural like The health and demographic impact of biomass fuel use: A cross country comparisonIndoor air pollutionand rural likeDependence on biomassexacts a heavy price onquality of life and health,especially among ruralpopulation, women andchildren
35 Indoor air pollution from household fuels in Pakistan Household energy use by type of fuel in Pakistan
36 disability-adjusted life Indoor smoke 4th in global ranking factors for burden of disease in developing countriesdisability-adjusted lifeyears (DALYs)
37 Where we are? Countries who learnt lesson from 9173-4 oil embargo: Japan drive towards energy efficiencyFrance nuclear energy (78% of electricity needs & waste is reprocessed)Brazil ethanol from sugar cane, today between domestic oil production & Ethanol industry it does need to import crude oil.Denmark political will (CO2 tax)1980s economy grew 70%, energy consumption same16% energy from solar & wind powerTwo of world most innovative manufacturer of enzymes converting biomass to fuel are in Denmark73 they got 99% energy from middle East, today is zero
38 Green house gases Fuel from Heaven (come from above ground) Wind, hydroelectric, tidal, biomass, solar (renewable, produce no harmfull emissions)Fuel from hell (come from undergorund)Coal, oil, gas (emit CO2 & other pollutants.
39 Green house gasesOther green house gases (e.g Methan CH4) from rice farming, petroleum drilling, coal mining, animal defecation, solid waste landfill sites, cattle belching.CH4 heat trapping power in atmosphere is 21 times stronger than CO21.3b cows belching in the worldWhen cow chew their cud, they re-gurgitate some food to rechew it (gas comes out)Avg cow expels 600L CH4 dailyTrap the sun’s heat near the earth surface before the heat radiates back into space.Composition of earth’s atmosphere has been relatively unchanged for 25m years.
40 Population Current 6.7 b (9.2 b in 2050) Less dev. 5.4 (7.9 b in 2050) 1.2 b extremely poor (less than 1$ a day); half live in India-Pak (Pak 50 m).1800 London was world’s largest city (1m)1960 (111 cities with pop. More than 1m)1995 (280 cities with 1m & more)2007 (310)Ten million or more (1975-5; & )
41 Population & Governance Countries where population grow rapidly, governance is difficult (Afghan; Niger; Congo; Pak).Population is expected to triple by mid centuryLarge pop. Results in lack of basic freedom, basic needs, food, housings, edn, employment; so they are attracted to violence, civil unrest & extremisms.
42 Green house gases CO2 Industrial, residential & transportation Go to earth’s atmosphere which is like a blanket, regulate planet’s temperatureCO2 build up thickens the blanket, making globe warmDeforestation in places like Indonesia & Brazil is responsible for more CO2 than all the world’s car, trucks, plans, ships and trains combined (20% of all global emissions)
43 EnvironmentalismWe are running an uncontrolled experiment on the only home we have.We can no longer expect to enjoy peace & security, economic growth, & human rights, if we continue to ignore key problems of energy-climate Era:Energy supply & demand, climate change, energy-poverty & biodiversity lossFriedman, 2008
45 Use of wild food resources by rural households in Limpopo Province, South Africa (Hansen 1998): Wild herbs and vegetables – 92%Wild fruit – 81%Insects – 77%Bushmeat – 32%Cultivated food crops (Giannecchini 2000);Homestead garden plots – 98%Large fields outside of village – 89%Animal ownership (Twine et al. 2003)Cattle – 34%Goats – 56%
46 Wild Vegetable Products KING VEGETABLE, INC.Wild Mushrooms andWild Vegetable ProductsIn thousand tonsSun Zhigang, General Manager
47 Company’s Financing: $2.5 million $100M sales in 2007 Sales SuccessesJapan500 Tons per yearKorea400 Tons per yearDomestic China3,000 Tons per yearCompany’s Financing: $2.5 million$100M sales in 2007PartnersPartners with supermarket chains (Wal-mart, Huilian)
48 Impediments to The Biodiversity Conservation in Pakistan Lack of fundingFunding is insufficientNot enough taxonomists, field botanistsTaxonomy is too difficult to learn and to practiceRequires years to accumulate literature, specimens etc.Critical resources are scattered and available to only a few workersLiteratureHerbarium specimensThere are few centralized sources of informationLack of Sharing informationNot enough trained HR to domesticate wild plantsNot enough use of modern knowledge in Botanical Research
49 Hurdles Common Lessons Learnt: Existing bureaucratic/political proceduresTop-down communication channelsAbsence of a pro-poor stance amongst the officialsOnly political will can make it happen‘Top-down’ system - still the main vehicle of governance.Common Lessons Learnt:Strategic forest management – Institutional forestry rules changed for involving local communities in decision-making/actionBettering access of the poor to NTFPs – Poor worse off in absence of forests -crucial to increase their access to such resourcesMonitoring food-livelihood security – food-livelihood security implies good forestry Building social capital –nurturing local social bondingRespecting indigenous knowledge – Knowledge/Experience of local communities needs to be respected and integrated into local level decision-making
50 RevolutionRevolution is not a dinner party, not an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of emroidery; it cannot be advanced softly, gradually, carefully, considerately, respectfully, politely, plainly and modestly.--Mao Tse-tung
51 "The sun, the moon, and the stars, would all have disappeared a long time ago...if they had happened to have been within the reach of the predatory human hands". (Havelock Ellis, "The Dance of Life", 1923)
53 Dandelion Taraxacum officinale Parts used: roots, leaves, flowers, and crowns.No poisonous look-alikesLeaves can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, or sauteed. Flowers can be made into wine or dipped in batter and deep-fried like fritters. Roots can be made into a coffee substitute.Most older leaves can be made milder-tasting if covered with a bucket or other container for a few days up to a week
54 DandelionHas more beta carotene than carrots, more iron than spinach. Also has vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc
55 Watercress Nasturtium officinale One of the oldest-known leaf vegetables eaten by human beingsMember of the cabbage family, related to Mustardcontains significant amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C.
57 Plantain Plantago major Broad leafed plantain, also a narrow- leafed speciesYoung leaves are edible but not very tastyMore useful in medicine and first aid; has been used to stop bleeding, and to treat burns, skin irritations, bee stings and mosquito bites.
58 Shepherd’s PurseCapsella bursa-pastorisRelative of mustard, very mild-tasting green. Can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, sauteed, or cooked in soups and stews.provides vitamin C and K, some protein, sulfur, calcium, iron, and sodium.Used in Medicine to stop bleeding and as an astringentSeed pods are also edible
59 Milkweed Asclepias syriaca young shoots, young leaves, flower buds and fresh fruits are all edibleprimary source of food for the caterpillars of the monarch butterflymature stems, leaves and pod bark contain compounds that are toxic in large qualities and have been known to poison sheep, cattle, and other livestock.
60 Cattail Typha latifolia One of the most important and common wild foodsThe shoots, flower stalks, rhizomes and pollen are all edible
61 Wild Ginger Asarum species root can be used in place of `regular' ginger in recipesdespite the name and similar flavor, it isn't related to Asian ginger
62 Daylily Hemerocallis fulva Introduced species, escaped into wild. Shoots, buds, flowers and tubers all edibleUse the shoots raw in salads, or sauté, steam, stir-fry, deep-fry, bake, simmer in soups, or pickle.Cook the unopened buds like green beans.Use the flowers raw in salads, in soups, or deep-fried.If you dig up a lily and it *doesn’t* have tubers…DON’T eat it, it’s poisonous!
63 Arrowhead Sagittaria latifolia Also known as wapato, duck potato, and indian potatoThe buds and fruits of this plant in late summer are edible, but plant is mostly prized for its tubers, which were traditionally gathered by wading into ponds and dislodging them with one’s feet so they’d float to the surface of the water.Can be eaten raw but best when cooked, like the name suggests, tastes almost identical to a potato, but with a slightly nutty taste.
64 Wild Carrot Daucus carota Ancestor of cultivated carrots Also called Queen Anne’s LaceRoot is edible when young, then becomes toughCrushed seeds have been used since ancient Greece as a contraceptive/abortive, and recent studies have proven this effect
65 Jerusalem Artichoke Helianthus tuberosus Member of the Sunflower familyAlso called the SunchokeCultivated in some gardens and found wildProduces inulin instead of starch
66 Amanita Mushrooms Account for 90% of mushroom fatalities With very few exceptions, amanitas grow on the ground near treesVery young amanitas, called buttons, resemble puffballs, but when you cut puffballs open, they're undifferentiated inside. An amanita button has a cap, stem, and gills inside.Warningunless you’re 110% sure you have right species, don’t risk it!
67 Amanitas continued…Unfortunately even the most deadly Amanitas supposedly taste wonderful, and symptoms don’t appear until 8-12 hours after ingestion, when it’s too late.amanita toxins prevent cells from making new proteins, which kills them…if untreated death comes after days of suffering from liver and/or kidney failureDoctors can shunt the blood through filters to remove the toxins. They use dialysis to replace the kidneys, and give the patient a liver transplant. Sometimes the patient can be saved
68 Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria poisonous, but not deadly Various peoples have used mushroom in shamanic ritualsAspects of Santa Claus were inspired by this mushroom. His red coat and white buttons symbolize the red mushroom with its white patches. Santa flies because the mushroom sometimes creates the hallucination of flight. He uses reindeer because they're fond of the mushroom, and herders who eat reindeer that have eaten the mushroom get high too.The Koryak shaman would bring prepared fly agarics to ceremonies in a sack, like Santa's bag of toys, and enter the yurt (portable circular domed dwelling) through the smoke hole (like a chimney).Santa lives at the North Pole because for most Europeans, Siberia might as well be the North Pole. And in Europe today, Christmas cards still often depict the fly agaric
69 Chanterelles Cantharellus cibarius Found in summer and fall on the ground in Oak, Conifer and Beech forestsOften sent to France to be canned, and are then imported back into the US as over-priced `French Gourmet Mushrooms’
70 Fried Chicken Mushroom Lyophyllum decastesvery prolific in fall and spring.found in grassy areas and on disturbed soilbest used in soups, stews, and sauces.Not so good fried because of chewy texture
71 Honey Mushroom Armillaria mellea comes in two main varieties: brown and yellowfound in fall at the foot of living or dead trees or stumps, especially OaksLike previous, best used in soups, sauces and stews, but good fried too
72 Morels Morchella species Considered a choice edible Cut in half; should be hollow from top to bottom, with no division between the cap and stem.Found in old orchards, near dead trees, in soils with limestone in it
73 Morels… Are particularly prone to appear after forest fires… So much in fact that in the 19th century the Russian government passed a law making it illegal to burn down forest areas, which people were doing to harvest the morels that would pop up the following year.
74 Hen of the Woods Grifola frondosa Grows in almost all the USA, in the fall at the bases of deciduous trees; living or deadRanges in size from 3 to up to 50 poundsSold as Maitake mushrooms in specialty foods and health stores
75 Puffballs Calvatia gigantean Cut open before eating to distinguish puffballs from inedible (but not deadly) earthstars, and deadly amanita in their button stages.When cut open a puffball will be solid white throughout with a texture like cream cheese. A button Amanita will have a stem inside.
76 Oyster Mushrooms Pleurotus ostreatus Choice mushroom Looks, smells and tastes like what it’s named afterUsed in recipes as a Vegan substitute for seafoodCan be found all year round.
77 Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens Most `wintergreen’ flavorings used today come from the sap from Sweet Birch treesThe leaves are made into tea, and the berries (perfectly edible) can be made into pies, jellies and tarts
78 Food from Leaves and Young Shoots Rumex spp. - The bitter succulent leaves were roasted . (Young leaves of some species are more edible, and even used to be cultivated as a vegetable in Europe. A native African dock, 'Abyssinian spinach', R. abyssinicus has been domesticated.) Zygadenus venenosus. Don't eat what you don't 'know' is safe!). Murderous tribal wars were fought over this resource. Sedge, ? Scirpus sp. - grows in damp and marshy places by lakes. The young shoots are edible. Phragmites communis, a plant of damp places and lake shores Mint, Mentha sp. Wild parsnip, ?Phellopterus montanus, Amaranthus spp. - the young leaves are very mild. Lamb's quarter, Chenopodium album - An introduced annual. The leaves are quite mild. Mustard, Brassica campestris - the lower leaves, or very young plants, which are least hot, are eaten. Wild lettuce, Mimulus guttatus - a low growing plant found on wet ground, the leaves are like a somewhat bitter watercress. Peppergrass, Lepidium freemontii - A small land cress with 'hot' tasting leaves Wood sorrel, Usually, Oxalis sp. ? Oxalis tuberosa, or O. enneaphylla. (Oxalis species leaves and bulbs were once commonly eaten wherever in the world they were found - Africa has around 130 indigenous species - in spite of their oxalic acid content.)
79 Solomon's seal, ?Polygonatum giganteum - the very young shoots of the related European P. officinale were used like asparagus; perhaps the Paiute used P. gigantuem the same way. (The rhizomatous roots of P. giganteum are also starchy, and were used by the Ainu people of Northern Japan as a food source. P. giganteum grows in both Asia and America) Purslane, Probably Portulacca oleracea, a sour tasting introduced annual weed with succulent crisp textured leaves; possibly Portulacca retusa, known to be used by tribes in the Southwest as a vegetable, or Calandrinia sp. - adapted to dry western parts of USA. Or maybe even Lewisia rediviva, a purslane more commonly known as 'bitter root', altho' it is usually harvested for its very nourishing flour (in spite of its common name!), rather than as a vegetable. Bracken fern, Pteridium aquilinum - the very young shoots ('fiddle heads') are eaten raw or cooked, when they taste like somewhat bitter asparagus. Sow thistle, Sonchus sp. - very young leaves are edible. Chickweek, Stellaria media - a common small annual plant with vaguely cabbage tasting leaves. nettle, ?Urtica sp. - in other countries, fresh nettle tops are regarded as a very nutritious spring 'spinach', usually used in soup. Wild violet. Viola sp., possibly V. palmata, or V. papailionacea - While viola flowers, at least, have been used in food in Medieval time, the roots are poisonous - except the mucilaginous roots of V. palmata. The basal leaves of V. papailionacea are still collected for greens today. They are quite extraordinarily rich in vitamin A.
80 Food from Roots and Tubers Wild onion, ?Allium validum - 'swamp onion'. - there are many species of wild onion, most have small bulbs, and are found in a variety of habitats, depending on the species. Mariposa lily, Calochortus sp. - 'Indian potato'.- a wide ranging genus with corms that can be eaten raw or cooked. They can also be dried and pounded into flour. Camas, Camassia sp. - a bulbous plant of damp places, marshes and lake edges. The bulbs were baked, or cooked and dried and the flour extracted. Brodiaea, a pretty flowering 'bulb', most species of which are edible. They produce their edible corms in a wide range of habitats, according to the species. Primrose, ?Primula sp. In Europe the leaves and flowers of 'cowslip', P. veris, have a history of use as salad greens. Water parsley, Oenanthe sarmentosa - the black tubers are said to have a 'cream-like taste'. The leaves and stems are also edible, tasting a bit like celery. Some similar looking species are poisonous. Balsam root (Oregon Sunflower), ? possibly a species of sunflower, Helianthus. Many sunflower species have edible roots. Wocus (water lily) N. advena - the roots are starchy, and can be baked, grilled, pounded for flour, or stored whole for winter use
81 Top 10 leading risk factors 2.7 million deaths per year