Discovering and mapping colloquial terminologies describing underutilized and neglected food crops—a comprehensive review

Wojciech Lara, Szymon ORCID:, Tsiami, Amalia ORCID: and Cross, Peter (2023) Discovering and mapping colloquial terminologies describing underutilized and neglected food crops—a comprehensive review. Foods, 12 (12). p. 2428.

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Global levels of biodiversity and dietary diversity are decreasing, leading to food and nutrition insecurity. This is partially due to the homogenization of the global food supply with commodity crops. The reintroduction or introduction of neglected and underutilized species, minor, forgotten, and indigenous crops and landrace varieties to the wider food systems and further diversification have been outlined as the future strategies for tackling the above by the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization in their policy frameworks. Most of the above species/crops are marginalized and only used across local food systems and in research. With over 15,000 different seed banks and repositories worldwide, information transparency and communication are crucial for database searching and their effective utilization. Much confusion persists around the true nature of those plants, and this prohibits the efficient utilization of their economic potential. A linguistic corpus search and a systematic literature review were conducted using the six most popular collocates to the above terms, which were as follows: ancient, heirloom, heritage, traditional, orphan, and the more distinct term ‘landrace’. The results were interpreted using the Critical Discourse Analysis method. The definitions’ findings show that heirloom, heritage, and ancient are mainly used in the United Kingdom and USA, where they are used to describe ‘naturalized’ and ‘indigenized’ or ‘indigenous’ food crops with a strong affiliation to ‘family’ and the ‘act of passing seeds down from generation to generation’. Orphan crops, on the other hand, are often described as being ‘overlooked’ by growers and ‘underfunded’ by researchers. Landrace is most strongly affiliated with ‘locality’, ‘biocultural diversity’, and ‘indigenous’, and with genomics literature, where the characteristics are often discussed in the context of genetics and population biology. Contextualizing, most of the terms were found to be ‘arbitrary’ and ‘undefinable’ due to their continuing evolution in the socially accepted form of language, perhaps apart from landrace. The review has retrieved 58 definitions for the mentioned 6 terms, together with the primary key terms creating a tool to facilitate a better inter-sector communication and aid in policy.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.3390/foods12122428
Additional Information: Lara, S.W., Tsiami, A. and Cross, P. (2023) ‘Discovering and Mapping Colloquial Terminologies Describing Underutilized and Neglected Food Crops—A Comprehensive Review’, Foods, 12(12), p. 2428. doi:10.3390/foods12122428.
Keywords: underutilized food crops; heirloom; landrace; heritage; orphan crops; ancient crops
Subjects: Hospitality and tourism > Culinary arts > Food studies
Medicine and health > Nutrition
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Depositing User: Szymon Wojciech Lara
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2023 10:00
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 08:30


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