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Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas

Print version ISSN 1981-8122

Abstract

EICHEMBERG, Mayra Teruya  and  AMOROZO, Maria Christina de Mello. Contributions of the old urban homegardens for food production and consumption in Rio Claro, Southeastern Brazil. Bol. Mus. Para. Emílio Goeldi. Ciênc. hum. [online]. 2013, vol.8, n.3, pp.745-755. ISSN 1981-8122.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S1981-81222013000300015.

Urban homegardens are green areas of households within the city limits and they have the potential to provide families with a cheap alternative for diet improvement, and to complement the income of the families who sell cultivated products. This research analyzes the contributions of old urban homegardens on food consumption and household economy. Data related to homegardens composition were collected by interviews and by collecting cultivated plants. Diets were assessed through a retrospective method (last 24 hours food recall) and administered every two months, during a year, to include seasonal variations. The diet of the sampled population was found to be dependent on certain foods, indicating a narrow food niche (Levins index = 25.9; Levins standardized index = 0.23). Variations in interviewees' diet are related to the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are partly supplied by homegardens. Spices and teas consumed were obtained from homegardens, revealing its importance in food consumption and health. Among the 98 species found in homegardens, only 38% appeared in the interviewees' diet, indicating an under-exploitation of these homegardens. Our study found that the main role of homegardens is to supply variation in the diet, contributing to the consumption of different types of products.

Keywords : Diet; Ethnobotany; Food niche; Urban agriculture.

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