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African Foodways

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African Foodways Great variability in geography and history Major Geographic areas North Africa - along Mediterranean Sahara dessert Sub-Saharan tropical region with ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: African Foodways


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African Foodways
  • Great variability in geography and history

3
Major Geographic areas
  • North Africa - along Mediterranean
  • Sahara dessert
  • Sub-Saharan tropical region with rainforests
  • Sub-Saharan grasslands, savannas, high forests
    and temperate zones

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West Africa
  • Contact with European traders
  • Kingdom/States of the Ashanti, Dahomey, Oyo,
    Yoruba, Fulani
  • Largely Muslim communities

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East Africa
  • Initially Arab traders
  • later by 15thc European colonization
  • Sub-saharan Africa by 15th c - Portuguese in
    search of gold
  • Often vegetarians - Muslim influence

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Political Independence
  • Sudan first republic in 1956
  • Seychelles (islands) last in 1976
  • Rhodesia - British colonial rule became Zimbabwe
    in 1979 Robert Mugabe
  • South Africa white supremacy repealed in 1991

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Traditional African foods
  • cow-peas, black-eyed peas
  • okra
  • sesame
  • millet
  • taro
  • ensete, watermelon, kola nuts
  • cattle and pastoralism - very prestigious and
    common in savannas (E and W) Africa
  • (also camels, sheep, goats)

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Some common aspects of food production
  • throughout Africa - women cultivate most of the
    consumed food men cultivate export crops
    (coffee, cloves, tea, cashews)
  • taboos against eating eggs exist in many areas
  • may make childbirth difficulty and excitable
    children
  • lactose intolerance is common in population

13
Lactose intolerance
  • all milk contains a complex sugar lactose
  • enzyme lactase works in the small intestine to
    aid in digestion
  • only humans and some pets can digest milk after
    weaning
  • 90 of Northern Europeans are lactose tolerant
  • 80 of two African groups are tolerant
  • Fulani-West Africa, Tutsi-Rwanda and Burundi
  • both are historically pastoralists

14
New World foods added to diet
  • maize
  • cassava
  • peanuts
  • pumpkin
  • tomatoes
  • chilies

15
West African Cooking
  • Boiling and frying were common
  • sometimes with coconut oil
  • Stews were common
  • with added okra foundation for Louisiana gumbo
    - makes thick
  • add meat veges, and legumes
  • corn was stable soon after introduced

16
Peanuts
  • West Africa adopted peanuts (South American)
    early
  • including making peanut butter
  • Agronomist George Washington Carver
  • credited with discovery of peanut butter and
    peanut oil
  • In US annual consumption of peanuts is gt 2
    billion pounds/year

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Peanuts and Groundnuts (native) Used in stews
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Ethiopian cuisine
  • Arid mountainous plains and low valleys

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Typical Ethiopian fare
  • Millet
  • teff type of millet to make flat bread, injera
  • fermented teff, cooked on griddle
  • barley and other grains, beans and peas (legumes)
  • plantains
  • wat stew made of eggs, lentils, chickpeas,
    peanuts (often with meat)
  • berbere spice mix (like a curry powder),
  • allspice, cloves, cardamom, cayenne, bk pepper,
    etc

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Injera
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Feeding a guest
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Ethiopian beverages
  • Honey - fermented to make tej, a meadlike
    beverage
  • tallä Beer - fermented barley

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Geophagy
  • The consumption of edible clays
  • Occurs in some areas of Africa and the Southern
    United States

27
Geophagy
  • has both nutritional and detoxification purpose
  • clay may be ingested when added to foods
  • intentionally added to reduce bitter foods
  • eliminates some toxic alkaloids, esp. for tuber

28
Famine
  • Clay consumption is common during times of famine
  • may be atavistic trait (hold-over) from human
    evolution when we were scavengers and had
    periodic scarcities
  • physically fills the stomach, but can also access
    valuable nutrients from the earth
  • iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous,
    potassium

29
Clay consumption among pregnant woman
  • in tropical Africa - pregnant women often crave
    earth and consume clay
  • metabolic strain of pregnancy
  • gastrointestinal upset may trigger craving
  • clay is collected from clay pits and sold in
    markets
  • may be stored in belt and eaten without water

30
Geophagy in the US
  • accounts of southern slaves eating earth
  • fitted with mouth locks
  • pregnant women also consume (up to 57)
  • both white and black women report consuming
  • beliefs that prevents birthmarks, makes babies
    skin lighter, helps with delivery

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Do you consume earth?
  • tums
  • rolaids
  • Milk of Magnesia

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African pastoralists
  • Maasai of east Africa
  • Cattle, sheep, goats
  • 19th century warriors

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Territory Today
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  • Cattle are not eaten
  • Use milk various forms
  • Blood cattle are bled

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Modern Maasai
  • Reduced territory, less grazing land
  • Conflict with farmers
  • gt sedentism, poor diet
  • Access to seasonal wetlands
  • Have to migrate with cattle
  • Politically marginalized
  • Forced to adopt non-pastoralist economic
    activities

43
Edible Insects
  • Mopane worms of
  • South Africa

44
Mopane worm (Imbrasia belina) large edible
caterpillar
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Mopane worms and overharvest (harvest 2
times/year)
  • Aid groups and sustainability

48
Final topic
  • Land reform

49
Issues of land reform and farming
  • With colonial history have great inequity in
    distribution of land

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Rhodesia to Zimbabwe
  • in 1889, the British imperialist Cecil Rhodes,
    set up the British South Africa Company (gold
    mining)
  • The first 200 white settlers were each
    promised a 3,000-acre farm and gold claims in
    return for helping clear land
  • Displaced native Shona peoples
  • Became Rhodesia in 1923 (until 1980 gained
    independence and became Zimbabwe

52
Robert Mugabe
53
2000 govt took white owned farms 4000
whites on 11m hectares of best land (1 million
blacks on 16m hectares on drought lands) Lacked
infrastructure for production significant
famine
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Film Moving on (quiz after film)
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