Political ecology of food security and nutrition in the municipality of Jesus de Otoro, Honduras

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Ivanoff, Rebecca F.
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University of Guelph

This study addresses food security in three communities in rural, central Honduras by looking at the interrelationships among nutritious food, environmental and political forces, and cultural behaviours through the collection and analysis of local knowledge and laboratory data. Evaluation of ethnographic research were combined with analysis of policy documents and the nutritional analysis of ninety local varieties of corn. Research showed how households in three rural communities in the mountains of Honduras, struggle to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food while respecting cultural and agricultural diversity. Policies to address food security need to not only address the diversity of environmental niches, and a history of disenfranchisement of most rural farmers from the political process, but also the cultural ideals that impact definitions of hunger and nutrition. Analysis of 90 varieties of local landraces show that coloured varieties of maize have higher nutritional value for protein, anthocyanin, and vitamin A content.

Honduras, political ecology, nutrition, maize, corn, dietary diversity, cultural preferences, food security, food sovereignty, Jesus de Otoro, landrace, superfood