THEBIO-CULTURAL FRAMEWORK AND HOW CAN IT BE USED TO BETTER UNDERSTANDINDIGENOUS FOOD SYSTEMS
Thebiocultural framework entails a range of multi-disciplinary heritageswith a mutual interest in comprehending the association betweencultural, linguistic and biological diversity. It can, therefore,play a key role in making indigenous food systems better understood.It is anchored on the long-standing importance in gaining moreknowledge on the way culture and nature interact. It tries to come upwith a representation of the linkages between natural and culturalareas. It is, therefore, a feedback system, where the culture,nature, and biology interrelate(Kuhnlein,2014).Biology, in this case, enables the existence of certain behaviors andin turn, biological traits are influenced by these behaviors. Theunderstanding of cultural and biological diversity and itsimplication on the various daily activities of people makes theinfluence of biocultural framework visible(Davidson-Hunt& Turner, 2012).It has immense on the people’s lifestyle, which includes nutrition.A biocultural framework mainly involves incorporating how culturesapproach various aspects of the life of the people or communityinvolved particularly based on age, gender, class, education as wellas their individual traditional experience with these issues, moreimportantly, nutrition. Its use can be observed as the application ofa hypothetical approach through which nature and cultural diversityare incorporated. The approach takes cultural views of the local andhow they understand and approach the various aspects of their liveswhich include their indigenous food systems. Bio-cultural diversityentails the cultural and natural environments as well as how theyhave evolved together over time hence generating a lot of indigenousknow-how and practice. This becomes a crucial pool of experience,skills, and comprehension that assists the communities on how theymanage and use their resources as they focus on both the present andthe future. The biocultural framework centers on the ingenuity of thepeople, knowledge, skills and values that enable them to manage theireveryday lives.
Howit can be used to better understand Indigenous food systems
Alarge percentage of the world’s population is fed from theindigenous food systems, which produces nutrient rich food that isprimarily consumed by the members of the local communities. It is,therefore, necessary to comprehend this food system that are reliedon by the ever growing human population(Kuhnlein,2014).The bio culture framework, which is often used to provide informationthat greatly contributes to the creativity and innovation thatensures sustainable development in rural natives and the localsocieties(Davidson-Hunt& Turner, 2012).These group of people are the backbone of the indigenous foodsystems. Understanding their way of life contributes immensely to theavailable knowledge on their food systems which have been formed bythe working together of the landforms, vast myriad of rivers,vegetation, watersheds and climatic zones over the years. It is asystem that has sustained the indigenous communities for thousands ofyears, as it mainly entails all of the air, land, water, culturallycrucial plants, and soil, animal and fungi species as well amultitude of natural societies. The biocultural framework makes usunderstand that all these parts of the indigenous systems cannot beseparated and perfectly function in healthy symbiotic relationshipswhere they are able to contribute energy reserve through the currentform of agriculture which has been industrialized and highlydeveloped(Indigenousfoodsystems,2017).
Theindustrialized food system characterized by high mechanization, inall the stages of production including production, distribution, andconsumption. It is in contrast to the indigenous systems of foodproduction which are mainly defined in ecological terms rather thanin economic terms and level of production(Kuhnlein,2014).It is hence, a system that has its food produced based primarily oncultivation, and the produce is then reaped, prepared, conserved,distributed within the confines of the respective regions based onprinciples of interdependency, reciprocity, respect, andenvironmental sensibility(Davidson-Hunt& Turner, 2012).The framework paints a clear picture of the intimate relationshipindigenous people have with the environment and how they relate toit. The active input in food systems is essentially how theindigenous food systems are maintained making them more suitable andsustainable in the conservation of our environment as well as in theprovision of a healthy and reliable source of nutrition.
Overtime, most indigenous communities have continued to be marginalizedand in another case, their cultures have witnessed a shift to a moremodernized way of living. This has greatly affected their way ofliving including the integrity of indigenous values, health,environment, social structures and the information system(Kuhnlein,2014).They are essential in the society’s ability in meeting theirdietary needs through the available indigenous diets. The bioculturalframework goes ahead to provide a restorative design that will enablemaintain and develop these systems. It proposes a structure that isintentional, communal and collaborative, where people with diverseskills and knowledge participate in an innovative process that helpsin maintaining and sustaining these food systems despite thecompetition and challenges they face, mainly from the industrializedfood systems(Indigenousfoodsystems,2017).The communities through the biocultural framework get an opportunityto come up with solutions which they implement to solve thechallenges they face as indigenous communities. It, therefore,continues to help us get more information and comprehend theindigenous food systems all over the world.
Davidson-Hunt,I. & Turner, K. (2012). Indigenous communities, the bioeconomyand natural resource development. JournalOf Enterprising Communities: People And Places In The GlobalEconomy, 6(3).http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/jec.2012.32906caa.001
Indigenousfoodsystems,.(2017). IndigenousFood Systems Network | Indigenous Food SystemsNetwork. Indigenousfoodsystems.org.Retrieved 16 March 2017, from http://www.indigenousfoodsystems.org/
Kuhnlein,H. (2014). Food system sustainability for health and well-being ofIndigenous Peoples. PublicHealth Nutrition, 18(13),2415-2424. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1368980014002961