Economic Botany

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 176–189 | Cite as

A Matter of Taste: Local Explanations for the Consumption of Wild Food Plants in the Catalan Pyrenees and the Balearic Islands1

  • Ginesta Serrasolses
  • Laura Calvet-Mir
  • Esperança Carrió
  • Ugo D’Ambrosio
  • Teresa Garnatje
  • Montse Parada
  • Joan Vallès
  • Victoria Reyes-García
Article

A Matter of Taste: Local Explanations for the Consumption of Wild Food Plants in the Catalan Pyrenees and the Balearic Islands. Previous research has documented different trends in the consumption of wild food plants but has rarely analyzed the motivations behind their continued (or lack of) consumption. In this article, we use empirical data to explore the factors driving the consumption of a selected set of wild food plants. We start by analyzing the different trends (i.e., abandonment, maintenance, and valorization) across 21 selected species with different food uses. We then explore the reported motivations that drive such trends using data collected among 354 respondents in three Catalan-speaking rural areas. The consumption of wild food plants is decreasing in the three study areas and across the categories of food use analyzed. Respondents listed sociocultural factors, rather than environmental or economic factors, as more prominent determinants of consumption trends; taste preferences seem to be the most relevant motivation for those who continue to consume wild food plants, whereas a myriad of motivations related to changes in lifestyle were provided by those who explain the abandonment of their consumption.

Key Words

Edible wild plants ethnobotany motivations quantitative analysis Spain 

Cuestión de gusto: ¿Qué explica el consumo de plantas silvestres? Estudio en los Pirineos catalanes y las Islas Baleares. Se han documentado diferentes tendencias en el consumo de plantas silvestres comestibles, pero raramente se han analizado las razones que explican por qué algunas plantas se siguen consumiendo y otras no. En base a una selección de plantas silvestres comestibles, en este artículo exploramos los factores que explican las tendencias en el consumo de plantas silvestres. En la primera parte analizamos las tendencias de consumo (abandono, mantenimiento y valorización) de un grupo de 21 especies con diferentes usos alimentarios y en la segunda exploramos las motivaciones esgrimidas por 354 habitantes de tres áreas rurales catalanoparlantes en relación a estas tendencias. El consumo de plantas silvestres parece haber sufrido una reducción generalizada en las áreas prospectadas. Para todas las especies, los encuestados mencionaron factores socioculturales, más que ambientales o económicos, como importantes a la hora de explicar sus patrones de consumo. Específicamente, el sabor parece ser el principal argumento para aquellos que continúan consumiendo plantas silvestres mientras que una combinación de motivos relacionados con cambios en estilos de vida predomina entre las explicaciones de aquellos que han abandonado su consumo.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ginesta Serrasolses
    • 1
  • Laura Calvet-Mir
    • 2
    • 3
  • Esperança Carrió
    • 1
  • Ugo D’Ambrosio
    • 1
    • 4
  • Teresa Garnatje
    • 4
  • Montse Parada
    • 1
  • Joan Vallès
    • 1
  • Victoria Reyes-García
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratori de Botànica–Unitat Associada CSIC, Facultat de FarmàciaUniversitat de BarcelonaCataloniaSpain
  2. 2.Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia AmbientalsUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)Universitat Oberta de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Institut Botànic de Barcelona (IBB-CSIC-ICUB)BarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA)BarcelonaSpain

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