Foods from forests are important for peoples’ diets in many countries, but the amounts collected and consumed have been difficult to quantify.
We report results from a study carried out in Zambia, in which 209 households were surveyed across all of the country’s agroecological zones. Based on the results of this survey and other nationally available data, we estimate that, for surveyed households, wild fruits collected from forests contribute approximately 80% of total fruit intake.
The reported amount of wild fruits consumed from forests would be enough, on average, to meet 25% of international recommendations on fruit intake.
Zambians are very far from meeting nutritional recommendations on fruit consumption. If forests in Zambia were to be converted to other land uses, already poor diets could become significantly worse.