From forest to table

In the Luwingu district, in northern Zambia, women gather a wide variety of foods from the forest. Emelda, Jennifer and Belita show us all the food they collect from nearby forests: fruits, mushrooms, vegetables and caterpillars. They hope forests are preserved so their children and future generations can continue to eat the same traditional dishes.

Wild foods are important sources of key nutrients. Caterpillars are an important source of protein, iron, and zinc. Leafy green vegetables such as ‘pimpa’ and ‘pupwe’ tend to be high in iron and vitamin A. For more information on the nutritional contribution of wild foods please see and

Between 2013 and 2017, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) conducted a research project called ‘Nutrition and Trees in sub-Saharan Africa’ in five sites across several countries, looking at the contribution that forests and trees in landscapes make to the diets of mothers and their young children. One of these sites was in Luwingu, in northern Zambia. At the end of the project, women from different villages came together to showcase their recipes of traditional foods in a food fair hosted by Zambia’s Ministry of Agriculture and CIFOR.

This project was funded with UK aid from the UK government. This research was supported by CGIAR Fund Donors (

This video was produced by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

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