Promotion of Wild Food Plant Use Diversity in the Soviet Union, 1922–1991

Bexultanova, Gayana and Prakofjewa, Julia and Sartori, Matteo and Kalle, Raivo and Pieroni, Andrea and Sõukand, Renata (2022) Promotion of Wild Food Plant Use Diversity in the Soviet Union, 1922–1991. Plants, 11 (20).

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In the Soviet Union, wild food played a secondary role in diet (as cultivated species dominated). Yet the authorities eventually acknowledged their importance as diet diversifiers and a safety reservoir, and started to promote their use through various means, including publishing books on the use of wild food plants. These government publications appeared during a specific time, and therefore, we mapped all centralized publications in order to understand the dynamics of the promotion of wild-plant-related knowledge. For deeper analysis, we selected a sample of 12 books promoting wild food plants, and compared the taxa and uses represented in these works, which fall into two key periods: during World War II (1941–1943) and after the war (1953–1989). A total of 323 plant taxa belonging to 69 plant families were named, of which Rosaceae had the highest number of proposed food uses, prompting the reader to explore the use of borderland species. Most diverse food uses were attributed to Sorbus aucuparia, followed by Rosa and Vaccinium oxycoccos. Wartime books had fewer taxa with less variety, with a clear preference for staple food and substitutes, while post-war books promoted desserts and alcoholic drinks.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: propaganda; wild food plants; history of botany; promotion; ethnobotany; Soviet Union; plant use knowledge; book knowledge
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Q Science > QK Botany
R Medicine > RV Botanic, Thomsonian, and eclectic medicine
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Depositing User: ePrints deposit
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2023 12:36
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2023 12:36

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