A Food Plants International database of edible plants to address malnutrition

Author: Rick Campbell of Food Plant Solutions
Contact person: Karalyn Hingston of Food Plant Solutions

  • Every 12 seconds a child, under the age of 5, dies from malnutrition!
  • 1 in 4 children, under the age of 5, do not reach their potential due to malnutrition!

The Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group began in 2007 as a collaboration between Buz Green AO, from the Rotary Club of Devonport North (Tasmania, Australia) and Agricultural Scientist Bruce French AM, (Burnie, Tasmania, Australia), the founder of the Food Plants International database of edible plants.  Bruce began developing his database in the 1970’s and today it lists over 31,000 edible plants from around the World.

The Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group project was designed to address malnutrition through the use of readily available and local food sources.  

We create educational publications that explain what nutritional food is, why our bodies need it and how to grow and use it.  We help people understand the connection between plant selection and nutrition and empower them to grow a range of highly nutritious plants with differing seasonal requirements and maturities.  We identity food plants that are potentially important for a country or region because they are suited to the environment, they are high in nutrients and they grow with minimal inputs.  This is a sustainable solution that empowers people in need, not just for now, but into the future.

Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group does not send people in-country, but forms partnerships with existing aid providers who use the Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group publications to educate communities, and particularly women and children, on the nutrient value of their local foods.  Not only does this sustainably address malnutrition and food security, it also empowers women.  In many cases this will increase incomes, particularly for women, which benefits the family unit as a whole and it safeguards and strengthens the capacity of women to provide food security, health and nutrition for their family.  Most projects (whether they be housing, water, schools, maternal health, etc.), would be further enhanced by adding a Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group component to them.  Most people who are in dire situations require a sustainable way to grow and access nutritious food.

We can end malnutrition – it’s as simple as growing the right plant in the right place.

With program partners, Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group encourages the establishment of demonstration food gardens in schools and communities, as these provide ongoing education and improve the health and nutrition of participants, who are provided with nutritious food prepared from these gardens. With some of our programs achieving a reduction in malnutrition by as much as 95%, this approach is proven, cost-effective and sustainable.

Visit our website: https://foodplantsolutions.org/