Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
ISSN (Print): 2333-1119 ISSN (Online): 2333-1240 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/jfnr Editor-in-chief: Prabhat Kumar Mandal
Open Access
Journal Browser
Go
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2017, 5(6), 427-435
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-5-6-10
Open AccessArticle

The Relationship between Cultural Norms and Food Security in the Karamoja Sub-Region of Uganda

Solomon Olum1, Ipolto Okello-Uma1, Gaston A. Tumuhimbise2, David Taylor3, 4 and Duncan Ongeng1,

1Department of Food Science and Post Harvest Technology, Gulu University, P.O. Box 166, Gulu, Uganda

2Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Makerere University, P.O Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda

3Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, 1 Arts Link, Kent Ridge, Singapore 117570

4School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland

Pub. Date: June 02, 2017

Cite this paper:
Solomon Olum, Ipolto Okello-Uma, Gaston A. Tumuhimbise, David Taylor and Duncan Ongeng. The Relationship between Cultural Norms and Food Security in the Karamoja Sub-Region of Uganda. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2017; 5(6):427-435. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-5-6-10

Abstract

Culture is a strong determinant of food security through its influence on what society considers acceptable for consumption. Karamoja sub-region is one of the most ethnically diverse parts of eastern Africa, and is associated with the highest levels of food insecurity in Uganda. However, there is a general lack of understanding on the extent to which ethnicity is a contributing factor to food insecurity. We examined the relationship between ethnicity and food security in relation to commonly practiced cultural norms among the Jie, Karamojong and Tepeth ethnic groups of Karamoja. Data from 273 randomly selected households across a range of cultural settings were obtained using structured questionnaires in the September-October (2015) period. Food security status was assessed using the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), daily calorie intake and coping strategy index. The study also used focus group discussions to assess the implications for food security of common cultural practices. Results confirm the general observation that the sub-region is food insecure. There were also significant variations in food security across geographical location and ethnicity. Cultural restrictions, applied particularly to women and children, over the consumption of several nutritious foods from livestock were revealed. Consumption of raw milk and animal blood, potential sources of food-borne infections and thus of malnutrition, was found to be high in the sub-region and varied significantly across ethnicity. The findings provide a basis for interventions aimed at reducing food insecurity and averting cultural impediments to a more nutritious diet.

Keywords:
culture food security ethnicity coping strategy index Karamoja

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

References:

[1]  Cordero-Ahiman, O. V., Santellano-Estrada, E., and Garrido, A., “Dietary Diversity in Rural Households: The Case of Indigenous Communities in Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico,” Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 5 (2). 86-94. 2017.
 
[2]  Godfray, H. C. J., Beddington, J. R., Crute, I. R., Haddad, L., Lawrence, D., Muir, J. F., et al., “Food security: the challenge of feeding 9 billion people,” Science, 327. 812-818. 2010.
 
[3]  Misselhorn, A., Aggarwal, P., Ericksen, P., Gregory, P., Horn-Phathanothai, L., Ingram, J., et al., “A vision for attaining food security,” Current opinion in environmental sustainability,. 4. 7-17. 2012.
 
[4]  FAO., IFAD., and WFP., “The State of Food Insecurity in the World: Meeting the 2015 international hunger targets – taking stock of uneven progress. ,” ed. Rome: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2015.
 
[5]  O'Keefe, M., “Chronic Crises in the Arc of Insecurity: a case study of Karamoja,” Third World Quarterly, vol. 31, pp. 1271-1295, 2010.
 
[6]  Shively, G., and Hao, J., “A review of agriculture, food security and human nutrition issues in Uganda,” Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, 2012.
 
[7]  WFP., “Food Security and Nutritional Assessment: Karamoja Region Uganda.,” ed. Kampala,: World Food Programme, 2015.
 
[8]  Jehn, M., and Brewis, A., “Paradoxical malnutrition in mother–child pairs: untangling the phenomenon of over-and under-nutrition in underdeveloped economies,” Economics & Human Biology, 7. 28-35. 2009.
 
[9]  Ndirangu, M., Sachs, S. E., Palm, C., and Deckelbaum, R. J., “HIV affected households in Western Kenya experience greater food insecurity,” Food policy, 42. 11-17. 2013.
 
[10]  Noack, A.-L., and Pouw, N. R., “A blind spot in food and nutrition security: where culture and social change shape the local food plate,” Agriculture and human values, 32 (2). 169-182. 2015.
 
[11]  Ma, G., “Food, eating behavior, and culture in Chinese society,” Journal of Ethnic Foods, 2(4). 195-199. 2015.
 
[12]  Lambden, J., Receveur, O., and Kuhnlein, H. V., “Traditional food attributes must be included in studies of food security in the Canadian Arctic,” International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 66 (4). 308-319. 2007.
 
[13]  Amone, C., “We are strong because of our millet bread: staple foods and the growth of ethnic identities in Uganda.,” Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 18. 159-172. 2014.
 
[14]  Pérez, G. M., and García, A. P., “Nutritional Taboos among the Fullas in Upper River Region, The Gambia.” Journal of Anthropology, 2013.
 
[15]  Saitoti, A., People and Their Food Cultures: The Maasai. Nairobi:: East African Publishing House., 2010.
 
[16]  Lyana, A. Z., and Manimbulu, N., “Culture and Food Habits in Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo,” Journal of Human Ecology, 48. 9-21. 2014.
 
[17]  Redmond, J., Jarjou, L. M. A., and Zhou B., Prentice, A., and Schoenmakers, I., “Ethnic differences in calcium, phosphate and bone metabolism” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 73. 340-351. 2014.
 
[18]  Nkonya, E., Kaizzi, C., and Pender, J., “Determinants of nutrient balances in a maize farming system in eastern Uganda,” Agricultural systems, 85. 155-182. 2005.
 
[19]  Nkonya, E., Pender, J., Kaizzi, C., Edward, K., and Mugarura, S., Policy Options for Increasing Crop Productivity and Reducing Soil Nutrient Depletion and Poverty in Uganda: Intl Food Policy Res Inst, 2005.
 
[20]  Mello, J. A., Gans,K. M., Risica P. M., Kirtania, U., Strolla, L. O., and Fournier, L., “How is food insecurity associated with dietary behaviors? An analysis with low-income, ethnically diverse participants in a nutrition intervention study,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110. 1906-1911. 2010.
 
[21]  Coates, J., Frongillo, E. A., Rogers, B. L., Webb, P., Wilde, P. E., and Houser, R., “Commonalities in the experience of household food insecurity across cultures: what are measures missing?,” The Journal of nutrition, 136. 1438S-1448S. 2006.
 
[22]  Powel, J., “Karamoja: A Literature Review.,” ed. Kampala: : SaferWorld, 2010.
 
[23]  Egeru, A., Wasonga, O., Mburu, J., Yazan, E., Majaliwa, M. G., MacOpiyo, L., et al., “Drivers of forage availability: An integration of remote sensing and traditional ecological knowledge in Karamoja sub-region, Uganda,” Pastoralism, 5. 19. 2015.
 
[24]  Quam, M. D., “Creating Peace in an Armed Society: Karamoja, Uganda, 1996.,” African Studies Quarterly, 1. 1997.
 
[25]  Kabunga, N. S., Dubois, T., and Qaim, M., “Impact of tissue culture banana technology on farm household income and food security in Kenya,” Food Policy, 45. 25-34. 2014.
 
[26]  Agada, M., and Igbokwe, E., “Influence of Food Culture and Practices on Household Food Security in North Central Nigeria,” Journal of Food Security, 4. 36-41. 2016.
 
[27]  Beckline, M., and Kato, M. S., “Assessing the Impact of Consumer Behaviour on Food Security in South West Cameroon,” Journal of Food Security, 2. 87-91. 2014.
 
[28]  Meyer-Rochow, V. B., “Food taboos: their origins and purposes,” Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 5. 18, 2009.
 
[29]  Ruel, M. T., Garrett, J. L., Morris, S. S., Maxwell, D., Oshaung, A., Engel, P., et al., “Urban challenges to food and nutrition security: A review of food security, health and caregiving in the cities.,” FCND Discussion paper No.51.IFPRI., 1998.
 
[30]  Hoddinott, J., “Agriculture, health, and nutrition: Toward conceptualizing the linkages. Reshaping Agriculture for Nutrition and Health,” ed. Washington, DC.: International Food Policy Research Institute, 2012.
 
[31]  Brown, J. E., Nutrition Through The Life Cycle. Nutrition Basics. , 4 ed.: Wadsworth: Cengage Learning 2011.
 
[32]  Bouis, H., and Hunt, J., “Linking food and nutrition security: past lessons and future opportunities,” Asian Development Review, 17. 168-213. 1999.
 
[33]  Poindexter, B. B., and Langer, J. C., “Early provision of parenteral amino acids in extremely low birth weight infant: Relation to growth and neurodevelopment outcome. ,” The journal of Pediatrics, 148 (3). 300-305. 2006.
 
[34]  Stephens, B. E., Walden, R. V., Gargus, R. A., Tucker, R., Mckinley, L., Mance, M., et al., “First-Week Protein and Energy Intakes are associated with 18-Month Development Outcomes in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants. “ Pediatrics, 123(5). 1337-1343. 2009.
 
[35]  Asi, L. N., and Teri, D. T., “Influence of food taboos on nutritional patterns in rural communities in Cameroon,” International Review of Social Research, 6. 35-39. 2016.
 
[36]  Mengesha, A. D., and Ayele, T. T., “The Impact of Culture on the Nutritional Status of Children and Mothers Durrinng Recurring Food Insecurity: The Case of Boreicha Woreda (SNNPRS),” American Journal of Educational Research, 3 (7). 849-867. 2015.
 
[37]  Hotz, C., and Gibson, R., “Participatory nutrition education and adoption of new feeding practices are associated with improved adequacy of complementary diets among rural Malawian children: a pilot study,” European journal of clinical nutrition, 59. 226-237. 2005.
 
[38]  Guldan, G. S., Fan, H.-C., Ma, X., Ni, Z.-Z., Xiang, X., and Tang, M.-Z., “Culturally appropriate nutrition education improves infant feeding and growth in rural Sichuan, China,” The Journal of nutrition, 130 (5). 1204-1211. 2000.
 
[39]  Jayarao, B. M., Donaldson, S. C., Straley, B. A., Sawant, A. A., Hegde, N. V., and Brown, J., “A survey of foodborne pathogens in bulk tank milk and raw milk consumption among farm families in Pennsylvania,” Journal of dairy science, 89 (7). 2451-2458. 2006.
 
[40]  Heuvelink, A. E., van Heerwaarden, C., Zwartkruis-Nahuis, A., Tilburg, J. J., Bos, M. H., Heilmann, F. G., et al., “Two outbreaks of campylobacteriosis associated with the consumption of raw cows' milk,” International journal of food microbiology, 134. 70-74. 2009.
 
[41]  Lucey, J. A., “Raw milk consumption: risks and benefits,” Nutrition Today, 50 (4). 189. 2015.
 
[42]  Cavirani, S., “Cattle industry and zoonotic risk,” Veterinary research communications, 32. 19-24. 2008.
 
[43]  Etter, E., Donado, P., Jori, F., Caron, A., Goutard, F., and Roger, F., “Risk Analysis and Bovine Tuberculosis, a Re-emerging Zoonosis,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1081. 61-73. 2006.
 
[44]  Amenu, K., Thys, E., Regassa, A., and Marcotty, T., “Brucellosis and tuberculosis in Arsi-Negele District, Ethiopia, Prevalence in ruminants and people’s behaviour towards zoonoses,” Tropicultura, 28 (4). 205-210. 2010.