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Social Status, Traditional Food Taboos and Food Security: A Study of Igbo Women in Imo State, Nigeria
A study was conducted to examine adherence to traditional food taboos by women in Imo State, and relate that to social status and food security. Data was collected from 72 women across the three agricultural zones of the State. It was found that age, income and education are some factors affecting adherence to these taboos. This is further evidence of the need to raise women education and income levels as well as providing them employment opportunities. About twenty-five (25) such taboos were identified. These include non-consumption of some crop and livestock products. It was found that these are important sources of calorie, protein, vitamins and minerals. They were also found to be commonly available and within the purchasing power of the women. Prohibiting women from consuming those products denied the potential contribution of those items to women food security denied, apparently for no nutritional reasons. However, enforcement of these taboos is by the women themselves. It is suggested that extension, Nutritionists and dieticians embark on subtle campaigns to reverse these.
Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences Vol. 4 (2) 2006: pp. 139-146