NEWS / Food Poverty

Eating forgotten plants could ease malnutrition in East Timor

The Thomson Reuters Foundation reports that knowledge of local foods could ease child malnutrition in East Timor.

East Timor flag. Photo credit: Pixabay

East Timor flag. Photo credit: Pixabay

The Australian owners of a restaurant in East Timor are hoping to use their passion for the local cuisine to combat malnutrition in the tiny Southeast Asian nation.

East Timor has Asia's worst rates of child malnutrition, with more than 50 percent of children suffering from stunting. However the UN children's agency UNICEF blames a lack of education and knowledge about local foods and believes that locally grown carrots and leafy greens can be used to supplement diets.

Restaurant owner Mark Notaras has launched the non-profit Timor-Leste Food Innovators Exchange (TLFIX) last year to educate people across the country about cooking with healthy and local ingredients. "We use food storytelling and food innovation to promote better livelihoods, including through nutrition," said Notaras. In doing so, they are joining a worldwide movement to return to local produce as populations have shifted away from traditional diets to increasingly consume imported foods that tend to be cheaper but less nutritious.

Read the full article on the Thomson Reuters Foundation website.

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