fruit and vegetables are highly consumed in rural areas and are rich in
micronutrients and antioxidants – but they can also be deadly.
In 2014 four members of
a Gauteng family died after eating poisonous mushrooms and in 2012 five members
of a Durban family died also after eating these killer mushrooms. It was reported
that 10 people in Zimbabwe died from eating poisonous mushrooms that sprouted
after heavy rains earlier this year.
An important source of food
Health practitioner Dr
Nomasonto Malinga warned people to stay away from wild mushrooms, describing
them as a “silent killer".
Zintombi Shozi, 58, grew
up eating wild fruit and vegetables.
“They never made me
sick. I think they have lots of nutrients which our bodies need. I still send
my children to pick them for me. I eat plants like wildplum, bitterbos,
momordica foetida, amatulwa and water barriers.”
Thobani Myeni said wild plants
were an important source of food in rural areas. “We don't go hungry if we have
them. My mother cooks (imbuya) amaranthus hybrids together with (uqadolo)
bidens pilosa and it has never caused us any illness. I still enjoy amatulwa
Dr Malinga said when
food is scarce, wild fruit and vegetables take on an important role in the diet
of people in rural areas, but cautioned that it is important to first rinse them
before eating them. – Health-e News.
Image credit: iStock