University of Oulu

Asi, L., Teri, D., & Meyer-Rochow, V. (2018). Influence of food taboos on nutritional patterns in rural communities in Cameroon, International Review of Social Research, 8(1), 2-6. doi:

Influence of food taboos on nutritional patterns in rural communities in Cameroon

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Author: Asi, Lilian Nkengla1; Teri, Deli Tize2; Meyer-Rochow, V. Benno3,4
Organizations: 1International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), P.O Box 2008, Messa, Cameroon
2University of Yaoundé I/Cameroon, B.P. 8119 Yaoundé
3Research Institute of Luminous Organisms, 2749 Nakanogo (Hochijojima), Tokyo 100-1623, Japan
4Department of Genetics and Physiology, Oulu University, FIN 90140, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: De Gruyter, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-07-01


Food taboos are observed in all traditional societies. In Cameroon, various taboos ranging from food to religious and social have significant impact on the diet of the people. Specific food items are regarded differently by different communities. While in certain communities, some food items are seen as fit for consumption, others deem it unfit. Although food taboos related to culture are more subject to change due to the level of literacy that prevails in the society and due to cultural contacts, violators of taboos suffer grievous consequences. Methods used included key informant interviews, focus group discussions and observations in all studied communities. The objective of the study is to understand how culture (food taboos) influences consumption patterns in traditional communities and the impact of disobedience on the people. This study of Cameroon food taboos has showed that dietary rules and regulations govern particular phases of life and is associated with special events like pregnancy, childbirth, lactation etc. In traditional societies, festivities such as hunting, wedding, and funeral are marked by specific food items. Punishments to violation of food taboos vary across food items and communities as what are considered a taboo in one community is not a taboo in another. Food taboo in some communities is considered as a way to maintain identity creating a sense of belonging.

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Series: International review of social research
ISSN: 2069-8267
ISSN-E: 2069-8534
ISSN-L: 2069-8267
Volume: 8
Issue: 1
Pages: 2 - 6
DOI: 10.2478/irsr-2018-0013
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 5141 Sociology
Copyright information: © 2018 Lilian Nkengla Asi et al., published by Sciendo. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License.