Local Goa News

Monday, May 16, 2016

Not berry good: Demand for local fruit dwindles

Panaji: While the state's rapid urbanization is proving to be a boon for some sectors like tourism and business, one of the downsides of the phenomenon is the dwindling awareness of local fruits. Seasonal berries like jamblam , kantam and chunnam for instance, though rich in nutritional value, are becoming less and less visible in local markets. A small portion of kantam and jamblam are sold for 20 each.
Vendors said that as demand for these berries has been dropping, it doesn't profit them much to forage through thorny bushes in the forest to pluck the fruit. As a result, people tend to miss out on the myriad health benefits that they would have got by consuming these fruits. In fact, experts point to a direct relation between eating what's in season and staving off diseases.
Nutritionist Luana Mascarenhas, said, "Wild berries are rich in antioxidants that help fight ageing. They are very citric in nature and have vitamin C components, thus boosting the immune system."
"Nowadays, if people take ill, they visit the pharmacy and take medicines. But, instead of such drugs, why can't we make use of what the environment has to offer us?" Joaquim Almeida, an senior citizen of Margao, said.
Apart from wild berries, there is the soursop , a little known fruit with anti-cancerous properties, Mascarenhas said, adding that meagre quantities are usually sold because of the general unawareness of its medicinal value.

TOI Goa News

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