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What do Tswana people eat?

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March 26, 2008 1:02PM

The Tswana diet depends on where they are living. More rural people tend to combine the 'modern' foods (exotics such as spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, etc) with traditional foods. The carbohydrate staple consumed by most is a stiff porridge made from maize flour, water and salt. This is sometimes exhanged with a local steamed bread, store bought bread or other vegetable starches (potatoes/ sweet potatoes). Wild food such as Amaranthus spp. and Cleome gynandra are also used as a leafy vegetable, though the younger generation tends not to eat these plants as they feel that the food is inferior. This is, however, not true, as many of them have high nutritional value. These plants have, unfortunately, been labelled as poverty foods by many. There are also several pumpkin types that are also consumed. The more urban Tswana have mostly lost the traditional food culture, though many of the people over 35 will buy these traditional foods if they can. In these areas mostly bought "supermarket" types of food are consumed. In general poorer households will consume the wild and weedy leafy vegetables (also known as morogo) if they have access to them.