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Table 4 Categories included in the data analysis on the use of edible plants in a local community in NE Brazil

From: I eat the manofê so it is not forgotten”: local perceptions and consumption of native wild edible plants from seasonal dry forests in Brazil

Category Description
  Positive aspects Frequency Negative aspects Frequency
Availability Plants that are easy to find because they grow near the community. 28/612 (4.58%) Participants mentioned difficulty in finding the plant in question, indicating that the species was not present near the community. 95/724 (13.12%)
Biophilia and conservation People stressed the importance of a plant for the survival of other individuals in the ecosystem, for the conservation of the environment, for their beauty, or because they are considered safe and therefore have “a right to survive”. 23/612 (3.76%) Interviewees stated that the use of a given plant and/or particular food item could threaten the plant’s conservation in the region. 1/724 (0.14%)
Commercialization Plants that are currently, or potentially could be, commercialized. 5/612 (0.82%) Plants that cannot be commercialized or sold. 4/724 (0.55%)
Cultural acceptance Opinions expressed by participants who stressed the importance of a plant in preparing traditional food and/or because the foods are highly valued. Shared knowledge is considered culture in this study. 16/612 (2.61%) Plants that are stigmatized, e.g., as food for poor people, food for children, or food that appearance is unpleasant. Shared knowledge is considered culture in this study. 54/724 (7.46%)
Emergency food Includes opinions about plants used in times of scarcity. 4/612 (0.65%) - 0/724 (0%)
Harvest, consumption and processing - 0/612 (0%) Participants mentioned some difficulty in collecting the plant because of thorns, associations with poisonous animals, difficult access to the edible part, or other factors that make consumption and processing difficult (e.g., abundance of seeds and difficulty in preparing). 103/724 (14.23%)
Mitigating hunger and thirst Participants refer to plants with properties that satiate hunger or thirst. 24/612 (3.92%) Participants refer to plants that cannot satiate hunger or thirst; plants that can be consumed but that cannot satiate. 12/724 (1.66%)
Organoleptic characteristics of the edible part Pleasant flavor, pleasant smell, thin skin, appropriate size, appropriate amount of water, appropriate amount of pulp. 317/612 (51.8%) Unpleasant flavor, unpleasant smell, thick skin, small size, among others. 199/724 (27.49%)
Flavor 295/612 (48.2%) Flavor 104/724 (14.4%)
Smell 10/612 (1.63%) Size 55/724 (7.6%)
Size 9/612 (1.47%) Smell 22/724 (3%)
Amount of pulp 3/612 (0.49%) Amount of pulp 11/724 (1.5%)
Core size 7/724 (1%)
Perception of health effects Participants reported the use of plants due to their healing properties or their ability to promote wellness. 4/612 (0.65%) Indicate the avoidance of plants due to their damaging properties or because they produce unpleasant side effects (e.g., belly ache). 22/724 (3.04%)
Phenotypic and ontogenetic diversity - 0/612 (0%) Participants indicated that not all plants produce equally good edible parts, mainly when referring to their flavor. 48/724 (6.63%)
Impossibility of eating when you are older Answers mentioning a positive aspect of the plant’s characteristics (sugar, fat content, pulp consistency), thus allowing its consumption by older people. 2/612 (0.33%) Respondents mentioned that the plant could not be consumed by some people due to characteristics that preclude its consumption by older people (very hard edible parts, for which people need to have teeth to consume them). 11/724 (1.152%)
Seasonality Opinions expressed by people who stressed the characteristics of some plants that have edible parts that are not very seasonal, which means that it is almost always easy to find the edible organs. 3/612 (0.49%) Answers that were mentioned as limiting the consumption of some plants because many of them produce edible organs only during a specific and/or short time of the year (usually refers to fruits because the other edible organs are often not seasonal). 59/724 (8.15%)
Texture Plants whose edible organs have pleasant textures that encourage their consumption. 3/612 (0.49%) Responses mentioned as limiting factor the unpleasant texture. 39/724 (5.39%)
Unaware of the resource - 0/612 (0%) Participants stated that they did not know that the plant in question was used as food. 44/724 (6.08%)
Versatility Includes plants that the participants described as having other services besides their use as food. 148/612 (24.18%) Participants stated that the plant in question did not have other uses than being edible were considered negative. 9/724 ( 1.24%)
Vulnerability to pests and susceptibility Answers that mentioned the capacity of the alimentary organ to resist plagues or adverse environmental conditions and remain in a good state/condition for a long time. 1/612 (0.16%) Includes answers that mentioned that the edible organ of the plant is easily spoiled, which limits its consumption. 18/724 (2.49%)
Ways of preparing Answers indicating that the plant in question has many different preparation methods. 34/612 (5.56%) Answers indicating that the plant in question can be prepared in only a few ways. 4/724 (0.55%)
Others - 0/612 (0%) Answers given by a small number of people that could not fit into the other created categories, such as the fact that the plant could bring bad luck or that it could inhibit the growth of other plants around it. 2/724 (0.28%)