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Mushrooms as a strategy to reduce food insecurity in Colombia

María-Carolina Cuesta (Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia)
Katherin Castro-Ríos (SENNOVA CFC, Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, Manizales, Colombia)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 13 November 2017




This paper aims to address the issue of food security and its role in the inclusion of edible and medicinal mushrooms in the diets of nutritionally vulnerable populations in Colombia, allowing an overview of the nutritional situation and its main structural causes, the importance of food security programs, the advantages and disadvantages of the use of mushrooms and strategies and challenges in promoting the cultivation and consumption of macromycetes.


An extensive literature review was conducted to develop this viewpoint paper.


According to the results of this study, for edible fungi to become a viable alternative in the Colombian food culture, it is necessary to develop strategies and educational programs for food security, to conduct applied research to assess the incorporation of mushrooms into the food culture of the communities and to consider the acceptability of this food. This requires promoting the properties of mushrooms and considering their nutritional and/or medicinal contributions, self-consumption, commercialization to buy other food and the utilization of by-products or agricultural residues for cultivation, all while paying heed to the implications of food safety and regulations. The contributions of different professionals in social and technical areas in transferring knowledge to the community, and especially to “replicator leaders”, is also of great relevance to the acceptability of these ideas within communities.

Social implications

Edible fungi are a possible response to malnutrition problems in adult and infant populations in Colombia.


No previous study has investigated the potential of mushrooms as a strategy to decrease food insecurity in Colombia.



Cuesta, M.-C. and Castro-Ríos, K. (2017), "Mushrooms as a strategy to reduce food insecurity in Colombia", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 47 No. 6, pp. 817-828.



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