Affiliations: [a] Centre for Rural Development and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016, India. e-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Energy, climate change, food security, and health care are the major challenges humanity is facing the world over. Bamboo grass, which can grow successfully on wasteland with minimal agronomical inputs, would help in meeting these challenges to a significant extent. Generally, bamboos, a group of large woody grasses belonging to the family Poaceae and subfamily Bambusoideae are much known for their contribution mainly to the housing sector in view of certain unique characteristics. Although the bamboo shoot used in tribal diet is a very old phenomenon, yet the food potential of the bamboo shoot per se remains subsided and unexplored. Literature on the food potential of bamboo shoots is scattered and has been realized in a reductionistic manner. Few studies reveal its richness in nutritive components like protein and fiber content and thus the bamboo shoot could be helpful in mitigating the problem of malnutrition. This paper therefore tries to reflect light on the bamboo shoot as a food resource with a holistic perspective. Exotic food products and traditional dishes of bamboo shoots being eaten at different locations have been compiled and discussed. The toxic content in different bamboo shoot species studied by various investigators is presented in this paper too. The nutritional values of different species of bamboo shoots and the effect of processing methods on its nutritive quality have also been looked into. The feasibility of integrating raw/processed bamboo shoot in the modern diet and lifestyle for enhancing food-nutritional security is also explored.