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Center for a Livable Future


Underutilized Plants: Their Role in Preventive Medicine, Nutrition, and Sustainability

May 2, 2006

Public health professionals working in some of the most economically challenged areas of the world are also in proximity to a large array of underutilized plants.  Traditional knowledge of their medicinal and  nutritional uses is being lost at an alarming rate. This loss is accompanied by disappearance of the plant species themselves and of the ecosystems they support. This symposium will increase awareness by highlighting some of these underutilized plant resources and their benefits to local populations. We hope that health professionals, plant researchers and others will attend.

Moderator:  Robert S. Lawrence, MD, Director, Center for a Livable Future and Edyth Schoenrich Professor of Preventive Medicine, JHU   

Underexploited Tropical Plants with Promising Economic Value: The Last 30 Years 
Keynote Speaker:  Noel Vietmeyer, PhD, National Academy of Sciences
Author of "Underexploited Tropical Plants" and "Lost Crops of Africa: Volume I: Grains; Voulume II: Vegetables; Volume III: Fruits" for the National Research Council

Applications, Regional Approaches and Challenges Audio 
Introduction by Sidney Mintz, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, JHU

Development of Forest Resources for Food: Improving the Standard of Living of Rural Africans  
Cori Ham, Community Development Consultant for Commercial Products for the Wild (CPWild), University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Spotlight on the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies (ACES) 
Jennie Hunter-Cevera, PhD, President, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI)    

Native American Foods: Lost Traditions - Found Opportunities  
Tristan Reader, Co-Director Tohono O'odham Community Action  
Karen Blaine, MSW, Nutrition, Health and Culture Outreach Coordinator (TOCA)

The Plants
Introduction by Jed W. Fahey, ScD              
Brassica Chemoprotection Laboratory, Pharmacology, JHU School of Medicine
The Moringa Tree (Moringa oleifera):  Consider the Possibilities 
Balbir S. Mathur, President, Trees for Life, Wichita, KS  

Perennial Vegetables: Finding Inexpensive, Highly Productive Nutrition Solutions for Poor Families in the Tropics             
Martin Price, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO, Educational Concerns for Hunger