YOGYAKARTA – There is a tendency that young people abandon local food for fast food. Therefore, the Centre for Food and Nutrition of Universitas Gadjah Mada is currently promoting the diversification of traditional foods from across Asia, including Yogyakarta.
“We have not yet identified the percentage of people that consume traditional foods, but over 50% of Yogyakarta residents take herbal drinks which are good for health,” said researcher Prof. Dr. Eni Harmayani, M.Sc., in the workshop entitled Health Food Traditions of Asia at UGM Institute for Research and Community Service, Tuesday (16/9).
Eni said UGM researchers have identified a number of traditional foods from Yogyakarta and Indonesia, including soto and satay. She said each region’s traditional food has good diet diversification.
Furthermore, UGM teams up with four other universities in Asia to develop innovative methods to learn Asia’s traditional foods that meet health quality standards.
The workshop involved tens of experts and researchers from Universitas Gadjah Mada, United Nations University Institute for the Advances Studies of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Japan, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Prince of Songkhla University (PSU), and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand. Attending the workshop were Dr. Anil Kumar Anal from AIT, Prof. Wirote Youravong from PSU, and Dr. Rajeev Bhat from USM, as well as from UGM, Prof. Dr. Ir. Umar Santoso, M.Sc., Prof. Dr. Ir. Murdijati Gardjito, Prof. Dr. Mustofa, Apt., and Dr. dr. Eti Nurwening Sholikah.
Dr. Unnikhrinan Payyappallli from UNI-IAS said the joint research would identify and document all traditional foods from Asia. It is predicted as many as 400 traditional foods are potential to be categorised as healthy traditional foods. The work responds to the tendency of the global society that has turned to diet foods instead. “Researches are needed to identify the traditional foods. The results of the research will be publicised and recommended to the government,” he said.
UGM Vice Rector for Cooperation and Alumni, Prof. Ir. Dwikorita Karnawati, M.Sc., PhD., expected the workshop to produce scientific concept, strategy, methodology, and indicator to learn the potential and consumption culture of local foods.