Mantasa, a research institution and advocacy organization based in East Java, Indonesia is working to change the narrative of Indigenous food and nutrition sovereignty across Indonesia by reincorporating Indigenous wisdom and native wild plants into Indonesian diets.

Hayu Dyah, Mantasa’s founder, was writing her undergraduate thesis when she learned about the richness of Indonesia’s biodiversity and the traditional uses of indigenous plants. In 2009, she established Mantasa to partner with local and Indigenous communities to reintroduce native wild plants into Indigenous communal diets.

Mantasa works with Javanese, Papuan, and other Indigenous villages to domesticate wild edible plants and grow them in communal gardens. They partner with women to document traditional knowledge, plant and maintain gardens, and sell surplus produce in local markets to help diversify more communities’ palates.

“I actually believe that their food is their medicine, and their medicine is their food,” says Dyah. “Their foods come from the forest, which is fresh, seasonal, and grows from the best quality soil, which guarantees nutrition-dense food.”

Read the full article about Mantasa by Jason Flatt at Food Tank.