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Hoodia San Diet

The San diet consists mainly of edible plants. Although the Kalahari is a dry region it contains a great variety of highly nutritious food plants, amongst these are the now world famous Hoodia Gordonii, the miracle appetite suppressant.

In the Northern part of the Kalahari the San tribe eat up to 100 different plant types. Of the most important is the mongogo nut, this is a staple food and provide more than half of the San tribe daily diet. The tsama melon is an important food an a valuable source of water. The pips of the melon are normally roasted over a fire.

The San tribes to the North of the Kalahari eat mostly plant food that grow above the ground and those living in the central and southern part rely a great deal on underground bulbs and tubers as a source of food and water. The San women have detailed knowledge of the desert environment and they use special sticks to unearth the bulbs and tubers.

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The men in turn are expert hunters, although they rarely kill animals, from time to time they are urged by their family to bring home a wildebeest or even one of the smaller animals like a porcupine or a few birds. Large animals include eland, kudu giraffe and antelope. These animals are hunted with bows and poisoned arrows. In some instances they use a snare to trap the smaller game. Animals that are caught in traps are swiftly killed with a spear, to avoid a slow painful death.

The meat including liver, heart etc is roasted immediately after the hunt. The women normally share out the food to the entire group that spend hours feasting and chatting around the open fires.