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Table 2 Various South African cultures and food prepared during weddings and funerals

From: Influence of cultural practices on food waste in South Africa—a review

Culture Staple food Food prepared at weddings/funerals    Consequences
Starch Meat Salad Sandwich/scones Who prepares the food Invitations  
Zulu Meat, phutu (crumbly maize porridge) sweet pumpkin and boiled amadumbe, a type of tuber or yam) Steamed bread/Phuthu Chicken/beef x   Close relatives and neighbours No Lots of food is prepared in the anticipation that there will be a huge turn-up, but if many people do not pitch up, a lot of food may be wasted.
Xhosa Umphokoqo, a crumbly maize meal with sour milk or buttermilk
Umxhaxha is a combination of pumpkin and corn
Samp/pap Mostly beef and chicken x   Close relatives and neighbors No Cow to be slaughtered the morning of the ritual, and if the cow bellows, it is believed that the ancestors have accepted it if not the sacrifice will not continuea.
Sepedi Thophi (made from maize meal and a melon), mashotja (Mopani worms), morogo Pap Chicken/beef x Scones Men and Women in the family. No Younger men prefer food prepared by the women; this will mean more food will be wasted from “Banna ba kgorob.
Sesotho Ting (grinded sorghum, millet, and maize) with Mangangajane are sundried vegetables. Leqebekoane and oxtail Pap Chicken and beef x Scones Relatives and neighbours No Overestimation of attendance leads to overcooking.
Tsonga Xigugu, Tihove (kind of samp), Tshopi, mealie meal, Xigwimbi, Vukanyi and matomani (Mopani worms) Samp/pap Chicken and beef x   Relatives, friends, and neighbors No Overestimation of attendance leads to overcooking.
Swati Sorghum and maize with goat meat Pap Beef/goat/chicken x   Relatives, friends, and neighbors No Overestimation of attendance leads to overcookingc.
Ndebele Maize cereal (isitshwala), corn and sorghum milk Mielie pap Beef/chicken x   Relatives, friends, and neighbors No Overestimation of attendance leads to overcooking.
Setswana Bogobe (porridge made from sorghum (ting) served with madila (sour goat/cow milk) Pap Shredded meat (Setswana)    Family   Overestimation of attendance leads to overcooking
Venda Tshidzimba, which is a mixture of beans, groundnuts, and maize. Mopani worms Pap/rice   x   Close relatives, friends, and neighbors No Overestimation of attendance and cooking more than required.
English Sunday roasts, fish and chips, full English breakfasts, and Shepherd’s Pie. Rice Chicken/fish x x Usually catering Yes During events little food is wasted as catering is done as per RSVP.
Afrikaans Sosaties(kebab) chicken sausage, and steak served with Stywepap Stiff pap Chicken/beef x Koeksister Men braai the meat and women prepare pap and salads. Yes Minimal food waste can be anticipatedd
  1. a Some people who had attended will not eat the food prepared as they were supposed to enjoy it with the sacrificed cow, they believe that ancestor has turned their back on that ritual and would not want to associate themselves with the ritual any further. This constitutes to food waste
  2. b Men have their three-legged pots were they prepare pap and slaughter cow meat for “Bann ba Kgoro” (men of the clan/family) only. Women prepare their pap, meat, and sa
  3. lads for the rest of the people attending the ceremony. More of the food prepared by “Banna ba Kgoro” will be wasted by women as they are more westernized, and they already catered for
  4. c Swati wedding can last up to 5 days, and all these days are celebrated consecutively (bridal party to gift offering), people that attend all these ceremonies are the same from day 1 to day 5 thus high food wastage can be anticipated. All these days are celebrated consecutively
  5. d Minimal food waste because they are an isolated culture and rarely mix with other cultures, during events only their cultures’ favorite food is being prepared
  6. *NB
  7. X Means it is prepared for either a wedding, funeral, or both events
  8. Yes means an invitation is sent out to people and admission to the wedding is granted by invite
  9. No means invitation etiquette is not administered; the whole community including friends, family, and relatives are invited
  10. Salad means a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients