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This story excerpt was translated from French. To read the original story in full, visit EnviroNews. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

Mfumbwa. Image by Enviro News.

With the scientific name Gnetum africanum, mfumbwa is a plant of the tropical forest. This non-woody product prepared with peanut paste is used as a medicinal plant in some African countries like Congo Brazzaville and Mozambique. According to scientists, mfumbwa is a green vegetable that contains amino acids. These acids play a crucial role in the structure, metabolism and physiology of the cells of all living beings, known as the constituents of proteins. They constitute the essential mass of the body after water.

In Kinshasa, many families consume them without knowing their nutritional values. "I like mfumbwa and I eat it regularly. In my Ngala tribe, it is like a staple food," said Arsel Kanza, a young student found cooking mfumbwa in the commune of Makala.

The same is true for a mfumbwa seller we met in the Mbudi neighborhood in the commune of Mont Ngafula. She has set up her small business near the houses, far from the market. "I have been selling this vegetable for a year now. It is because I noticed that it was very much bought. I asked a saleswoman about it. She confirmed that it is a profitable business. That's why I started this business. I don't know what it brings to the organization," said Jeanette.

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