So, you must have observed that the topic, ‘What Do I Eat?’, is a bit awkward, or even ridiculous. You might have even thought, “What the hell is my business with what he eats? If he is hungry, let him go and get food! Does he not have better things to write other than this gibberish? Oh, topics are finished; that’s why he is writing this.” If any of these thoughts crossed your mind, let me hasten to say I’m awfully sorry about my choice of topic. I want to sincerely tender my unreserved apology for this ‘folly’ of mine. But wouldn’t you rather hold on and check out what presents I have wrapped for you here? What if there is some gold embedded in the mud of this writing? Wait and see!
Some weeks ago, as I was temporarily estranged from the hurly-burly of my environment and deeply engrossed in my habitual critical thinking, it struck me. It struck me squarely in the head like a deadly blow from a furious heavyweight champion, so strong that it blurred my vision and put me off my balance. It was not a punch. It was an idea- an idea about foods we take.
Matter-of-factly, humans must eat. And food they must take. If my memory doesn’t fail me, I remember my primary school teacher taught me something about food. Simply, food is anything edible that gives us energy and makes us grow healthy. From that definition, it can be deduced that food should not only give us energy but should also make us healthy as we grow. However, in the 21st century, especially in Nigeria, it seems as if we’ve forgotten the latter part of the definition, for we mostly eat to gain energy alone, and not to be healthy.
Oh, my friend over there says it is one who is wealthy enough that can afford healthy foods. He says wealth is health, but I say health is wealth. There is a difference. You may decipher that yourself. Now, I want to chip in a fact. Healthy foods are not necessarily expensive. In fact, healthy foods can be the cheapest. Okay, compare an over-seasoned fast-food to a common ‘igbemo’ rice( sorry, but I’m not comfortable calling it ‘ofada’ rice. Maybe I’m only being conservative). Or talk of fruits, which is cheaper: a bottled fruit wine or a bunch of banana? And I even heard ‘sawa’ fish is one of the most nutritious, despite its cheapness. You should also get to know the price of a cup of white beans in your area, then you would find out these things are actually cheap. You do not need to be stinkingly rich before you eat healthy foods.
Well, me o, I wan live long well-well. Becos of dat, I don make some kia-kia changes for my food
menu. I am aware of several common but preventable terminal diseases caused by our carelessness in feeding. My great-grandmother lived for close to a hundred and thirty years(130
years), but nowadays, young men of forty and fifty are already nursing their killers. Why? It is about what they take. No, I’m not insinuating it’s only unhealthy foods that lead to untimely death. There are surely other factors, but food cannot be overlooked either.
Concerning my choice of food, first of all, I want to ‘go down low’ on my intake of salt, bouillon cubes (e.g Maggi, Knorr etc) and sugar. The body, as I researched, does not need as much salt as most of us take, cos we have almost enough salt in our bodies already accumulated over the years . Excess salt is also known to lead to high blood pressure. As well, sugar, though okay for children, is not so advisable for an adult. Excess sugar leads to low sperm-count and diabetes. Worse still, we now have exponential reports of youths in their prime already suffering from a terminal disease like diabetes. Maggi (for that’s the name Nigerians have adopted for bouillon cubes, just like we call every detergent ‘Omo’, and every toothpaste ‘Maclean’) contains principally both salt and sugar, in addition to MSG(monosodium glutamate)- another substance that does the body not so much good. If you are in doubt, go into your kitchen now and check any packet of bouillon cube you have.
Well, as for me and my family, we will watch our intake of these substances.When you decide to
take away a toy from a baby, you must be prepared to replace it with another. In the same vein, as one chooses to avoid or reduce intake of these things, one must also be ready to replace them with less harmful substitutes. In place of sugar, I would go for honey. In place of bouillon cubes, I would use naturally nutritious seasonings/flavours like crayfish, ginger, onion etc.
So, as Eid Al-Fitr (the celebration of the end of Ramadan) knocks at the door, if I knock at your door, don’t give me soft drinks, for they contain sugar.
Offer me fruits!
I am @omoyayinka on Twitter