Foodie Naja Update, Foodie Update

FOODIE UPDATE (Free Range Poultry Production Rising in Zimbabwe)

ZIMBABWE – The growing interest in indigenous foods by many Zimbabweans could be the break that local free-range poultry farmers have been waiting for in a market that has been dominated by hybrids.Over the past five years or so, numerous traditional food eateries have been opened, while hotels have been putting traditional dishes on their menu. This has served to push demand even in supermarkets as some people prefer to cook for themselves at home instead of spending a small fortune on one meal.

Such is the rising popularity for meals that include free-range chicken, guinea fowl, turkey, rabbit and duck meat to go along with traditional starches such as isitshwala samabele (sorghum) and brown rice.

While almost every household in rural areas has always kept free-range chickens for food and a few have sold a bird here and there to help raise money for use around the home, commercial free-range chicken production is a fairly new concept in most areas, according to Chronicle.

This has led to the rise of organisations such as the Zimbabwe Free-range Poultry Producers’ Association that seeks to help farmers take up free-range farming as a way to grow financial and food self-sufficiency in line with tenets of Zim-Asset.

ZFRPPA secretary general Beauty Jiji says free-range poultry farming can empower women and youths to produce enough to feed themselves and the nation thus creating employment as well as food self-sufficiency.

“Free range birds are natural, healthy and tastier than broiler chickens. So while broilers and layers are easier to produce, free-range products can competitively enter the market if given the chance,” she said.

Free-ranging is simple and economically viable when it comes to feeding and Ms Jiji’s organisation has been recruiting and training farmers on rearing free-range birds and other animals such as rabbits, goats and cattle. Farmers have also been taught cheap and easy ways to prepare feed for their birds.

Free range chickens can feed on a normal diet of grass, worms and bugs as they are allowed to freely roam about and access sunshine for long stretches of time each day. Enough time to source their daily protein is a requirement to ensure optimal growth.

There are, however plenty of others foods that free-range birds can feed on, which include small grains such as millet, sorghum and ground maize as well as fish meal, cotton seed, sunflower cake, maize germ and bone meal.

These are foods that farmers can grow and prepare on their own at minimum cost, and therefore, are affordable to rural farmers. Experts say farmers can actually produce enough small grains to feed themselves as well as their chickens thus reducing their food bill while reaping their nutritional benefits.

While most members of ZFRPPA are still producing on a small scale, Ms Jiji says there are some members who now have more than 3000 birds and have sourced markets for their produce.

The problem however has been maintaining a consistent supply once a market is found.

“We have the opportunity to supply the local market. Last year we got a deal to supply a local supermarket but we could not go back because our farmers failed to consistently supply the agreed number of chickens every week,” said Ms Jiji.

She said there is need to change the mindset of women and youths who are practicing free-range farming so that they understand how commercial production works.

“Once we have organised ourselves, we can then start to produce seriously and be able to meet demand consistently,” she added.

Naija Foodie Update


Some three years back there was a debate around the use of brine solution on chicken that is sold in fast food retail stores across the country. At the time we requested the Ministry of Health, which is the only regulatory authority, to provide us with specifications on the amount of brine that can be applied on chicken and other food
items such as beef.

There were no answers forthcoming from the ministry, except a brief statement that the companies using brine solution should do it with care.
This week, the Minister of Health, Dorcas Makgato stated that the some imported foods are responsible for the spread of non-
communicable diseases. Our country imports more than 50% of food items from neighbouring countries, especially South Africa.

Such imports include chicken, pork
and vegetables among others, which are not subjected to intense scrutiny when they are crossed into the country and ultimately into our plates.
Many, if not all fast food retail stores originate from South Africa, their preferred destination for importing food items including chicken, and pork and even beef,
which is in abundance in Botswana.

It is against this backdrop that we call for strengthening of laws and establishment of Food Regulatory Authority or Commission that will be mandated with ensuring that all the food that is in circulation in Botswana is safe for consumption. The body can go for benchmarking exercises in developed countries such as in the European Union where public safety is given priority than
anything else.

The body should set safe limits of
ingredients in food items and drink beverages, and any chemical or colourant found in food items. We should always remember the China infant milk scandal of 2008; the UK sausage scandal of
2012 and Robertsons spice
scandal of 2005 as events that
demonstrate the need for
comprehensive food safety laws.

The minister acknowledged
that we have good policies but many of them need to be strengthened and harmonised and responsive to current and emerging issues. As matter of fact, the minister was too embarrassed to state that several agencies scattered across ministries
mandated to protect the consumer are not effective.
These policies can only be enforced by an Authority that dedicates all its time to ensuring that the public is protected from
unscrupulous traders and individuals who are bent on making quick cash at the expense of unsuspecting members of the

The Authority will also ensure that traders who erase expiry dates of canned foods are severely dealt with. We have long neglected
public safety and the time to act is nay or else we will wake up when it is too late to reverse the damage.

The minister should take leadership in ensuring that this Authority is established before the end of the eleventh Parliament
and that will be her legacy.

Naija Foodie Update


Would you eat meat that’s not really meat?

One San Francisco-based food
startup is hoping that you’ll say yes and revolutionize the $200 billion U.S. meat industry in the process.

Memphis Meats claims that it’s
produced the first chicken grown
entirely from self-reproducing cells in a lab. Earlier this week, the company invited a few taste-testers to officially taste their lab-grown chicken and duck, and the Wall Street Journal reports it was a complete success.

Most who tasted the “clean meat” said that it was nearly identical to real chicken and duck and that they’d eat it again.
Memphis Meats isn’t the only food related upstart trying to disrupt the industry.

Others, such as Netherlands-
based Mosa Meat, have used muscle cells from cows to create the world’s first “clean” burger and meatballs.
However, Memphis Meats is focused on chicken and duck right now because they’re two of the most widely consumed proteins in the world.

Animal advocates and scientists say this could have huge ethical and environmental implications. Research suggests that growing food for the world’s increasing population is likely to send greenhouse gas emissions over
the safety threshold in the next three decades unless there’s a worldwide push to eat less meat.

Then there’s the possibility that the widespread use of antibiotics in meat is contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. This is also to say nothing of the fact that most of the animals riased in factory farms are treated,
frankly, like shit.

Those in the meat processing industry have also taken note. WSJ reports that last fall, Tyson Foods Inc. launched a venture capital fund to invest in cell cultured meat growth, and Kevin Myers,
the head of product development for Hormel Food Corp. told the WSJ that he thought cultured-meat tech is a “good long-term proposition.”

According to the USDA, U.S. consumers ate an average of 90.9 pounds of chicken apiece last year. While Memphis meats can’t yet produce clean chicken in such large quantities, the company is
hoping to begin selling its meat
commercially by 2021, so you may see it on your grocery store shelves soon enough.



In today’s article i will be discussing on “How To Make Chicken Noodles Soup”.

Chicken noodles soup is a soup made from chicken, simmered in water, usually with various other ingredients. The classic chicken noodles soup consists of a clear chicken broth, noodles often with pieces of chicken or vegetables; common additions are pasta,
dumplings, or grains such as rice and barley.

i. Noodles
ii. 2 tablespoon sweet corn, canned or frozen
iii. 2-3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
iv. 2 Spring onion (finely shredded)
v. 2 tablespoon soy sauce, plus extra for serving
vi. 900ml or vegetable stock
vii. 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 175g/6oz
viii. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh root ginger
ix. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
basil leaves and a little mint or shredded chilli, to serve.

1. Pour the stock into a pan and add the chicken, ginger and garlic. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is
tender. Remove the chicken to a board and shred into bite-size pieces using a couple of forks.

2. Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, corn, mushrooms, half the spring onions and the soy sauce. Simmer for 3-4 mins until the noodles are tender. Ladle into two bowls and scatter over the remaining spring onions, herbs and chilli shreds. Serve hot with extra soy sauce for sprinkling.

Happy Cooking!

Naija Foodie Update


What do you know about Genetic Modified Organisms (GMOs) the technology that moves genes from one specie to the other?

From an animal to a fruit, from a fruit to a vegetable or straight from the cow into the milk.
Would you eat chicken that was made from cassava, Pork that has the genes of a rat, Tomatoes made up of bacteria, Beef made from dogs?

OdunayoofBattaBoxstrolled through a bustling Lagos market to ask eager shoppers….What GMO food is andDr Patrick Ijewerewas on standby to educate us all on the dangers of eating what was not naturally grown.

“Do you know what GMO food is or are?” Odunayo puts the question to the streets.
“Even those things you think are fresh are contaminated, so I don’t see the big deal,” one woman said.

“I would prefer natural fruits, those without fertiliser but where will you get those? You will buy what is available,” another shopper responds.

“The idea that GMO foods are dangerous is just consumer fear,” one confident, educated man on the subject told Odunayo.

What do you think???

Do YOU mind eating corn that has been tampered with or apples that have received more injections than you, a human being?

Naija Foodie Update


On assurance that his name will
not be mentioned in print he
said: “do you know where we
get chicken? All they do is just to
go to a poultry farm and buy
chicken without caring if the
birds are healthy or not. In fact,
some poultry farmers on
realising that their birds are sick
will just approach fast food
vendors to buy at cheap prices.
Ideally, there are designated
poultry companies
recommended by the main
company in Lagos for all
franchises to patronise but these
people out of greed will cut
corners,” the source revealed.
“Bird Flu and Ebola is still
hovering around, such practises
portends a great danger to the
consuming public,” said Abu
Ladan, a customer who
responded to LEADERSHIP
Further investigations by
LEADERSHIP Weekend showed
that only a few restaurant staff
adheres to their food production
standard. Many avoid the
specification manual of the
restaurant to their personal
understanding on the grounds
of years of experience.
“Fresh vegetables are supposed
to be blanched before it is used
for salad but what you find in
most of the restaurants is what
some of them will call ‘sharp
sharp’ just washing with water
instead of blanching to kill any
bacteria or germs,” says Stella
Idowu, a Kaduna based former
restaurant worker.
According to Idowu, many
customers are infected through
consuming foods that have fresh
vegetables in it as they are easily
Also in Kaduna, another former
eatery staff, Peter Odangla told
LEADERSHIP Weekend that many
customers are victims of
carelessness. Narrating his
experience he said: “where I
worked before, rats and other
creeping animals share the
kitchen spaces with staff. There
was a day I met rats eating from
already prepared pudding, we
just chased the rat away and
remoulded it and displayed for
customers to eat.
“It’s a normal practice when the
owners never care about
fumigation and baiting to reduce
rodents,” he revealed.
More so, Odangla said when one
of the staff decided to apply pet
control in the place over 100
dead rats were picked from the
ceiling of the restaurants in two
“How much of washing of pots,
plates and cutlery is done in the
morning after rats must have
stepped on them and even the
raw foods, the situation is
terrible,” Odangla queried.
When LEADERSHIP Weekend had
rare access to some of the fast
food restaurants in Kaduna and
Suleja, Niger State, it was
appalling as hygiene standard
have been relegated to the
In one of the restaurants, a staff
was seen leaving the toilet and
heading straight to the
production unit without
adequate hand washing. “Since
Ebola stop in Nigeria no need for
hand sanitizer again,” the staff
While the fast vendors in Abuja
appeared to be doing relatively
good, less attention is paid to the
health conditions of their
While document obtained from
one of the area council’s
environmental department
saddled with the supervision,
regulation of restaurants and
hotel standards recommended
that food handler test must be
done at least once a year, many
of the operators seemed to care
The tests are supposed to be
done in a public hospitals
certifying the personnel fit and
recommend treatment if a staff is
found to be carrying any
infection. Many of the staff
interacted with in Abuja are
ignorant of it.
While a staff of a popular eatery
in Gwarimpa told LEADERSHIP
Weekend that she does not
know what the test is all about
and didn’t undertake it during
her employment, her counterpart
at Aminu Kano Crescent is aware
of the test but claimed in three
years, only once has she been
made to take the test.
A supervisor in another eatery
along the Herbert Macaulay Way
in Wuse who has been working
for a year has never been tested
while a junior staff told
LEADERSHIP Weekend that she
was recently tested and certified
Several other restaurants staff
said owners of restaurants
hardly pay attention until local
inspectors comes asking for the
certificate of medical fitness.
LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that
all fast food staff are supposed to
submit sample of sputum, urine
and faeces for testing to
ascertain their fitness to serve
meals to the public.
But when LEADERSHIP Weekend
contacted the Environmental
Health Officers Registration
Council of Nigeria (EHORECON)
regulatory body for
environmental health inspectors
in Nigeria, the immediate past
registrar of the council, Mr
Augustine Ebisike said EHORECON
is only responsible for the
training and certification of
environmental health officers
who are saddle with the
responsibility of sanitary
inspection including food
vendors in their local councils.
“For food hygiene and safety,
that responsibility is neither with
the council nor the ministry of
agriculture or health. It is with
the environmental health
department of the various local
governments in Nigeria.
“The local governments are the
closest to the people, you don’t
expect a federal agency to be
monitoring restaurants and
eateries,” Ebisike said.
He lamented that only few
officers have been employed by
the local governments to conduct
inspections and mostly are
underequipped to do the job. He
also lamented that the lack of
salaries have also compounded
the job of proper inspection.
Document obtained by
LEADERSHIP Weekend from the
council indicated that Nigeria has
only 6, 271 environmental health
officers (EHO) against the 24, 000
the nation required to monitor
sanitation at homes,
neighbourhoods, hotels, fast
food and local eateries.
It also indicated that Rivers State
has the highest EHOs with 619
closely followed by Lagos State
with 607 with Taraba State with
the lowest EHOs of just five.
With the meagre number against
the millions of homes and
hundreds of thousands of food
centres across the federation,
many experts say Nigerians are
exposed to too much health risk.
“With these numbers, it is not
surprising that our health
facilities are always flooded with
the sick,” says health worker,
Christopher Odeke.
Meanwhile, Abia, Bayelsa, Delta,
Kebbi, Taraba and Yobe States
have not employed a single
sanitary inspector since their
Corroborating with Ebisike, a
senior environmental health
worker with Gwagwalada area
council in the Federal Capital
Territory (FCT) told LEADERSHIP
Weekend that the council has
only six sanitary inspectors with
three in charge of food
inspection in the council.
“Because of the shortage of
inspectors’ the council had to
contract some consultants to
assist in supervising food
vendors,” the source said.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP Weekend
on the health implication of
serving the public unwholesome
product, an Abuja based medical
doctor; Dr Casmir Nnaemeka said
fast food restaurants have been
a menace since from inception.
“Fast food is the fasted way to
poison because our
environmental and public health
departments are not doing their
jobs. They are all compromise
and for the fact that they are
compromised you are bound to
pick up food poison,” he said.
He accused food vendors of
neglecting hygiene codes and
exposing Nigerians to dangers.
Also speaking on the matter, a
public health consultant at the
Ahmadu Bello University
Teaching (ABUTH) Zaria, Dr
Mohammed Sani Ibrahim, said
contamination of food occurs in
several ways including water
source, insects perching, crop
manure and people producing
the food.
He said eateries staff can easily
contaminate food through boils
and ‘boils have staphylococcus
which is one of the common
causes of food poisoning’.
Ibrahim also revealed that people
wearing rings in kitchen are a
great risk to the food they
produced. “Dirt is trapped in the
ring even though hands are
washed with soaps and the
bacteria dissolved into the next
food,” he said.
He added that foods are not only
poisoned in eateries but at
homes too. He said a food can be
poisoned if it is kept long
because bacteria can produce a
lot of toxins in the food.
He advised visitors to eateries to
be weary of what they consume
but lamented that many
consumers are carried away with
aesthetic beauty of fast food
joints leaving them with little
option than to consume
whatever is served. “Go for fresh
food,” Ibrahim said
In his reaction to the matter, a
former head of department,
Environmental Science Education,
University of Abuja, Prof. Bassey
Ubom said the focus should not
be only on food vendors but the
stages of movement of raw
material to the restaurants.
According to Bassey, the stages
of movement include the farmer,
transporter, marketer and the
user because all of them have a
role to play in food hygiene.
“People take water from piggery
to wash vegetables like
tomatoes, the consequences are
maratonic epidemic. Some of
them are now pandemic where
infections are transported
rapidly,” he said.
He added that the consequences
are glaring today with the high
case of cholera, dysentery,
typhoid, malaria and diarrhoea
reported in hospitals.
Bassey also frowned at the way
and manner by which some fast
food restaurants channel their
waste lines to drainages while
urging the authorities to swift
into action to save the general
public from infections.
Also a Kaduna based food
consultant, Mr Napoleon
Mamman while speaking with
LEADERSHIP Weekend urged
Nigerians to watch out for the
following whenever they visit any
eatery: “if you see any brown or
black trace line on the edge of
the wall to the ceiling, know
there are rats in that place. Nails
of person serving must be short,
clean shaved jaw, no long ear
rings, no loosed hair, no
coughing and talking while
serving you and the environment
must be clean.” He said.
Efforts at getting reaction from
Association of Fast Foods and
Confectionaries Of Nigeria
(AFFCON) was not successful as
calls to the secretariat failed.