Every region has its ethnic dish that the residents are used to eating. The culture of an area is identified greatly by its food and delicacies. The culture of Nigeria is incomplete without Kpomo- its prominent food item that people relish. It is a native food of many African nations, just like Dennetia Tripelata.
Recently, different people have made multiple speculations about the nutritional value of Kpomo. Consequently, the governments are also in action trying to take measures, considering the health of the residents.
Today, we will talk in detail about what Kpomo actually is and what the hype is about it.
What is Kpomo?
Kpomo is also known as Kanda or Ponmo. It is an assorted Nigerian dish that is often prepared at parties and other special occasions. Kpomo or Ponmo is a famous Nigerian dietary item. In English, it can be translated to “cow skin meat.”
Every person in Nigeria, irrespective of their social status, often indulges in delicious recipes made from Kpomo. People in some areas love it because it has a delicious taste and a preferable texture. It is, infact, more popular than all other mean types, especially in Nigeria.
Kpomo is carved from the outer part of the cow and is prepared by meat industries to be consumed.
Nutritional Value of Kpomo
Kpomo is a meat that contains protein and fats in some quantity. The nutrients present in 100g of boiled Kpomo or cow skin are as follows-
61 mg calcium
4.3 mg iron
12 mg magnesium
36 mg phosphorus
6.79 mg zinc
Scientists and food experts have devised these stats after years of research. Consequently, they have also identified a few benefits of consuming cow skin as meat, which are mentioned below.
1. Supports Weight Loss
With a low-calorie count, it is a good food item that can help you reduce excess weight. A piece of kpomo has 47 calories, which gives you energy with fewer calories and helps you lose weight.
2. Source of Zinc
Kpomo has 6.79 mg of zinc, which is important for the body to stay safe from problems such as hair loss, diarrhea, eye problems, etc.
3. Facilitates Development of Bones and Teeth
With calcium and phosphorous a great part of its nutritional value, it can be said to be essential for the development of strong teeth and bones.
4. Regulates Muscle and Nerve Function
Kpomo has magnesium in desirable quantities, which enhances and supports muscle and nerve function in the body.
5. Aids Digestion
The fiber levels present in kpomo aid digestion and facilitate bowel movements. They also help in improving blood levels and managing cholesterol and are effective in curing problems such as heart diseases, diabetes, bowel cancer, etc.
6. Offers Animal Protein to the Body
Kpomo is beneficial for athletes and bodybuilders as it is a good source of protein. However, the protein quantity in it is much less than other animal meats, as it does not have all the essential amino acids.
7. Rich in Collagen
Cow skin meat helps the body generate Bovine collagen, which supports the body in cases of bone, joint, and skin problems. It helps reduce wrinkles, increase skin moisture, promote skin elasticity, and prevent bone loss.
Thus, if consumed in appropriate quantities, kpomo can help your body in multiple ways.
The Experts’ Concerns
However, the experts have also discovered some health risks or negative side effects that are accompanied with its consumption. Firstly, Kpomo is often available for consumption only after processing. Some companies use unhygienic processing conditions, which can fill the meat with harmful bacteria or microbes.
Also, it is very hard to eat and digest and can often cause problems in digestion or difficulty in chewing. Therefore, it is advised that one must wash it carefully and cook it properly with salt and clean water before consumption.
There is also a group of experts who believe that Kpomo comes with no nutritional value or health benefits at all. More debate has been caused about the process of burning kpomo. It is believed that the processors of the meat throw the animal skin into the same fire in which tires, dustbin composites, and other particles are also burnt. Consequently, the meat gets filled with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), which can cause cancer and other grave issues to the consumers.
What is the Government’s Stance?
Professors of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) have stated that the consumption of kpomo should be banned in Nigeria. According to them, it does not have a lot of benefits or nutritional value compared to other meat types. The professors said that it is only in Nigeria that people take animal skin as meat.
This is also posing a negative effect on the leather industry in the country. If all the cow skin is consumed by the residents, there will be no skin left to make leather goods and items, causing a collapse in the industry.
As a result of this report, the government earlier implemented a ban on the consumption of kpomo by regular households. This caused outrage among the natives who love consuming it. People even started online protests on Twitter and other social media platforms, calling for the government to remove the ban. As a result, the Nigerian government was pressurized, and the ban on the consumption of Kpomo was removed.
However, to resurrect the leather industry, the government is again on the verge of passing legislation to ban its consumption. We will have to see the public response to this and whether the government will be able to move forth with this ban or not in the coming days.
No matter how hard the governments or the experts try, It is quite difficult to convince the native people of the possible ill effects of the food they have been consuming for centuries. Nigerian events are practically incomplete without Kpomo, and the ban on kpomo will surely cause disheartening of the residents and uprisings in the country. Poor masses of Nigeria are highly dependent on this food which is like a luxury food for them, and it will not be easy for Nigeria to simply get away with it!