8 March 2018

Nigeria: You Should Stop Eating Kpomo Today

Photo: Obinna Anyadike/IRIN
Fulani cows in Kaduna

Cow skin, popularly known as Kpomo, Ponmo or Kanda, is a favourite of many Nigerians. A regular sight at parties, it has become a preferred alternative for some. In fact, no "assorted" is complete without Kpomo.

About three years ago, the Nigerian government made a move to ban this meat but was met with resistance by members of the general public. Some took to social media to protest the ban with the #BringBackOurKpomo campaign.

However, there are clearly no health benefits to eating this meal.

The process of burning kpomo has called for a lot of health concern especially as one cannot dictate to another what should be thrown into the fire being used to burn this edible skin. As such, tyres, dustbin composite as well as other particles are added to the fire. This in turns activates Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) which exposes a person to a great risk of cancer.

Speculations that is good for those who want to lose weight due to the fact that it has no nutritional value is highly debatable.

Yet, it seems health practitioners advise to avoid kpomo has yielded little or no effect.

Cow skin is also used as leather for furniture and accessories in some parts of Nigeria.

Perhaps, a better campaign would be #BringBackOurHealthyLifestyle.


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