THE ROTTEN PLANTAIN SCARE

The Saturday’s issue of this paper made a scary revelation which should put fear into many a Ghanaian.

A scientist cautioned the public that those who eat ‘kakro’ prepared from rotten plantain can develop cervical cancer.

Kakro is a Ghanaian delicacy made of mashed ripe plantain, prepared in balls and fried in hot oil. It is usually eaten with cooked beans.

The scientist, Professor George Tawia Odamtten explained that the fungi found in rotten plantain when consumed can cause the cancer.

He noted that since most market women wanted to minimise losses, they sell the decayed plantain to those who prepare the kakro.

Indeed, this is not the first time that health alerts have been issued against the preparation and consumption of some local dishes. Some years ago, the same alerts were issued against the preparation of kenkey and red oil.

But that of plantain has come as shocking news, because it is a main staple for many Ghanaian homes. Its nutritional values are not in doubt.

It contains among others calories, carbohydrates, protein, fats, potassium, vitamins A and C. Plantain is known to boost the immune system, regulates digestion, provides food energy requirements and helps naturally remedy to high blood pressure.

It further promotes healthy brain function and prevents aspirin-induced ulcers.

With these health benefits Ghanaians must not be discouraged from consuming the staple because of the ‘sad’ news that some traders deliberately sell rotten ones for the preparation of kakro.

It is for this reason that the Times calls on the Food and Drugs Authority and other relevant agencies to immediately launch investigations into the matter to ascertain the truth or otherwise.

We also pray that the findings would be made public to allay the fears that the story may have created among the citizenry.

If the scientist assertion is proven, the Authority and the police must ensure that such traders are brought to book.

This is because the health of Ghanaians cannot be toyed with, as government continues to expend millions of Cedis on the treatment of diseases which could otherwise have been prevented.

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