Food for Thought
My mates at the secondary school called me a foodie.
They served us starvation grade food in the hostels where we were warehoused, and we were always hungry.
The only grace was that there were lots of ill-fated weevils (kòkòrò) cooked with our beans providing us enough animal protein to supplement the plant protein in the beans.
A tablespoonful of beans had about 75% of kòkòrò food beetle contents, ensuring we grew up strong, tall, and happy.
Recently, a female friend (no, not a lover, just a friend) spent about six weeks staying with me in Austin and manned the kitchen.
She was the most amazing cook.
She did all sorts of dishes and soups—egusi, apon, banga, black soup, edikaikon, ewedu, abula, with assorted meat including various types of fish, chicken, namo, abodi, saki, inner tube—everything.
Her food was an incredible experience and the foodie in me came alive again.
There was only one problem: she used artificial condiments such as Maggi cubes and Ajinomoto with Ororo oils for her cuisine.
When she departed, I had gained twenty full pounds—in just six weeks.
That was when I realized why newlyweds gain so much weight within a short time: they use food for romantic comfort.
But what was worse with my weight gain was that my chest felt tight.
My heart was complaining.
And all the artificial seasonings were doing a number on my heart.
The moment my friend left, I threw out all the food and seasonings.
I returned to my normal Spartan diet—fruits, seeds, water, no artificial seasoning.
Fish and snails only. No more assorted meats and designer cuisines for me.
Instantly the tight feeling in the chest disappeared and my heart returned to its normal robustness.
And I dropped the twenty pounds that I amassed in six weeks in less than two weeks.
I heaved a sigh of relief. (You can see the picture of the simple ẹ̀bà and ọbẹ̀ that I now make).
That was when I realized that one must be really careful with all these artificial seasonings that we now add to our food—all the Maggi cubes, Ajinomoto, ororo, etc, are silent killers.
Our grandmothers did not use them for cooking soups.
They may taste good, but they are potentially deadly.
Read the labels carefully on the foods that your purchase. Choose items without sugar and salt.
Kí Olódùmarè má jẹ́ kí oúnjẹ dídùn kó bá wa. (May delicious-tasting foods not send us to an early grave).
May the newlywed Ìyàwó not kill her ọkọ with delicious foods. May the newlywed ọkọ not kill ìyàwò with palatable dishes.
Ìwòyí àmọ́dún, ọmọ tuntun làǹtì-lanti.