The taste and feel in your mouth while eating it is very cool. Call it kanda, kpomo, Ponmo or whatever name you call it, this is just the popular processed cow hide and skin eating as meat. Kpomo is a special delicacy in Nigeria that is common among the Yorubas but eaten by almost every Nigerian, irrespective of class, age or religion. Pomo delicacy is very interesting especially in preparation of African salad and peppered kpomo. A try of this will keep you glued to it.
A lot of people resort to kpomo as beef is not good to their health due to age. Many Nigerians prefer this kind of meat in their food especially when it is cooked with abacha (African salad), egusi soap or draw soup even pepper soup meat. If you are a kpomo meat lover, you will agree that kpomo is the very life of any soup. Have you tried it in yam porridge or in fried stew with a cold bottle of drink?
Many argued that Kpomo is a diet rich in fibre and has lots of benefits like stabilizing blood sugar levels because it slows down the rate at which glucose is absorbed into the blood stream. It also helps to lower blood cholesterol levels, which is important for reducing the risk of heart disease.
Nevertheless, the consumption of this meat is dangerous to health as some of the animals may be suffering from skin disease and how the skin is been processed. Based on how it is burnt with tire in Nigeria, health wise those deposit from the tire glue to the kpomo, they does not dissolve and are not good for human health. If you have seen where kpomo is processed, you will believe that consuming it have many health implications.
Although, it would be hard to stop people from consuming kpomo as result of the false information they have been fed with. Sometime last year, some Nigerians became angry and furious following reports that the Federal Government ban the sale and widespread consumption of kpomo, a popular delicacy to many.
However, medical experts maintained that the consumption of kpomo is unhealthy. They debunked the claim that eating kpomo is good for the elderly as they cannot eat red meat. The animal skin has no proven medical or nutritional value, but rather it is unhealthy and should be put to better use.
According to Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology, NILEST, Zaria, Dr. Isuwa Adamu, the consumption of the product as meat is dangerous to health because scientifically, kpomo does not have any nutritional value to human health. Scientific research has shown that kpomo doesn’t have any nutritional value to human health and that some of the animals where kpomo is gotten from are usually sick & harbor dangerous chemicals and this left the consumer vulnerable to chemicals in the animal skin. So consuming such product is not different from committing suicide.
“In fact, it is not advisable for you to consume kpomo in the sense that some of the animals killed and used for kpomo actually have skin diseases. Some of these skin diseases are such that boiling them ordinarily, may not kill the bacteria. Some of the animals because of the ailments that they have gone through are sometimes treated by way of injection with chemicals.
“Those that rears them don’t allow these chemicals to complete its cycle and be removed from the body; they sometimes go ahead to kill these animals. So, if you consume the kpomo, the tendency is that you are consuming the chemicals directly because the skin part of the animal retains most of the harmful substances. Remember your skin is the major protective organ of your body and your skin harbours so many of the harmful things that are supposed to penetrate into your body”, Dr Adamu explained.
The NILEST boss said that the institute was putting up efforts to sensitise the public and advice governments on policies that will help to reduce the consumption of animal skin to the barest minimum.
Recently the Akwa Ibom state government urged residents of the state to desist from eating cow skin, as research has shown that the consumption of the cow skin has led to the increase in cancer and liver problems. In a press conference in Uyo, the state capital in April this year, the Director of Veterinary Services in the state, Dr. Obot Obot said the high quantity of salt used for the preservation of the cow skin has been traced to have adverse effect on the liver of the consumers and also increases the risk of having cancer.
He added that the state government, through the veterinary services directorate of the ministry, has embarked on a sensitisation campaign in some markets in the local government areas to talk to the people about the danger of consuming such meat. The veterinary officer, who was in charge of the sensitisation campaign, went to different markets and talked to the people on the imperatives of how to watch out for toxic meat following reports of its importation into the country.
Cow skin meat, which is five times thicker than ordinary skin meat, is injected with a toxic substance called Formalin used for its preservation. This Formalin in the long run is capable of causing cancer and liver problems.
Furthermore, others said that kpomo itself does not in any way capable of causing cancer or liver problem. What causes the illness according to them is the way or chemicals some people use in processing and preserving it.
It will be recalled that some time ago, Health officers in Delta State, caught kpomo sellers in Sapele market who confessed of using embalming fluid to fatten kpomo. According to the suspects, they inject the kpomo with the embalming fluid (used in Mortuaries), after which they soak the kpomo in water for a period of time. This process according to them fattens the kpomo and makes it look delicious.
From the all indications it has been discovered that eating the cow skin is a mere waste of the product. It will be more beneficial to the economy of the nation to use it in producing lasting products such as belts, shoes among others so as to improve the living standard of the people and generate funds for the benefit of the nation.
Even if it must be eaten, those concern especially the sellers and animal rearers must take adequate measures to make sure that kpomo is processed and preserved with chemicals that are not harmful to the life of the consumers.

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