The issue of adulterated food products on the Ghanaian market is not only peculiar to palm oil, as research indicates that several other foods are heavily compromised.
Honey, powdered pepper and peanut butter (groundnut paste) are just a few of the food products that are heavily compromised with the intention of reducing manufacturing cost, increase bulk or weight, make it appear better and conceal inferiority.
Given the rapid pace of deforestation, wild honey is not an easy commodity to come by lately; hence, one is highly susceptible to buy melted foam mattress and sugar as honey.
Also, fish, beef and pork feet are commonly dyed to give them a fresh look.
Calcium carbide, an extremely hazardous substance to the human body, is also a commonly used to ripen bananas and plantains.
Health experts have warned of the health implications on the foetus of a pregnant woman, as children born to mothers who consumed fruits ripened by the chemical during pregnancy could develop physical and mental abnormalities.
Mashed potatoes, sawdust and Plaster of Paris are found to be common ingredients used to increase the weight of bread while food dyes, colours and other chemicals are added to food to impart certain properties to disguise deteriorated or spoiled food and give an idea of freshness.
Earlier research conducted by the Food and Drugs Authority and the Food Research Institute (FRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) indicated that saccharine is also added to maize porridge, sugar bread and doughnuts to sweeten the taste of the products whilst cassava flour, roasted maize meal, maize flour, dried, grinded pear seed, cooking oil, water and fresh cassava chips were added to peanut butter (groundnut paste) to increase its weight.
Driven largely by an uncommon greed that appears to be quite common these days on the part traders, the health of consumers are secondary and treated with reckless abandon: it’s profits, not people.
These market women/traders beckon you with an infectious kindness that is often very difficult to resist. They would swear their products are fresh and undiluted, yet their words have no bearing on the product they will eventually sell to the customers.
Health experts have, however, advised consumers to buy whole grains and spices and grind them at home for meals.
So the next time you are beckoned by a market woman with that irresistible kindness in any market in the city, you would need a third eye, while paying special attention to every detail and quality of the ingredient or product, because you may be buying more than you bargained for.
Credit: The Finder