by Toni Eghosa Kruz
Nigeria is a nation blessed with numerous meal delicacies and in all this, I find one, Starch and Banga, always mouth-watering, luscious and palatable; it is my favourite food.
Starch and Banga soup is the food known to those that come from the South-South of Nigeria. It is known to be one of the most expensive soup of the Urhobos. In the preparation of Banga, the seeds are washed thoroughly and put in a pot to cook for about 20 minutes, the water is then drained from the pot and the already cooked seed is put in a mortar and pummeled slightly. Much muscle is not exerted while pounding and little water is added at interval to soften the pounds of the banga now liquid already. The liquid is thereafter sieved back into the pot to boil under close watching because it foams as it boils and thus may spill over the pot.
When foaming has died down, choice of meat and fish is added along with periwinkle, vegetable, salt and other condiments to spice the taste. Starch generally has a simple preparation. I must confess that I am not a good cook, in fact I barely cook but I don’t go hungry. I’ve got a Super Mom who is passionate about my hunger alleviation plus friends and family who most times prepare choice meals for me. Recently I’ve written a lot about hunger and people wonder why I bother, not being perturbed by this I believe every act of kindness done on earth not only lends a smile but stores up Heavenly treasures.
Hunger and food, as different terms, are relative to man. With Nigeria blessed with different delicacies that are not only tasteful but healthy, it is misnomer for one to go hungry. Bolajoko Diosamame Fadipe and his FoodClique members recently researched and found out that 1 in 7 Nigerians go to bed hungry without food every day. What a contradiction I thought, owing to the truth I eat very well daily and even waste food as a result of over feeding. Most times I even eat starch and banga soup twice in a day yet people go to bed in Nigeria without food? Summation of this analysis reveals that a staggering 22,857,143 Nigerians sleep without meals and have no hope of it. How many must have died? I pondered.
I have always considered truthful the fact that every act of compassion makes a difference to someone. We can end hunger if we chose to come as one and fight it. There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, and at no time, go hungry. Bolajoko Fadipe and His FoodClique through personal resources aim at ending this hunger tragedy and I am fortunate to be part. Hunger, or under-nutrition, results from the insufficient intake of macro- and micro- nutrients. It can lead to chronic malnutrition or the severe wasting associated with acute malnutrition, why then should we allow fellow human beings go through such trauma.
October 16th is World Food Day and Food and Agricultural Organization/FoodClique are ensuring no one goes hungry on that day. Bola and His friends are giving out food, materials and resources to hunger stricken individuals and areas across Nigeria. You too can help by feeding someone on that day. Hunger makes a thief of any man and helping with a nutritionally spiced up diet on the day is a boost for social life. I’ve written on issues concerning hunger before and in my findings, people pay less attention and pensiveness to it as they believe that hunger is unavoidable in any society, even a society that is blessed with great abundance. That is not true.
The European community today does not have hunger widespread. Most of our citizenry believe also that hunger only affects people who are lazy or people who are just searching for a handout, people who don’t want to work, but, sadly, that is not true too. Over one-third of our hungry people are innocent children who are members of households that simply cannot provide enough food or proper nutrition, some live only on the paltry #18000 a month in Nigeria. And to think of the elderly suffering from malnutrition is just too hard for most of us.
FoodClique will be marking this year’s World Food Day by embarking on a community Food outreach to feed our hungry neighbours. The aim of the day is to create public awareness about the problems faced by people who struggle for food despite its abundance in the world. The World Food Day was proclaimed in 1979 by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It marks the date of the founding of FAO in 1945. The purpose of that day heightens public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. In 1980, the legislators endorsed observance of the day in consideration of the fact that “food is a requisite for human survival and well-being and a fundamental human necessity”. I have given to this cause and I enjoin you to.
Why allow fellow Nigerians go hungry when we have the best weather in Africa to grow seed and arable crops? Why don’t you distribute food to the hungry people?. You can make a difference by lending a smile.
Food aid as we know is not a sustainable solution to world hunger, but there are emergency situations between life and death where food is needed and critical for survival. For the 22 million hungry Nigerians, hunger is a daily, sometimes life-long, reality. People living with persistent hunger require and deserve a sustainable solution based on self-reliance. Some of the ways to ensure long term food security to me is by emphasising on rural development by enabling men and women to tackle and eradicate hunger from their communities.
Increment in local production and provision of farming tools and equipment such as fertilizers to aid harvesting are among others. Endeavour to make someone smile on the 16th of October as you make the difference; Feed!