*FUFU – THE KILLER FOOD IN TOWN
………. *FUFU* processed from Cassava stuff, which used to function staple meals for many houses in Nigeria at present *is turning into a silent killer attributable to unhealthy practices arising from try to chop corners and make extra revenue.*
To get extra details, this reporter went to city and visited the favored Fufu market at *Oke- Lisa Street adjoining A-Division in Akure, Ondo State* very early within the morning, pretending to be a cassava producer who wants extra data on the processing steps.
She interacted with those that introduced the already ready Fufu into the market and defined that she bumped into big loss in her first try as a result of she was not effectively educated on what to do to make the processed cassava rise and that she didn’t need the identical story to repeat itself the second time.
One of the ladies then educated the reporter that after sieving the cassava into huge plastic container, she ought to put *Jatropha Curcas leaves (Ewe Lapalapa)* on it and depart it for days to rise.
The Reporter then advised the lady that she added the leaves the primary time however yielded no end result.
The Reporter was then advised that *if she may add detergent or hypo* it’ll hasten the fermentation course of however that she wanted course on when to make use of it and the amount for use.
Immediately this reporter mentioned this, one of many ladies reacted that they weren’t utilizing hypo or detergent for fermentation and she or he left in annoyance *however the second girl opened up and mentioned that they use them.*
Hear her, *“To be sincere, we add hypo, detergents and potash after sieving the cassava into big container for it to become soft and as well rise to satisfaction but the quantity of hypo, detergents or potash to be used depend on the quantity of the cassava.”*
The reporter requested if there was no different manner of constructing cassava to rise apart including dangerous chemical compounds and the lady mentioned, “This has been the practice among Fufu producers and there is no quicker way to achieve softening and unusual rise of soaked cassava without adding those chemicals.
Cassava processors from *Ilu -Abo, Owode, Ogbese, Igbara -Oke, Igbara -Odo, Ifaki -Ekiti and environs* who bring them to sell in this market all indulge in the act of adding chemicals to soak cassava for fermentation.”
When advised that utilizing chemical compounds to quicken Fufu processing may trigger terminal illness for customers, in protection she mentioned,” chemical compounds are additionally used to plant completely different greens and to pressure fruits to ripe, so including chemical compounds to what we eat isn’t peculiar to Fufu alone and no one can uncover the key of enhancing his/her enterprise with out keying into it.
They additionally add chemical compounds to ferment cassava in different states in actual fact, all states are responsible of this.”
This reporter then visited *Owode in Oba-Ile* and met among the cassava processors in varied open processing centres however none of them was able to reply any query on how they go concerning the processing.
This led the reporter to go to some individuals across the space who additionally declined feedback.
Then, a person who was sighted across the space was approached although, reluctant initially to take care of the reporter however when advised that it was a mission work on what to do for processed cassava to rise and ferment rapidly, he agreed to cooperate as he divulged the key.
Taju as he was referred to as claimed to not be residing at Owode however goes there every time he has job to do within the space being an artisan revealed that lots occurred throughout the processing of cassava into Fufu which based on him is dangerous to human well being.
”Aside the plain that the surroundings for cassava processing is all the time soiled, the processors add potash to cassava throughout processing to make it rise and ferment” he said additional.
On if each cassava processor does it, *he mentioned that 95 per cent of them interact in it to make extra positive factors.*
“What they do is that when it is dark, they get hypo, some use detergents or potash and add it to sieved cassava in the plastic, they will leave it for days when they fell it is okay by their own terms then, the detergents, hypo and potash would have mixed with the cassava they then take it to different markets to sell where those who turn it into Fufu will buy.
Some of them (Cassava processors) wake up early in the morning to perpetrate the evil act so that they will not be seen by anybody.
“That has been the practice around.
Go to *Ogbese, Oba-Ile, Igbara-Oke* and other areas they are processing cassava, they add harmful chemicals to it in order to make more profits not minding the risk such chemicals pose to consumers’ health.
The reason for this is because people want to survive anyhow and I think it is high time our government addressed this to save innocent people from untimely death.
In the submission of a Fufu seller at Oba -Ile who simply gave her name as Blessing, she revealed to this reporter that those who engage in such act are the local cassava processors from different villages in the Akure suburbs who later sell to those who will turn the already processed cassava into Fufu for consumption.
“There was a day my mother bought processed cassava in the market but as the woman was turning the cassava into my mother’s sack, my mother perceived hypo smell in it and she immediately challenged the woman of adding chemical into the cassava though, she denied but my mother proved it to her before collecting her money back.”
On how they got here concerning the lethal thought, she mentioned, “I cannot say but I think it started in Ondo state two years ago when sellers from other states introduced the idea to them because I heard that some of them contacted cassava processors in *Lagos, Ogun, Edo, Osun, Delta and other states* for the idea and the reason for this dangerous development is to make abnormal profits at the detriment of consumers’ health because the more the cassava rises, the more the gain they make.
*The only way to avoid being a victim is for consumers to make Fufu themselves or sniff any Fufu before they buy to be sure of the odour.”*
Another Fufu vendor, in her mid 60s who merely need to be referred to as Mama when requested if she was conscious of toxic Fufu in circulation defined that she was not conscious and that she has by no means purchased such Fufu since she ventured into the enterprise as a result of she all the time understand the odour of any processed cassava earlier than paying for it.
“I sniff any processed cassava earlier than making the fee, and anyone with completely different regular odour anticipated from cassava is not going to be purchased as a result of I additionally eat out of it together with my kids and grandchildren” she mentioned.
This Reporter additional spoke with a nutritionist in *Ondo State Mother and Child Hospital Akure,* Mrs Aduni Adekolurejo who condemned the act of making a living on the detriment of peoples’ lives.
She traced consumption of Fufu blended with hypo, detergents or potash to collection of improve terminal illnesses round.
“This development is not only scary but worrisome. How can people be so wicked to the extent of mixing chemicals with cassava?
No wonder the causes of most diseases are unknown.
*Many patients could not even explain how they became victims of some ailments after being diagnosed because they do not have the history of such in their families.*
It is better we raise the alarm so that people will be careful of what they consume.
There should be a public awareness regarding this killer Fufu for people to be cautious.”
* * * Copied as acquired * * *