I Hate to Say Goodbye, Dear Kpomo

Cow skin, locally called “kpomo”, is a favourite beef part enjoyed as a side dish, snack and condiment amongst Nigerians. It is inexpensive and, perhaps for this reason, very common in restaurants, eateries and homes. Buyers look out for either soft or thick kpomo for their crunchiness.

Research has shown that 100g of boiled, thick cow skin contains about 224.65kcal of energy, 6.80g of carbohydrate, about 43.9g of water, 46.9g of protein, 1.09g of fat, and 0.02g of fibre. Micronutrients, it contains small amounts of calcium (61mg), iron (4.3mg), magnesium (12mg), phosphorus (36mg) and Zinc (6.79mg).

Although kpomo has low nutritional value when compared to other protein sources because it doesn’t contain all essential amino acids, it contains a lot of collagen (non-essential amino acid) which is the most abundant protein in our bodies. Because our bodies produce collagen, it is not essential that we must eat collagen for growth.
However, as we grow older, our ability to produce collagen reduces leading us to have wrinkles.”

The process of processing kpomo that is burning has called for a lot of health concerns,s especially as one cannot dictate to another what should be thrown into the fire being used to burn this edible skin. As such, tyres, dustbin composite as well as other particles are added to the fire. This in turn activates Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) which exposes a person to a great risk of cancer. This is one of the major reasons why the government want it banned, and for this reason, I stand for it being banned for consumption.

I discourage my clients and patients from the consumption of kpomo, and when they begin to argue, a simple question asked convinces them “What do you see floating after cooking? They respond oil/fat. This is because fat from animals is stored beneath the skin.

Do I support the government moving to ban ponmo consumption? If it will improve the health of the populace and better improve quality of life, then YES. Cow skin should bring revenue to the country via other means like the production of shoes, bags and other hind and skin products.

Let’s look towards fish, local chicken, turkey, quails and other healthy sources of protein In as much as research has shown that cow skin (kpomo) contains nutrients, these are not nutrients that are essential for the human body.

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