Growing Ghanaian taste for foreign foods at the expense of local dishes has a long-term implication on the country’s cultural values and identity, according to Provost of the College of Sciences at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Professor Ibok Oduro.
Prof. Oduro wants serious attention to reverse the trend.
“Ghana, today, is westernized food hype. You see the springing up fast food joints everywhere,” she lamented at the Food Festival and Conference 2018.
“When you look at the sweet sop, the sour sop and African mangoes they have more total dietary fibre than the apples we’re running after.
“Our underutilized fruits have more fibre and all we look for is to bring apple while we don’t grow one, I don’t know,” she added in frustration.
She blamed the situation, among others, on urbanization and early introduction of children to such foods.
Professor Oduro believes, with time, this will lead to gradual loss of cultural identity.
She advocates government policy to support small and medium enterprises, re-packaging and affordability of traditional foods to effect appropriate change.
The Food Festival and Conference brought together stakeholders in the local food industry to discuss the subject.
It is aimed at celebrating Ghana’s diverse food heritage and reintegrate value into the food system and culture.
It’s under the theme, “Combating Food Fraud and Promoting Traditional Foods.”
The KNUST Pro Vice-Chancellor, Reverend Professor Charles Ansah suggests a greater partnership between the university and other stakeholders like the Food and Drugs Authority in strengthening food safety systems.
Executive Director of National Commission on Culture, Edna Nyame, wants a globally competitive local food industry through technology.
“Every society on earth is going through a transition, and we can’t continue to use, sometimes, the rudimentary methods of preparing our foods when we can improve the methods to give them cutting-edge quality in the global market,” she said.
Watch more photos: