Wednesday June 26, 2019

Cameroon Forest Tribes Depend on Insects to Supplement Diets

In Cameroon’s capital, some unusual ingredients are wiggling into city kitchens

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Hope endures for cameroonian refugees in Nigeria seeking to return home. VOA

Cameroon’s forest tribes have long depended on insects to supplement their diets. The palm weevil grub, a fat worm found in palm trees, is such a popular source of protein that it has squirmed out of the forests and onto the plates at popular restaurants.

In Cameroon’s capital, some unusual ingredients are wiggling into city kitchens.

At Le Cercle Municipal restaurant, Chef Emile Engoulou cooks palm weevil grubs to create dishes of international standard.

Engoulou says they are the best protein that exist and they have not even finished making an inventory of all the benefits they obtain by eating the palm tree worms.

For people used to eating meat and fish, finding worms on their dinner plate can be a shock. But the palm weevil grub can also be a pleasant surprise for many consumers like Paul Ndom.

He says the service is very well done, the dish well prepared and they are enjoying it. He says he hadn’t seen this way of cooking yet, but that it is great.

The high demand from chefs has led to a shortage of palm weevil grubs. Villagers like Valentin Bidja, who used to gather the grubs in the forest, see it as an opportunity for people in rural areas.

Bidja says when they raise worms in the village, it is less stressful and more profitable and that in the village, they spend less energy.

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The growing popularity of the grub in Cameroon, Chef Engoulou says, has made it several times more expensive than beef.
For people used to eating meat and fish, finding worms on their dinner plate can be a shock. VOA

The growing popularity of the grub in Cameroon, Chef Engoulou says, has made it several times more expensive than beef.

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“When we do gastronomy in Cameroon, we need authentic, natural, organic and precious ingredients. I often like to say that the palm tree worm is the equivalent in Africa of caviar in Europe,” he said.

People already eat palm weevil in other African countries and in South America and Southeast Asia. Only time will tell if it climbs onto menus in Europe and beyond. (VOA)

Next Story

Diet Rich in Calories Cause Brain Health to Deteriorate Faster

High calorie diet causes brain health to decline faster: Study

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A researcher takes a tissue sample from a human brain at the Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s UK Tissue Bank, at Imperial College London, Britain June 3, 2016. An appendix, often considered useless, seems to store an abnormal protein, which if it makes its way into the brain, has been found to become a hallmark of Parkinson's. VOA

The unhealthy habits of modern-day living with a diet high in calories may cause brain health to deteriorate faster, according to an Australian study published on Thursday.

Compared to 50 years ago, people currently consume an average of around 650 extra kilocalories each day, which is equivalent to a fast-food meal of a burger, fries and a soft drink, said the study’s lead author, Nicolas Cherbuin of the Australian National University (ANU).

“People are eating away at their brain with a really bad fast-food diet and little-to-no exercise,” Cherbuin, who is a professor at the ANU Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, said in a statement.

“We’ve found strong evidence that people’s unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise for sustained periods of time puts them at serious risk of developing type 2 diabetes and significant declines in brain function, such as dementia and brain shrinkage,” he added.

Maintain the level of calories to 1600 a day by eating the right amount of portion of the healthy foods
Britain urges people to reduce calories intake to 1600 a day. Wikimedia Commons

According to the study, 30 per cent of the global adult population is either overweight or obese, and over 10 per cent of the world’s adult population will have type 2 diabetes by 2030, reports Efe news.

The expert pointed out that while the link between this type of diabetes and the deterioration of brain function has long been known, research shows that the loss of neurons and their functions begins “much, much earlier”, indicating “a clear association between this brain deterioration and unhealthy lifestyle choices”.

Also Read- If You Can’t Reach Cloud, We’ll Bring it to Your Backyard, Says AWS CEO

“People eating too much of the wrong kind of food, particularly fast food, is the other big worry,” according to the expert, who warned that advice for people to reduce their risk of brain problems, including their risk of dementia, begin too late, mostly when people are in their 60s or later.

“The damage done is pretty much irreversible once a person reaches midlife, so we urge everyone to eat healthy and get in shape as early as possible – preferably in childhood but certainly by early adulthood,” Cherbuin said. (IANS)