German Expert: Too Much Sadza 'Killing Zimbabweans'?

Harare - When does a staple diet become dangerous? According to a Germany organisation has blamed Zimbabwe's staple diet, sadza as the main source of non-communicable diseases stunning and killing them. 

Welthungerhilfe says 'too much' maize and ppor eating practices are exaxebating disease among the majority.

Thomas Heyland, Welthungerhilfe Gokwe office project manager mentioned it while addressing journalists attending a public discussion on food production and its impact on health.
Sadza is Zimbabwe's Staple Diet

"Some of the food stuffs are healthy for you, and I know that it's a cultural issue but it is all about diversity, if you only eat maize you will die because clearly maize lacks important minerals and you do not get enough of protein in maize and there are lots of issues with it," said Heyland.

Organised by HIVOS and hosted by MISA, Harare advocacy committee, in the capital Tuesday evening. Heyland stated that the majority of non-communicable diseases common among the populace are due to poor diet.

Such diseases caused by poor feeding practices include high blood pressure, cancer and diabetics which are now killing people more than HIV. Traditionally, the majority of Zimbabweans are used to eating Sadza as their staple diet, opting for rice on rare occasions.

Obesity, stunting in children and excessive bleeding in women during birth, are some of the negative effects of the maize meal diet. Chicken intestines was also blamed for stunted growth in rural children.

"For the children there are a lot of theories including hygiene issues, that some of these rural children eat too much chicken faeces; let me be polite about it, the human system is in constant defiance of these unwanted substances in the body," he said.

Sadza in Shona (isitshwala in isiNdebele, or pap, vuswa or bogobe in South Africa, or nsima in Chichewa language, or Ugali in East Africa) or phaletšhe in Botswana, is a cooked cornmeal that is the staple food in Zimbabwe and other parts of Southern Africa.

Sadza is made with finely ground dry maize/corn maize (Mealie-Meal). This maize meal is referred to as hupfu in Shona or impuphu in Ndebele. 

Despite the fact that maize is actually an imported food crop to Zimbabwe (c. 1890), it has become the chief source of carbohydrate and the most popular meal for indigenous people. Locals either purchase the mealie meal in retail outlets or produce it in a grinding mill from their own maize.

Zimbabweans prefer white maize meal. However, during times of famine or hardship, they resorted to eating yellow maize meal, which is sometimes called "Kenya", because it was once imported from that nation. Before the introduction of maize, sadza was made from zviyo finger millet flour.

Traditionally, sadza was eaten from a communal bowl, but now it is typically served on individual plates. It is generally eaten with the right hand without the aid of cutlery; often rolled into a ball before being dipped into a variety of condiments such as sauce/gravy, sour milk, or stewed vegetables.

According to the ministry of Health and Child Care, 27% of the children under the age of 5 years, are stunted. - Online Sources


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