Why rotten plantain used to prepare ‘kakro’ can give you cancer

A former dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, Professor George Tawia Odamtten has cautioned the public against eating ‘kakro’ mashed plantain, made into balls and fried in very hot oil.

He said although eating ‘kakro’ is not bad, the manner in which it is prepared with soft plantain that are almost decayed or rotten can cause cancer.
Professr Odamtten said this when he delivered a public lecture on the topic: “Plant diseases, crop and food security in Ghana,” organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science in Accra.

He said the fungi which affect plantain posed health risk to those who consume them, and could affect their lungs that can develop cancer.

He observed that since market women who sell plantain want to prevent losses, they sell the decayed or rotten plantain to those who prepare “kakro.”

“The ‘kakro’ we all enjoy with beans is mostly prepared with soft plantain but buying the spoilt plantain to prepare it is what I am not encouraging,” he said.

He advised those who prepare ‘kakro’ to use ripe plantain in order not to put health of people at risk.

“There are so many foodstuffs at the market where are sold especially to food vendors. Stakeholders should support farmers by giving them fertilizers and insecticides to prevent the crops from diseases,” he said.

He urged civil society groups to strengthen awareness on food safety and security as well as create mechanisms to check foodstuffs sold at the various markets.

“We need to put proper mechanism that would help our farmers to practice the best farming method that would help the food from getting rotten.

“We should not only focus on food production but also how best we are able to preserve the crops,” he said.

Prof Odamtten said government should provide adequate warehouse for farmers to help preserve their produce.

He noted that among the major challenges farmers face were lack of warehouse and deplorable roads that lead to farming communities.

Source: Ghanaian times