Banku is a well known Ghanaian dish that is prepared by the mixture of corn and cassava dough mixture in high temp water. It is a staple food in for the most part the southern Ghana area, for the most part among the Ga clan, Ewe, Fante yet additionally expended among different areas. It is generally presented with okro stew or soup, pepper sauce with fish, groundnut soup, and so forth.
It is mostly dished with little bowl and enveloped by rubbers and stored in food flask. It can remain for a considerable length of time and weeks if no water connects with it.
There have been numerous investigations and clashing thoughts on the risks related with enveloping the Banku by rubbers.
Some a few investigations have demonstrated that dishing hot Banku into rubbers is undesirable and poisonous for the body. Researches has also indicated that, wrapping banku with rubber over a long period of time could be dangerous to consumers.
The polythene bags are made up of carbon compounds which when particularly gets into the stomach after consumption can be dangerous for ones health.
A researcher raised the concern that the use of plastic materials in the packaging of foods pose serious health risk including the wrapping of banku rubbers. According to the the researcher, petrochemical, phthalates, polythene and bisphenol A (BPA) can leach into the banku when hot and daily consumption can be harmful to the body.
The studies further stated that regular leaching of these chemicals through the packaging of hot banku can led to cardiovascular diseases, blockage of veins as the chemicals can slow down the blood flow into the heart and brain which has many detrimental effects on the body.
The controversies are that in some time back when daily graphic contacted the FDA for their response on the dangers of consuming foods package with rubbers, the FDA Principal Regulatory officer disputed the claims. According to him, there is no scientific evidence to back the claims and what the researchers claim is a desktop research.
He added that the rate at which BPA leach into foods was highly dependent on temperature of the food and the temperature at which food come into contact with such plastics in Ghana pose no danger to consumers.
It will interest you to note that whiles the FDA in Ghana is of the view that our temperatures at which food is exposed to BPA is not harmful to the body, other countries have ban the use of these products in food packaging.
There a lot scientific evidence that proves BPA, is a known endocrine disruptor. This means it interferes with hormones work in the body inhibiting their normal function.
A research by www.center4research.org confirmed that phthalates and bisphenol A used in soften plastics when they get into our body can affect oestrogen or testosterone and cause problems of the reproductive organ. They added that lab works found low levels of phthalates and BPA in these plastic wraps.
The concern of some reserchers is the temperature at which the hot banku is wrapped can potentially cause leaching of these compounds whether in small quantities or not.
As reserchers believe we need more research work on the actual dangers caused by the these materials, what should the consumer do? As in the cases of banku it is a continuous practice in Ghana.
Other countries have made other suggestions as alternative to the use of some of these plastic with recommendation on chemicals that should not be found them.
Before the beginning of the government of Ghana schools feeding program, caterers were cautioned against the use of plastic in wrapping hot banku for the children.
If that is the case, then one need to take precautions so that by the time the various reaseachers come to a common conclusion, we might have not cause an unrepairable damage to ourselves.
What are the alternative ways of packaging it and limit the regular use of the rubber wraps?
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