Now, to discuss the “black” man of today. I shall use the Middle class Nigerian female who has a job (similar to our example in Part 1). She wakes up, goes into the bathroom and turns on the tap –water gushes out and she takes a quick shower. Dresses up and maybe prepares breakfast and sometimes a packed lunch for her husband and herself. (This may not be the case as a lot of people do not have time for an early breakfast since they leave their houses really early). Usually there will be domestic staff to help with that task, but let’s assume she does it herself.
She gets in her car and either drives herself to work or is driven by her husband or a driver (let’s be truthful a lot of Middle class Nigerians have drivers). She sometimes dozes off in the car on the way to work. If she is driving herself there is a good chance that when she gets to work she will sit in her car for a few minutes and catch a few winks. Then it is time to sit at a computer and crunch away.
A lot of the work is mental work and does not involve physical exertion. She goes for meetings (more sitting), catches a quick lunch and returns to work. She may need a few power drinks, coffee or bottles of soda to make it through to the end of the day. For snacks, the fast food restaurants and patisseries offer pastries and deserts that are quick to grab and eat.
At the end of the work day, she braves hours of traffice before she returns home. She gets home exhausted and cooks a quick meal or has take-out with her husband. Some women cook during the weekend, freeze the food and then heat it up after work on weekdays. After a few other activities – Watch TV, make phone calls e.t.c. it’s off to bed. Again, as our example is middle class, it stands to reason that she has domestic staff that clean her house. If she doesn’t, she cleans it herself.
Where does this woman do her shopping? Usually at a place like ShopRite, Park & Shop or Goodies. Fresh produce may be procured from a nearby market.
She does not typically cook everything from scratch and a lot of her food is full of dyes to make it look pretty, taste enhancers to make it appeal to her palate and preservatives to make the food last longer on the shelf either at the store or in her home. With the extensive use of chemicals, her food has been given color, stabilized, emulsified, bleached, texturized, sweetened and flavored so that it would appeal to her more. Some of these foods are sausages, noodles, spaghetti, most canned food and so much more.
Some of examples of these chemicals are:
acesulfame-K (acesulfame potassium), acetylated esters of mono- and diglycerides, ammonium chloride, artificial colors, aspartame, azodicarbonamide, benzoyl peroxide, EDTA, disodium dihydrogen EDTA, carmine, calcium bromated, bleached flour, FD & C colors e.t.c.
You must have seen these on some of your packaged foods. Do you recognize all of them? Yeah, me neither and I have a degree in Chemistry. Some of these chemicals are really really bad for one’s health yet we consume them without asking a lot of questions. By the way, this is a very short list. Chemicals used in processing of foods run in the hundreds.
Unfortunately, all the chemicals that are used to process her food are not miraculously left behind in the pot or lost in the cooking process. They are consumed. Over a period of time, they accumulate in her body.
Now, to compare: Our ancient “black” man led an active life filled with physical activity and ate all natural meals, snacks and even had an all natural drink. Heck, she probably knew what stream/river her fish was swimming in before it landed in her pot.
I am not suggesting that there were no diseases at that time, but I would be surprised if they were not predominantly diseases involving bacterial or some other sort of infection because of the way food was handled. That would usually be a bad case of food poisoning. Then of course hereditary diseases like epilepsy et al.
Our new “black” man on the other hand lives a largely sedentary life. Grabs sleep whenever (and sometimes wherever) they can. Our new “black” man eats food that is largely processed and prepared with a cocktail of chemicals which over time reduce one’s immunity and increases susceptibility to the very diseases that we claim cannot kill a “black” man.
Think about this: More children are born with Asthma and other diseases that were not common in the past. They even have allergies to certain foods. Where do you think that comes from? Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, insomnia – these are almost commonplace these days among people with careers. How did that come about?
Our new “black” man travels to obodo oyibo (overseas) and brings back boxes full of processed food that she cannot “find” in Nigeria. I have done it in the past. My cousin imports them in a closed container once a year. Dried, canned, in brine, in oil…name it, it’s in her container. I even know of someone that bought a roast at Sainsbury and flew in with it… this stuff can’t be made up 🙂 !
When I speak about processed food, a lot of people think they don’t eat processed food so let me give a quick example: White flour. It is used to make a lot of snacks and even food products that we eat e.g white bread, spaghetti, noodles,
An excerpt: “…. the flour used to make white bread is chemically bleached, just like you bleach your clothes. So when you are eating white bread, you are also eating residual chemical bleach. Flour mills use different chemical bleaches, all of which are pretty bad. Here are a few of them: oxide of nitrogen, chlorine, chloride, nitrosyl and benzoyl peroxide mixed with various chemical salts. Read more here
Now my question to you is: Which “black” man are you? More importantly, which one do you want to be?