Q: I am a big fan of “kpomo”! I love eating it! It is, however, sometimes, discouraging when I hear people say it has no nutritional value to the body. And I read somewhere online that it causes cancer. Doctor, please, clarify! [Paraphrased]

A: Please listen to [read] this carefully, so you don’t misunderstand me.

“Kpomo” or “Kanda” (or whatever name you call the popular, processed cow hide and skin eaten as “meat”) has a lot of stories around it, especially because not many researches has been done on it.

But, let’s get some simple facts here.

It’s wrong to say “kpomo” has NO nutritional value! It is more correct to say it has LOW nutritional value (compared to other food sources). Compared to regular meats, it has low protein and skin-collagen. Other nutrients are low. But, it is a very good dietary roughage—it helps the process of digestion quite well. But, overall, the nutrients are very low (except if you supplement them during cooking).

Secondly, it is unfair to say, with bold-face, that “kpomo” causes cancer. Yes, due to the way it is processed (like using car tyres and fuel to burn it), there are some chemicals and heavy metals that could cause cancer that are introduced into it. And, sincerely, these chemicals are in low amounts (to the best of my knowledge ) after cooking and preparation. “Kpomo”, in itself, has no cancer-causing ability; the way people process it is the problem.

Even though, eating “kpomo” is affecting our industries (as the Nigerian government complained), from the medical point, if the processing process is improved, I don’t see anything wrong in eating it.

Take Charge of your Health and Happiness.