What has become of our food systems?
Not so long ago I wrote about the apathy people have been sucked into due to challenges of food safety.
Last week we got five maize flour brands withdrawn from the market due to high levels of aflatoxins.
As I was following the news since then, I noticed protests from some millers and outlets that kept the products on the shelves despite the ban.
However, what got to me was the low-income mwananchi who bought the flour in large quantities in an effort to plan their resources. Who now asks, “If I destroy this flour, what will my family eat?” and there lies the problem.
While some of you may not even have known the brands that were banned, others know no other brand. But those who have used this flour could now begin to understand the influence of economics on public health.
See, educated or not, at the end of the day, your consumer habits are largely influenced by your purchasing power, which is pretty much an ‘equaliser’.
However, besides that, we believe what is put in the market is safe for us to consume. We have expectations that Kenya Bureau of Standards will ensure foodstuffs in the market are fit for consumption long before it gets to the shelves.
With ugali as a staple food in Kenya, unless authorities are going door to door making people aware of the dangers of flour and replacing the poisoned products with safe ones, we have a lot of men, women, children and our senior citizens at risk of poisoning from products that should have not been in the market in the first place.
Which begs the question, when are we going to stop treating symptoms instead of the root problem? Kenyans are tired.