Every Nigerian has, at one point or the other, heard of one food myth or the other.
Generally, every culture and tribe hold one or two superstitions that we all believed growing up as children. Food myths, in this case, were told to children to get them to do/not to do certain things. For instance, short people were often told that the reason they were that way was because they did not eat enough beans growing up. This was actually a way to get them to eat beans (proteins) more. So, you see, most of the things they said was just a way of getting a child to do certain things beneficial to them especially things that they considered boring and were generally not interested in.
Let's take a look at some of these food myths.
1. Eating fish eyes will make you a dullard
This myth inspired the ‘Olodo rabata, oju eja lo mo je’ song commonly sang in schools for students who perform woefully in their test and exams.
2. If you eat a chicken’s buttock, you’d become a talkative
This particular myth, I don't understand. But I guess it was made just to refrain kids from eating the butt, considering the fact that that's where the chicken's poop comes out from.
3. Drinking coconut water will make you dumb
Contrary to this myth, coconut water is really nutritious and beneficiary to the human body. This myth was probably created to prevent people from taking so much time breaking a coconut open, Rather than do it carefully, just smash it. Just saying.
4. Eating Mango after drinking Garri or Coke can kill a person
Well, as to why this myth was made, I have no idea. Maybe just a way of teaching a child moderation, who knows?
5. Don’t eat while standing because the food will go to your feet
I think this myth is just a way of teaching children table manners and etiquettes. I mean, it's really not proper to stand while eating. Is it?
Well, they say, if you do, you'd develop swollen legs otherwise known as 'Yam legs.'
6. Don't eat any food that falls to the ground because the devil has kissed it already
This myth, to me, is just a way of preventing people from eating dirt and taking in germs. So, rather than just put it that way, they decide to scare us with the devil factor. Hahaha, really funny.
7. Giving a child too much meat and eggs with every meal, the child will become a thief
Rather reserve the meats and eggs for the growing children, who needed it way better than the parents, they'd rather have it to themselves all in the name that they want the children to become thieves. That's something.
8. Always eat your meat last, that way it shows you ain't a glutton
9. Swallowing seeds means a tree will grow on your head
This actually makes sense in the sense that seeds can choke a person and lead to serious internal injuries which can even result in death. But this doesn't mean a tree will grow on a person's head by merely swallowing a few seeds, I mean, is the human body soil?
10. Eating snails hinders one's progress in life
Seriously, where did that come from? I mean, how does that even make sense? Just because a snail craw doesn't mean when you take one, you'll be slow. How can we resist this irresistible?
At the end of the day, Nigerians are great people and we always look out for ourselves in any way we can even if it means coming up with all sorts of myths.