With the recent listeriosis outbreak‚ people are being more mindful of what they are putting into their mouths.
Former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni serves as an example‚ sharing what he has been putting on his dinner plate lately.
On Tuesday night‚ on the Mboweni menu was the trusted Pilchards tinned fish.
Wednesday’s menu was majenje‚ better known as termites!
“They can bite your tongue though. So you chew them strategically and tactically‚” Mboweni said‚ sharing tips on how to enjoy the delicacy.
And it seems Mboweni is on the right track. According to the South African Journal of Science‚ majenje are a good source of nutrition.
“Termites are a good food source‚ being rich in proteins‚ fats‚ vitamins and many essential mineral nutrients‚ and thus provide food security for poor households‚” the group said in a research article published in January.
Their research was conducted in the Vhembe district in Limpopo where the termites were harvested by locals.
“The preferred method of preparation was frying‚” the SAJS said.
“The results of this study showed that edible termites contribute significantly to the livelihoods of many rural families and this indigenous knowledge should be passed on to younger generations. Research on the sustainability of termite harvesting is recommended‚” the research read.
Political analyst professor Tinyiko Maluleke has seemingly joined Mboweni in returning to indigenous African delicacies. He posted a plate of pap and saucy masonja or Mopane worms earlier this week.
“People of God‚ avoid listeria‚ return to the foods of your ancestors‚” he captioned the picture.
South African celebrity chef Siba Mtongana took to her Facebook account‚ saying she had been inundated with messages from parents seeking advise on alternative lunch ideas since cold meats‚ particularly from the Enterprise and Rainbow brands‚ are a no-go at the moment.
“I’m also sensitive to the fact that we are all in different journeys in life with affordability of food as only a few people generally have plenty of options in such unexpected situations.
“Just to reiterate what the minister of Health [Aaron Motsoaledi] said – although there’s scientific evidence of the brands and products that have been identified to have listeriosis‚ for now avoid any type of cold meats that are typically not cooked‚” she said.
She listed mini beef burgers‚ tuna‚ fish cakes‚ fresh fruit and vegetables as good alternatives.
Others suggested the trusted peanut butter and jam or cheese and tomato sandwiches for those packed lunchboxes.