Health researchers have linked some of the unhealthy practices and vile means done by food vendors to lots of life-threatening issues such as liver and kidney diseases as well as cancer.
Experts says that calcium carbide used by fruit vendors to ripen fruits like apples, bananas, pawpaws, plantain and others could cause brain damage.
A study which has been carried out by Annals of tropical medicine and public health journal buttressed that the use of carbide and other artificial ripening agents were hazardous to health.
It states that, “The fast ripening of fruits means they may contain various harmful properties. A commonly used agent in the ripening process is calcium carbide, a material most commonly used for welding purposes. Calcium carbide treatment of food is extremely hazardous because it contains traces of heavy metal arsenic and phosphorous. The calcium carbide produces acetylene gas when it reacts with water. Acetylene gas may affect the neurological system by inducing prolonged hypoxia. Calcium carbide causes various health hazards like headache, dizziness, mood disturbances, sleepiness, mental confusion, memory loss, cerebral edema and seizures.”
Also, the Center for Science in the Public Interest on food dyes revealed that some of the most commonly used food dyes may be linked to numerous forms of cancer.
In addition to considerations of organ damage, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions, mixtures of dyes (and Yellow 5 tested alone) cause hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in some children.
In a placebo-controlled study conducted in 2007 and published in The Lancet journal 29, the work critically evaluated the effects of common food dyes found in many soft drinks, fruit juices and salad dressings. The results showed that dyes studied caused some children to be more hyperactive and destructible.
“The three most widely used dyes; Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens. Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen, yet it is still in the food supply,” it noted.
It was revealed that some of the food coloring’s were often used in palm oil and some other fruit juices and drinks consumed by Nigerians.
Dr Oluwatosin Adu the Nutritionist chairman of Nutrition society of Nigeria stated that Ignorance and greed is the reason people food vendors and consumers engage in unhealthy food practices.
He stated , “Ignorance is part of the reasons people do such things. When you look at issues more intently, you will see the passion to make more gain; they want to make much with little. We can’t say engaging in unhealthy food practices is solely caused by ignorance because as much as possible, people are making noise against them. But despite the noise, some people would not still desist from the acts.’’