By Ebun Babalola
Desmond Olumuyiwa Majekodunmi, chairman of the Awareness and Fund Raising committee of the Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), Lagos, is one of the few people practising conservation farming. The environmental activist is our guest this week on Celebrity Tummy Talk. He speaks on his love for eba as well as transformation to the vegetarian world. Enjoy
What was your eating habit while growing up?
I eat more of African foods, such as moi-moi, pounded yam, egusi, amala, etc. But my special delicacy was eba. It became my special food to that extent that I was christened sebalese, (eba killer) by my grandma.
I used to eat eba especially whenever we visited my grandmum in Abeokuta where she was living. And she prepared it in such a way that you wouldn’t resist it. She prepared eba with special soups. The manner I eat eba made her to nickname me sebalese. And if she knew I was coming, the feeling was always that I was coming to eat a big bowl of eba.
I was also used to Western foods including fish and chips because my mother is an Irish woman. So, I have a good experience when it comes to food.
What pranks did you play while growing up?
Lots of pranks but the only one I can remember was to fall sick every Monday. Pretending to be sick and having stomach problem for two hours just because I don’t want to go to school on Monday. But, as soon as I was permited to miss the school for that day, the illness would disappear. The next thing would be to run around in the compound. But, the people that saw me in the morning will quickly say, this boy was sick in the morning, how come he was running around the compound? They would be amazed at my quick recovery. My home was lovely. So, I wouldn’t want the excitement to go in a jiffy, I wouldn’t want to breakaway away from that beautiful rave of the home. But, I couldn’t fool them for long.
Can you prepare eba?
I’m very good at cooking noddles. I was so blessed to have people cook for me all the while. To be honest, I’m not the world best cook at all. I can cook noddles because it ís easy.
Do you now have a different attitude to food for ageing gracefully?
I’ve been a vegetarian for the last 21 years. I have a strict vegetarian diet so much that I don’t partake in meat product. I concentrate on vegetables, fruits, roots, though, I occasionally eat sea foods. As an environmental activist, I know that it takes a larger land space to produce meat than producing grain. For instance, it takes 20 times more space to produce a ton of meat than a ton of corn. Because cow needs to eat lots of grass and out of that space, you could grow 20 times ton of corn. It’s scientifically proven that the lesser meat you have in your diet, the more healthy your life would be because meat has lots of toxins and it is difficult in digestive. Human’s digestive system is not that good for absorbing meat. Animals including dogs, cats can handle meat better than man. While gorilla or elephant can’t. The fact that human beings are omnivorous, we can handle both meat and vegetable but it is easier for us to handle vegetable.
United Nations has the largest number of meat consumption, but it also has the largest incidence of stomach cancer.
How often do you exercise?
These days. I do lots of walking, swimming and push-ups. As human beings, we need lots of walking than running because it is healthy.
Your kinds of drinks
Water. Unfortunately, I can’t get my kind of water which is the Yankari and swam water. And I take a sugarless malt.
Dinning Out With Pineapple
Dinning out with pineapple juice this weekend can prevent your body against diseases. It is known to be very effective in curing constipation and irregular bowel movement. This is because it is rich in fiber, which makes bowel movements regular and easy.
For any kind of morning sickness, motion sickness or nausea, drink pineapple juice. It works effectively in getting rid of nausea and vomiting sensation.
It has virtually no fat and cholesterol and is loaded with essential nutrients and vitamins that are needed by the body for overall growth and development.
Juice from fresh pineapple can be used to relieve bronchitis, diphtheria and chest congestion. Not only does it have enough amounts of Vitamin C, but it also contains an enzyme called Bromelain, which is known to dissolve and loosen up mucus.
Pineapple is effective in getting rid of intestinal worms and also keeps the intestines and kidneys clean. It is effective in flushing out the toxins from the body, thus making the metabolism healthy.
Pineapples are very rich in manganese and even a single cup of pineapple is supposed to contain a good amount of it. This mineral is required for the growth of healthy bones and tissues.
High content in Vitamin C ensures that oral health remains in top condition always. It helps prevent gum disease and also prevents the formation of plaque, thus keeping the teeth healthy.
Pineapple juice(ripe) 1 liter
Water (100 ml)
Sugar (100 g)
Sodium Benzoate (1/2 tea spoon(preservative)
Grate the pine apples and extract juice and measure the juice
Now, keep it on fire and add sugar and water
Let the juice boil for sometime and add sodium benzoate and mix thoroughly
Finally pour it into airtight containers/bottles and store it in a cool place
Serve it chill with ice cubes
Fried Plantain and baked beans stew
Fried plantain and baked beans stew. Very popular for lunch, especially among office workers. If you are unemployed you can survive on this meal. Also served with fried ripe plantain. An ideal choice for vegetarians.
One cup chopped onion
One cup chopped green pepper
One tablespoon vegetable oil
Twelve ounces boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Two (15-ounce) cans baked beans or pork and beans
One (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, undrained
Teaspoon dried sage leaves
Half teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
Put onion and green pepper in oil in large saucepan until tender, three to four minutes. Add chicken and cook over medium heat until browned, three to four minutes.
Add beans, tomatoes, and herbs to saucepan; heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, eight to ten minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice plantain to piece
Heat oil and fry the sliced plantain