By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- AS the federal government moves to diversify the economy, Founder Taylor Odeje Foundation, Chef Taylor Odeje, has warned that continuous importation of food poses danger to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
Odeje made the assertion while speaking on enrichment and servicing other country’s economy and exportation of jobs and businesses alongside with free flow of unwholesome food products into the country, thereby has increased disease burden on Nigerians.
He said it should be discouraged and government and Nigerians should look inwards to grow and develop organic food, which helps the people to remain healthy and sound.
He said: “Generally people don’t care about what they eat and it is scary, but hopefully with the new wave with people like me and people coming around I think we will be able to empower people and let people know better what they need and eat.
Letting them know that is not witches and wizards that are responsible for their health challenges but what they are eating that is causing the damage.
“Food importation should be discouraged because we are servicing other people’s economy, jobs and businesses we should have in the country to employ more people that would boost the economy, and the health challenges most of these imported foods do, like GMOs, frozen meats because of the use of chemicals and preservatives are bad. The long time of eating all these things would lead to super bacteria that anti-biotics can tackle.
“Look at cancer cases increasing. In Europe and America people are pushing for organic foods and they are expensive. We should appreciate what we produce as food that is fresh and harness it and see how we stop the importation and start growing home made products.”
He also urged parents to give heed to the issue of balanced diet for their children and wards in order for them to have a productive and healthy life as they grow up.
“For children they need a lot of proteins, vitamins and the complete package. Children could also be picking food but we encourage parents to do a lot of vegetables, and cooking it the right way in order to have the basic nutrients”, he said.
Explaining on the flagship pop-up restaurant experience coming up in Abuja on 1st October, 2017, with theme, ‘Pre-Independence Nigeria’ he (Odeje) who has 10 years experience in the food business said will facilitate job creation for youth and people will have access to quality and affordable food. He said 200 youth will be at the event. He said he is not being funded by government but his business manager, Mr Emmanuel Busa, has been the brain behind on managing and growing his business, including growing the finances and has taken care of a lot concerning the event.
“The theme itself is ‘Pre Independence Nigeria’ we are taking it back to the roots. The menu, the style of the workers, the music, and we are trying to recognize and unite people together with the tension in the country and want people know we are always one Nigeria before now we fought to get our independence so let us have that spirit of togetherness and having one common goal.
“The whole idea of the programme is geared towards job creation. Making people to have access to affordable good food and as well as creating new experience for people. This is the first in Abuja and we are expecting 200 youth, and we will have the pop-up restaurants in Abuja, and then in Lagos, Port Harcourt, and then it grows.
“The pop-up restaurant business experience is not common in Nigeria and is more like a creation, new ideas, new food and is just a day and it just comes for that day and it goes. I have a lot of many I am employing and are on my payroll and they are all young people.
“A lot of them don’t have job after finishing National Youth Service. Job like this comes from time to time and you employ people it gives people new experience, great healthy food and generally affordability”, he stated.