A development Economist, Nana Oforiwaa Koranteng says eating imported polished rice is just the same as eating "chalk"- a product mainly used for writing on a chalkboard.
Nana Oforiwaa who is also an expert in Food Security, criticized the growing crave for foreign culture at the neglect of our own, a situation that has greatly contributed to Ghana's declining economic wealth.
She was contributing to discussions Friday, on the Joy FM Super Morning Show dubbed: "Culture in a Challenged Economy," as part of the month-long promotion of patriotism. The Super Morning Show has dedicated this month towards promoting patriotism among Ghanaians and christened it "Patriotism Month".
A research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, Dr. Obadele Kampon had earlier bemoaned Ghanaians' hunger for foreign dishes lately, relegating to the background what they had grown by themselves.
"Generally people say 'I like the white rice; the perfume rice; the American rice; blah blah blah'…except for the local ones and these [local rice] are the ones that are healthy. It does not bleach; this is the one that has all of the nutrients," Dr. Kampon said.
In her contribution, Nana Oforiwaa noted that most Ghanaians have been forced to acquire tastes for foreign consumables including polished imported rice, which she said contains no nutritional values compared to local brown rice which is rich in protein.
"When you take rice [brown] from Ghana, it's got all its protein contents in there [but] when you take [imported] white rice, it's just chalk. That's what we are eating. And that's what we are feeding our children on. A child who feeds on chalk is not likely to be bright," she stated.
She regretted that many people consume such products without seeking information about its value.
"But we have accepted it because all our commercial houses are 'white rice, perfumed rice'…but they don't tell you, you are lacking protein in this [white rice]".
"Culture is not static but we need to take what is outside [and] change positively to benefit us," she stressed.
Dr. Amoako Baah of the Political Science Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), however, blames the people's hunger for foreign goods on the unavailability of local alternatives.
The only way out according to Dr. Amoako Baah, is for the nation to produce goods locally to suit the tastes of its people.
"This is pure economics; nobody forces anyone to do anything…We have locally manufactured rice [but] how many Ghanaians eat it? Everybody else knows Sultana and all the other perfumed rice [brands]; did anybody force us to do that? It's information; taste is not forced on anyone," he stated.