Relegating local dishes to the background is adversely affecting the country’s productivity due to poor health caused by foreign food.

That is a conclusion the Department of Food Science and Technology of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Head of Department, Dr. Faustina Dufie Wereko-Manu, is drawing national attention to the trend for redress.

“Recently, we’ve gone for foods with so much sugar, so much salt, and you know, they’re smart and well packaged. People like them but it’s not helping us as far as our health is concerned,” she told Luv FM’s Kwasi Debrah.

The food scientist added, “a nation that is not healthy has implication on productivity. According to MDGs, food security and nutrition security is very crucial for every nation.”

She was speaking at the 2019 Food Festival which had varieties of dishes from Ghana and other African countries.

Under the theme, "Promoting our Culture, our Food and the Science," the festival is part of the campaign against Sudan IV Dye in palm oil at the 2017 food fraud conference.

The festival is also aimed at celebrating Ghana’s diverse food heritage and reintegrate value into the food system and culture.

The festival in its third year, is organised in collaboration with the Colleges of Science as well as Humanities and Social Sciences.

Food test

Dr. Wereko-Manu believes good packaging and promotion of traditional foods, especially, in hotels and restaurants, would make a difference.

The biggest attraction at the event, perhaps, was East Africa’s nutritious dish, known as ‘Invange’ from Rwanda.

It is prepared from Irish Potato and beans and garnished with tomato sauce known as ‘Isosi yu’.

“In our local foods we don’t add pepper, so we have some set aside which you can you add by yourself,” revealed Mika Kayiranga, a Rwandan participant.

Typical of the Ivoirians, they showed how their unique ‘Akyeke’ prepared with palm oil goes well with soup.

Jollof rice, prepared with ‘dawadawa’ was the toast at the Burkinabe stand.

Nigerians were on hand to showcase their dishes which are gradually becoming favourites on Ghanaian restaurant menu.

Provost of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Imoro Braima, said other colleges of the university are being encouraged to join the initiative.

Food test