Goodday everyone, it’s my pleasure to use this platform to address false information circulating within the public. Maybe this information is to generate fear I don’t really know but I must say the element passing this wrong informations are doing it out of ignorant or misunderstanding.
I will not take much of your time but I will love to explain deeply to carry everybody along.
The most possible synthetic materials that can be used to produce rice-like structure are Resin, petroleum by-product. No sane firm/company will produce rice from this material because of the cost and the production processing it will take to form rice with it. Meanwhile, there are fake rice but not from plastic materials. I got to know about fake rice years ago while working for a Chinese film. I discovered every food we cook comes from china and they brought our cook also from china as well but, one day I asked my boss, why do we import so many things we eat? He answered that some of the things we eat here In Nigeria comes from either substandard materials or imitation to capture the population of Nigeria as a whole.
I tried to pester him to say more about this classified information because his more experienced than I do so, he cited an example of Rice. I was so interested to know about how fake rice has been produced. So far is one of the top 10 consumable foods in Nigeria. He said, not all rice imported to Nigeria market is original or grown naturally but instead, there are ways a starchy food such as cassava, potato or other farm produce that contains high level of carbohydrate can be milled, processed and formed to spaghetti-like structure before passing through a machine that will slice and polish it to rice grains. I was shocked and this opens my eyes to do more research on this topic of fake food product.
I will not be able to mention any country for now because this information remains classified and I will not want to be held for interrogation or arrest at any port of entry to any country, but I will surely let you know what fake food materials are.
Having traveled far, I have been opportuned to see for myself some fake food product which you will hardly know or differentiate. 4 years ago, I got to know that not all Tomato paste imported to Nigerian market is not actually from tomato but ,instead from a Red pawpaw fruit which will be milled then little flavor and colour is added up to it before packaging. This illegal business generates millions of dollars annually and its very hard to stop because of the cartels involved.
Sometimes ago, I got a contract to supply 300MT of cocoa bean shell/ month for 1year which I know fully well it’s been use as a mulch or animal feed. After exporting for 2 months, the 3rd month order was still on the sea when the government of the destination country finds out that most of the shells imported into the country weren’t used for it purpose. So they place ban on it for 5years. I tried to find out from top government official of the country, why the ban? He said, “cocoa shell has been converted to cocoa powder”. The most unusual thing about this food product is that it’s very hard to differentiate. Same colour, same smell but slight taste. 1 ton of cocoa powder at international market is around 3000USD compare to the amount they buy cocoa shell. They make huge profit from doing these also.
While talking about other country, I still know about my own country quite very well where they can produce 50liters of red oil from 20littles of original oil. Fake coca cola, fake beer. All these happen, not only Rice.
I strongly condemn the act of bringing fake food product to this country but, most of the materials added to these foods are also edible but not synthetic or plastic that people speculate.
The Nigeria government is trying to enlighten the public to grow what they will eat not only to curb importation but to also ascertain the originality of what we consume. This illegal trade is hard to stop, so follow the government initiatives to grow what we eat within our country. Well, this might not be able to stop the activities of the perpetrators, but it will reduce it to some extent.
Well, I believe the Nigerian government can do better by creating standard techniques to eradicate this illegal trade right at the port of entry before circulating to the public.