O YE YAM EATERS
Blessed are the yam eaters, for they shall survive the recession
You know, it’s funny how the recession hits and suddenly, yam becomes everybody’s favourite food. And so, I took a short Sabbatical (yes, Sabbatical, because that makes me feel like a Professor) to read up on this very handy ‘recession food’ like I like to call it. I tell you, earth hath no food like yam eaten. So here are some facts and misconceptions I found out about yams:
- YAM COULD IMPROVE YOUR LEARNING CAPACITY: This is absolutely TRUE! There is a relationship between yam and one’s cognitive abilities. In a 2009 research published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine during an experiment using biologically aged subjects, the learning capacity and memory of the subjects were significantly improved after 6 weeks of eating yam. But please o, it is not me that said anybody should eat yam for 6 weeks straight o. Ehen. Coz I know some people already be like, ma fe jeku ni o (in Lil Kesh’s voice). So pliks, tis not my business.
- YAM AND POTATO ARE OF THE SAME FAMILY: You guessed wrong. Ntoooor!. Yams and potatoes are totally unrelated. In fact, if there could be two crops that could be farther apart, it would be yam and potatoes. Yams belong to the Diascoreacea genus and are related to grasses and lilies. Potatoes are from a totally different family. Moreover, while yam has only one embryonic seed leaf, potatoes have two. So duuurh! You. Got. It. Wrong.
- YAM MAKES ONE FAT: This is one BIG, very FAT lie. I promise, yam will not make you fat. You trust me, don’t you? Yes, it is 95% carbs. SO? Yams are very high in dietary fibre. Plus it helps in slowing down metabolic rate of sugar plus it gives you this deceptive full feeling. I’ll have you know that an average slice of yam is only about 158 calories per serving. So biko, to all the PHAT (pretty, hot and thick) people in the house, go grab that yam tuber! Now!
- YAM IS THERAPEUTIC: Believe it or not, yam has numerous healing uses. Because of the presence of Vitamin A, B and C, yam could be used to improve night visions as well as cure heart ailments. The Vitamin C also helps to get rid of wrinkles, thus considerably slowing down aging. You could even used mashed, boiled yams to get rid of those ugly dark circles beneath your eyes. So to all the ladies that like pasting makeup on their faces, please try yam ehn? It is beg I’m begging you oh. I’m tired of seeing masquerades e joor.
- YAM IS LINKED TO HAVING TWINS: Yes! Yes! Yes! Researchers have linked yam to twinning rate. And guess what? Igbo Ora here in Oyo state has the highest twinning rate in the world. You read that right. The twinning rate there is four times higher than any other part of the world. You can guess what their staple food is? What else?! Yam. In fact, the same chemicals found in the peelings of yam were also found to be plentiful in the hormones of the women of Igbo Ora.
- NIGERIA IMPORTS YAM: So you people really think this is true? Totally false! In fact, Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of yams. WE (I’m proud to say this) account for over 70% of the world’s total output, exporting over 38 tons every year. See why you should be proud to be a Nigerian?
- YAM AS A SYMBOL OF WEALTH: This used to be the case of the past and the tradition is still kept in many parts of the country. A common question to suitors used to be, ‘how big is your yam barn? Trust me, the bigger the better. Take this short description from our very own Achebe as a parting gift:
‘Men and women, young and old, looked forward to the New Yam Festival because it began the season of plenty- the New Year. Furthermore, the pounded yam dish placed in front of the partakers of the festival was as big as a mountain. People had to eat their way through it all night and it was only during the following day when the pounded yam “mountain” had gone down that people on one side recognised their family members on the other side of the dish for the first time.