Some of the egg sellers at the sensitisation in a pose
Ghanaians have been advised to ignore the negative myths against eating eggs, as there is overwhelming evidence that eggs are good for all.
Maribel Asomboya, a Nutritionist with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) stressed that the nutritional value of eggs is so enormous that eating two eggs a day will go a long way to improve the health and life of people irrespective of their age.
She said this in Ho when the Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat (GNECS) educated egg sellers, poultry farmers (egg breeders), and nutritionists in all the 18 districts in the Volta Region. The training was made possible with the support of the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The Nutritionist who is also a trainer said contrary to negative claims, eggs have been found to have no bad effect on blood cholesterol nor are associated with the risk for heart diseases, stroke, cardiovascular and type 2 diseases among others.
Thus consuming eggs provides one a full meal with valuable nutrients like protein, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, choline, vitamins, and minerals that are generally recommended for healthy living. Choline in particular is responsible for building cell membranes and facilitating normal brain function during pregnancy, breastfeeding, early childhood, adolescence, and even old age.
Eggs also contain bioactive substances like lutein and zeaxanthin and vitamin A which are good for the eyes, especially when aging. An egg is also good for weight loss as it helps maintain muscle mass and maintain a healthy diet by controlling one’s appetite.
The National Coordinator of GNECS, Madam Comfort Acheampong disclosed that the Secretariat with the support of its sponsors and collaborators; GHS, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), and other stakeholders have produced the Edible Egg in Shell Standard as well as a pictorial version for easy education of the general public and adherence to the right egg Standards. A nutrition curriculum has also been developed to empower nutritionists and other health and education service providers.
She noted that the training in Ho for the Volta Region will be replicated in all regions of Ghana and participants will be drawn from all districts in the country to ensure the education on egg standards, production, sale, and consumption becomes a part of every Ghanaian.
She stressed that as a developing country that is still battling poverty and malnutrition, eggs; which are superfoods, are the cheapest and easiest way to improve the quality of life if it is consumed (at least two eggs) daily.
Samuel Kwatia, a Standards Officer from the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) bemoaned the disregard for egg standards in the country and appealed to egg sellers, poultry farmers (egg breeders), and consumers to abreast themselves with the standards. This, he said, will improve the nutrition and health of citizens and also make Ghana’s eggs exportable to other markets in the sub-region and beyond for foreign exchange.
He explained that egg producers and sellers must ensure the eggs with the following features are discarded; leaker eggs (eggs with content coming out), cracked or broken eggs, incubated eggs, fungal and bacteria-infested eggs, eggs contaminated with fecal matter, and failed hatched eggs.
Furthermore, systems must be put in place to ensure eggs are clean, undamaged and yolks positioned appropriately as required by the standards. Storage, transportation, packaging, and sale points should meet the requirements to maintain egg quality and life span.
From Fred Duodu, Ho (firstname.lastname@example.org)