December 08, 2019

Beasts of Burden now a Delicacy in Kenya


By Jeanne Ongiyo

It is now official that donkey meat will finally be making its way onto our plates legally. Yay or nay? For those excited about this news, this is probably the best time of their lives with the donkeys within their reach having a hard time judging from the glances they are probably getting. For those of a contrary opinion, hold your heads high! Let’s face it…times are hard and if you are an avid meat consumer especially in Nairobi, chances are you’ve unknowingly once had a piece of donkey meat that you thought was absolutely scrumptious.

Either way, this move to legalize the sale of donkey meat has spelt harm especially to donkeys which are ideally used as a means of transport and not a component of a dish. The first official donkey-slaughterhouse is scheduled to be opened in Naivasha owing to the fact that the County Government not only states that donkey meat is a licensed product for sale but they have gone further to issue a go-ahead on the construction of the slaughterhouse. As we let that sink in, let’s dig deeper and find out more about donkey meat and why we should or should not rejoice in the latest addition to our menus.

Donkeys are animals like any other. Though scientifically considered a member of the horse family, they, just like cows, have four legs, a tail, a head and all other things we could think of. Research carried out by Egerton University Animal Science Department suggested that no matter how unconventional eating donkey meat sounds, the meat actually has tons of nutritional value in comparison to the all time favourite, beef. 100 grams serving of donkey meat contains 2.02 grams of fat compared to beef which contains 10 grams of fat per 100 grams serving. Donkey meat also contains large amounts of minerals like phosphorus and magnesium which are found in relatively low quantities in vegetables therefore this meat can serve as a substitute to the supplement tablets we take to boost our mineral levels.

Donkey meat is rich in creatine. Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that is useful in the human body for the development and proper functioning of brain cells as well as the overall supply of energy to the body cells. Donkey meat also contains natural deposits of Omega 3 and fatty acids compared to the genetically modified chicken that we buy and are more often than not pumped with growth hormones which are otherwise hazardous to human health.

Donkey meat can also be used as a natural detoxifying agent as it contains active enzymes that naturally help in the process. The meat is also rich in carnosine, a component that helps in the rapid digestion of animal proteins thus avoiding deposits that result in diseases.

Unlike other unhealthy choices of meat, donkey meat does not raise chances of heart disease owing to the fact that it contains 5 times less fat content than beef. It is therefore advisable to eat donkey meat rather than the caged chicken that are injected by unhealthy growth hormones. Donkey meat also contains essential proteins that are not naturally produced in the body therefore the inclusion of this meat in one’s diet guarantees a high amount of proteins. Proteins are also known as body building foods hence consumption of these in regulated amounts leads to proper bone formation and a well-built body. Donkey meat is therefore recommended for all sportsmen and body-builders alike who would like to add a few inches to their body frames.

Ladies…sources say that donkey skin gelatine is a cure for black spots and acne. In China, many of the health benefits of donkey skin gelatine that have been observed time and again are improvement of blood circulation, opening of pores and increase the reproduction of cells. Aside from that, ancient Chinese Medical specialists say ascertain that donkey skin contains great anti-aging benefits that improves skin elasticity, prevents wrinkles and improve skin tone. It is no doubt that the above mentioned facts are appealing and essential for every woman in their everyday lives hence donkey meat is pretty much a recommendation that should be put into consideration next time anyone is seeking gorgeous fair skin.

Health concerns aside, donkey meat has overtime received acclamation and gained acceptance in countries like Germany, Japan and Italy. Beating the myths and misconceptions that surround the consumption of donkey meat, it is clear that not only is the meat more nutritious but it also offers a variety to choose from in terms of meat consumption and dietary needs. The legalization of the sale of donkey meat in Kenya will also mean a broader meat market and the expansion of the Kenya Meat Commission which will in turn lead to employment opportunities.

I am of the opinion that no matter how red or white meat may be, meat is meat though I had never imagined that I would once advocate for the sale of donkey meat. Judging from the overpowering health benefits of donkey meat, this is a call for the acceptance of this meat into the market and who knows, this might actually be a solution to most if not all of the health issues that are related to eating meat.

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