The rich Nigerian taste and aroma associated with the use of crayfish in our dishes and delicacies is under threat. Or should I say our health is under threat? We eat crayfish a lot but what I have noticed recently has made me wonder more than a few times, ‘what is in our crayfish that makes even ants to avoid it?’
Right from when I was just a little girl, I have observed that an intense competition exists between women and ants for crayfish in the kitchen. Leave your dried shrimps (or crayfish as we prefer to call it in Nigeria) unattended and an army of ants would be there in a few minutes to start eating and keeping some for the rainy day! This makes people keep this essential commodity in airtight and ant-proof containers.
Recently, I bought some crayfish and forgot to keep it under serious protection as usual. On opening my kitchen door in the morning, I expected to see ants carrying off my priced possession, only to find out that they were not even attracted to it.
I decided to turn it into an experiment-I waited to see when ants would feel it was alright to steal from the open treasure. By the way, I left it on a tray!
Day 1-No single ant!
Day 2-Not one ant!
Day 3-No ant!
Day 4-Still no ant!
Day 5-a few ants around the tray
Day 6-Welcome ants!
It took 6 days for ants to infest a tray of crayfish! Something must have repelled them, suggesting that our crayfish contains significant amount of pesticide, which must be well above acceptable limits. I really hope that I am wrong and I intend to confirm with laboratory analysis. These are days when producers and retailers will do anything to prevent losses but that must not include poisoning the consumer.
Have you noticed a similar thing with crayfish or any other food item? Please let me have your comments in the section below.