By Kwesi Atta Sakyi
Praying before eating reminds us always of God the Great Cornucopia and Provider of our needs who provides from His rich bounty and Horn of Plenty from above.
According to the biblical account of creation of man in Genesis chapter 3, verses 1 to 24, when God created man, man sinned by falling because of the woman and the lie of the Serpent. In verse 19 of chapter 3, God said, ‘By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’
Thus through the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, sin entered the world.
God’s word clearly states that man shall sweat before eating; hence eating fufu requires a great deal of sweating in the process of pounding it. Even the woman runs the risk of her fingers being smashed by the pestle against the mortar.
Eating fufu together from a bowl of Asanka is communal eating and sharing, which is an act of communion.
Always people put some food away in designated places on festive days as food for the ancestors which is not to be eaten.
Some people make bones about what others prefer to eat. For example, some eat pr3k3s3 or apia or dawadawa, others eat akokon or big maggots from the palm tree. Some eat grass-cutter droppings, others aprawa, okokuo, semin momoni, ‘Keta Schoolboys’, among others. Need we look down upon people for what they eat? You are what you eat. The choice is yours.
In Acts of Apostles in chapter 10 verses 9 to 16, there is the account of Peter in a trance on a rooftop at the time of prayer. He was commanded by God to kill and eat but he refused. God told him that what He had cleansed, he Peter should not call unclean. Of course, the trance or vision was in relationship to the word of God which was to be spread to the Gentiles. It is often said that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. In Akan, ‘Obi nakondo de ne odompo ne nsono’
Those who are comfortable eating fufu should not despise those who do not, and vice versa. It is better to respect each other’s decisions and eating space, and not to make heavy weather or bones about other people’s delicacies. It is a matter of live and let’s live. We have different tastes, different backgrounds, and different body compositions so we need to examine ourselves and know our biological constitutions before we eat anything.
Whatever is set before you, pray over it and eat. God gave us different foods in different geographical locations which are fit for our consumption. Cassava and plantain cannot do well in Canada or Iceland just as Irish potatoes and oats, apples, grapes, and barley cannot do well in Ghana.
If at all we try to grow exotic foreign crops in our clime, it will be at a greater cost. So why should we not eat fufu and our soups which are made from locally-derived crops? We need to pray for discernment and direction when it comes to issues of national guidance. We as a nation need to be self-sufficient by importing less of foreign foods and eating more of what God gave us in our beautiful country.