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Health Benefits Of Eating Snails.

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Edible Snail

“Snails consumption is healthy,” says a farmer in Nandi County

If you have never tasted snails, the idea may not be appealing to you. However, maybe it is time to give it a try.

In ancient times, a man consumed all kinds of animals for survival, and these sometimes included snails. In Europe and West African countries, snails are heavily consumed as a delicacy. In Kenya snails are rarely considered as food. But for a few who are exposed to eating it, they associate its taste, with that of a gizzard.

Dennis Iminza practices snail farming, in the Tindinyo area of Nandi County. He became interested in snail farming after visiting his uncle in Nigeria.

Edible Snail

He says “I started snail farming in 2017 after visiting my uncle in Nigeria where he works as a chef in a French hotel. I saw this as a way of getting money, so I ventured into the business,”

Besides exporting his snails in Nigeria where his uncle opened his own restaurant, he also supplies them in Indian restaurants situated in Uasin Gishu County.

Shirley Akoyo a Kenyan who likes snail’s delicacy says “Just like mushroom soup, snail soup is delicious. You can eat them with any kind of starch like Ugali and rice. I love eating them with chapatti. It makes me full the whole day enabling me to control my weight”

 

According to her, she inherited the habit of eating snails from her mother who used to work as a house help in a whites family.

Edible Snails

“My mother would prepare snails for this family and she would join them for the meal, a habit that I later inherited, and never stopped till now”, narrates Shirley.

Shirley admits that it is a habit she teaches her 5 years old son because she believes it is healthy for his growth.

“I substitute snail soup to porridge for my son Fabrian every morning because I believe it is healthier especially with proteins and iron”, explains Shirley.

Matilda Makungu, a nutritionist from Moi teaching and referral hospital Eldoret explains the benefits of eating snails.

She says “Snails are a rich source of proteins, which is important for bodybuilding and repairing of muscles. They are also good in iron which helps in creating red blood cells”,

“They produce vitamin B12 needed for keeping the nervous system healthy. Snails also have a lot of magnesium which our bodies need to maintain blood pressure, strengthen bones, and keep a regular heartbeat”, adds Matilda.

However, according to Matilda, not all snails are edible.

“There are wild snails which are different from garden species. Land snails which are also referred to as garden species are the edible snails, while Wild snails are poisonous”

Prepared dish of edible snails

“Wild snails carry a parasite like nematodes that can cause meningitis among other fatal conditions that may seriously affect the human body”, explains Matilda… Snail eaters should be extremely careful while preparing the delicacy because if not cleaned and cooked well, it can also be harmful for consumption”, She says

”If one is not sure of the type of snail to be eaten, then do not prepare ”, advises   Matilda.

Mercy Tyra Murengu
A multi-award-winning journalist accredited by the Media Council of Kenya.

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