By Qhamaninande Ma Afrika
As of the past two weeks South Africa has officially become America’s dumping site. Yep, the chicken has landed and is apparently already being sold in the Durban area under the name Jwayelani. Quite apt don’t you think that like the people bringing it to you, it is already telling you to get used to the old, brine filled, arsenic and avian flu contaminated breasts and thighs sent to you from America with love. Well from North Carolina and Springdale, Arkansas to be exact as the chicken pieces are coming from Raeford Farms and Tyson Food Inc.
Oh but you silly gullible African thinking this is for the love of you. No, this is for the love of money! Knowing that “the poultry industry annually contributes over $15.1 billion to the Georgia economy” and that “Delaware’s poultry industry supports more than 14,000 jobs and contributes more than $4.6 billion to the state’s economy, according to the National Chicken Council” should tell you everything you need to know.
This is why the South African government’s delay in agreeing to the terms of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), ruffled the feathers of the now infamous chicken senators, namely Christophe Coons from Delaware and Johnny Isakson from Georgia.
Ok, but lets just say for a second that the claims – about the chicken containing arsenic AND different kinds of super pathogenic avian flus AND that the Food and Drug Association (FDA)’s website states that the FDA does not regulate chicken – is not reason enough to believe that this chicken is a 65 million kilogram a year death trap. What about the fact that this chicken has travelled for six weeks before it even gets to your supermarket and spaza shop? This is not asked to be derogatory, but to draw your attention to the fact that Woolies who is promoting free-range chicken and ‘organic” living is not going to stock six week old chicken. Which means it is going to end up at the shop where your mother buys her groceries “ekasi” or in the rural areas.
For the sake of emphasis this part shall be repeated. According to the AGOA agreement 65 million kilograms of American chicken is going to be shipped to South Africa annually. This chicken is not regulated by the FDA, which is the American organization tasked with protecting the nation’s food supply. Guys these people who are assuring you that their standards are top notch let their own people eat pig meat which contained mouse genes. Responding to concerns with a nonchalant – as long as there was no change to the final product – is meant to make everything fine. Except in the case of filet mignon, because you must be honest with the expensive stuff, god forbid a rich and affluent person eats some mousy bull ***t.
And because the black condition dictates that you“MUST” buy from the whites you will tell your mother not to buy the Jwayelani chicken. You will advise her instead to purchase the chicken from the white farmer who you have been supporting since time immemorial – the white farmer who is complaining that he cannot compete with America’s dumping prices. So as a solution he sells you chicken that is only half a chicken, the other 50% is brine (solution of water, salt and sugar). This is despite the fact that medical professionals in the country, especially those dealing mainly with rural and township folk, have BEEN calling for a decrease in salt intake levels. This is because of the direct link between salt consumption and high blood pressure, which leads to strokes and heart attacks.
While you are busy worrying about ebola and zika, 130 South Africans die from heart attacks and 240 from strokes a day. This is according to “The Heart Foundation” (keep in mind that these numbers only include those of you who have access to some sort of medical assistance, because you only count, if you are counted).
This is all happening while Simphiwe in your street has a poultry business selling chickens and eggs. The very one that, in his State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Zuma promised to help empower through “access to high-quality, innovative business support to dramatically improve the success rate of new ventures.”
Ya, Jwayelani guys! Jwayelani tells you that the need for the local exporters of wine, citrus fruit and macadamia nuts to maintain their millionaire status is more important than the effects of you eating chicken that is six weeks older than the “free-range ” that you could’ve bought directly from the guy up the road. You better believe your President when he tells you that the “Government is developing a One Stop Shop/Invest SA initiative to signal that South Africa is truly open for business.”