Since its starring role as the villain in the Adam-and-Eve story, mankind and snakes have more or less become sworn enemies, and the former especially, harbors incalculable levels of abhorrence for these belly-crawling species for what; getting them kicked out of the Garden of Eden?
If you find yourself in a place where a snake erroneously slithered into the territory of humans – and one of them spotted it – you would know exactly what I’m talking about. “Snake!! Snake!! Kill it!! Kill it!!” The frenzy, the shrieks. It’s insane.
Our general impressions of these gleaming, beautiful creatures have never been positive; and to humans, snakes are and would always remain treacherous, evil, and diabolic because God gave them venom. Really, they scare the living daylights out of man.
Our immense fear of snakes – much as is pardonable – is very lamentable since it has caused us to overlook some great benefits we could derive from these creatures, especially nutrition.
And you see, I’m not at all surprised by the why-would-I-want-to-eat-a-snake look you got there right now. In fact, I wore the same disgusted look as I was being offered banku and a bowl of groundnut soup prepared with smoked chops of a snake that had strayed too far from the dense bushes of Kwahu Amanfrom.
It was the weirdest thing I had come into contact with, and I just sat thinking to myself, ‘Never! Not today. I’m not joining this crazy reptile-eating club.’
And my answer was as blunt as: ‘Get this sh*t out from under my nose…I don’t even want to smell it. And I swear I’m not eating out that bowl ever again.’
I settled for some really dry fried fish that afternoon, and well, I never ate out of that bowl till I left the town.
The incident however pushed me to seek knowledge on how much of an edible creature a snake is and my! if I had certain information earlier, I would have unpretentiously accepted that hot soup littered with smoked-snake chunks, and added a gracious ‘thank you’.
Snake meat is not poisonous or unhealthy by any stretch of the imagination. It is quite the contrary. With roughly 93 calories available in 100 g of snake meat, coupled with moderate fat and cholesterol levels, the delicacy obviously is one to consider since it helps in the prevention of hardening arteries.
It is also pretty high in protein and has the eight crucial amino acids, including glutamic acid which is key to enhancing brain cell activity. And its content of calcium, magnesium and other important nutrients ensures smooth digestion, lowering the risks of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and inflammations.
The protein content of the much-feared cobra for example, is not different from that of goats and cows; and they hold better nutrition values than many other farm animals.
Interestingly, aside the meat being quite nutritious and superb for human consumption, their blood and venom when processed right, have been found to be great in treating impotence, poor skin conditions, bad sight etc.
So, the next time a snake pops up, and you somehow manage to kill it after all the helter skelter, don’t just cuss at it and throw the carcass away to rot. You know what you can do with it.