I try to be patriotic, I bet we all do, most likely in subtler, seemingly less significant ways, but we try nonetheless.
For long I have heard the call on us as a people to patronize our own products for the good of our economy and thus a betterment of our lives.
The argument is most fair and I hold no qualms about it.
But, how much longer must I, as am sure you reading this, hold on to locally made goods that can’t seem to compete with what’s on offer out there, very often for less.
Take clothing for example, it seems to me economically wiser to purchase made in China t-shirts (preferably in bulk) than what is on offer in our dear country; i.e. screen printed shirts, “tailor-made” shirts and pants . Crunch the numbers and I’m sure you will come to the same conclusion as I have.
Quality over quantity perhaps? But what good is quality when I can only afford so much , do I hold fast and purchase about two “quality” pieces of clothing or do I purchase the cheaper alternative which mind you, can’t be rubbed off easily as a companion of poor quality.
Let’s shy away from clothing and to what really got me writing this, rice!
This nation of ours, school, books, statistics, intellectuals and everyone in it tell me is an agrarian society and yet we can all agree we do not live up to such “lowly” agrarian status, in fact, we might as well be better off described as a “we’re not sure” society. My reasoning being that, as an agrarian people, we would have found better uses of our raw materials by now and in the least bit, each citizen wouldn’t find it impossible to get at least a meal a day.
Back to rice.
I have heard over the radio and on TV about the nutritious, patriotic and economic value buying and using made in Ghana rice provides. Fair enough, it is after all, our product; if we cannot patronize it, who then do we expect to?
But why should I go for our rice when it’s fraught with “discomforts” as opposed to imported sacks of the grain which we as a people have for so long, made king above all else that grows from our paddies?
When last did you eat local rice? I had some continuously the start of this month and I tell you, cooking it wasn’t at all a pleasantry.
For so long – for me at least- there hasn’t been need to wash my rice before cooking. It didn’t smell funky and it barely had weevils, if any at all.
I have found that, at least with every bag of Ghana made rice that I have encountered, somehow, the smell from the sacks in which they are kept creep into the grains as well. It’s not the worst smell in the world, but seeing as it gives the food a weird taste, I do not find it welcome or surprising that made in Ghana rice isn’t as patronized as the rest.
Note though that, your food can be ridden of the smell and it’s accompanying taste, it just happens to be such a bother I bet we would all rather something quick and easy. In my case, I have to run hot/warm water through it continuously until my nose gives me the go ahead and that honestly, takes a whole chunk of my time and patience away, as well as some of the allure of the food, feels like it is ruined.
I can’t say I know what causes this, what I am certain of however is that, so long as something as trivial as this is ignored, less and less people are bound to patronize our stuff unless of course in this case, they’re trying to cut costs.
That mindset however is bad and only serves to tune our minds to the acceptance of our rice as being inferior.
So yup, there you have it. A word of caution or more a reminder would be reference to Miss Efya’s song, “Little Things”: “it’s the little things that you do, that make me love you more!”
Right after I had originally typed this, we got another bag of local rice, only this time, it was perfumed. I like this one better, way better. Some thought was actually put into the packaging, only problem I noticed as I have with many other “brands” is the spelling and grammar mistakes printed on the bag. Aside that, everything was okay, oh yeah, the grains (pretty long) weren’t something I was used to but it was okay! Yaaay! One for Ghana! (although I must mention Brazil has some sort of hand in it, their imprint is kinda right there on the front. Sighs..oh well)
Oh lest I forget, its called Champion Perfumed Jasmine Rice. It even comes with preparation instructions and *ahem* nutrition info (and even the package designer’s info – AH!!)