Meat is the term used to describe any freshly dressed or treated tissues, mainly skeletal muscle from warm blooded animals suitable for use as food. This 1992 definition by Alonge, in a book, “Food Hygiene” excludes all other types of meat, which must now be qualified, e.g. snake meat, dog meat, or elephant meat. Edible meat is categorized into Red meat (which includes beef, pork, and goat), poultry (broilers or fryers, turkey), sea food (fish, prawns, lobsters, crabs), Bush meat (deer, antelope), Nigerian meat products (kundi, kilichi, or balangu, tinku, randa, banda, or tsire, meatballs, or asun).

Finally, there are simulations of meat flavour and textile, called meat analogues. Some meat can be deleterious to man when consumed. An example of such is the Ichthyosarcotoxic fishes whose flesh contains naturally occurring poisons. Some unconventional meats are indeed taken as delicases in South West Nigeria, such as the dried caterpillars, called monimoni in Ibadan, and giant rats, the grasscutter, famed in the entire region simply as Eran igbe or “beast of the wild”. Total meat available to Nigerians, averaging 11.2 kg per person per annum is considered very low.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer