UYO, Nigeria, Nov. 20 (UPI) — A readily available giant land snail could help reduce malnutrition and iron deficiency in African countries, a Nigerian researcher says.
The West African land snail, Archachatina marginata, is cheaper and more nutritious than beef, and is tasty when prepared in small pies, said Ukpong Udofia of the Department of Home Economics at Nigeria’s University of Uyo.
Mothers and children asked to taste the pies preferred them to pies made with beef, Udofia said, noting the snails are rich in protein and iron. The snails, which can grow up to 350 grams, more than 12 ounces, also contain healthy amounts of fat, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, K, she said.
The land snail inhabits many forests and swamps in Africa and in recent years has been domestically cultivated, though more for pets than for food.
Iron and protein deficiencies affect many mothers and their children in Africa and lead to serious health problems, the World Health Organization said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International