News / Health

Health Risks Fail to Deter Ethiopians from Eating Raw Meat

Health Risks Fail to Deter Ethiopians from Eating Raw Meati
X
September 20, 2013 12:43 PM
Ethiopians continue to eat raw meat at family and festive occasions despite health risks that include exposure to tapeworms, salmonella and E-coli. Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from Addis Ababa on why the practice persists.
Raw Meat Still Popular in Ethiopia
Marthe van der Wolf
Ethiopians continue to eat raw meat at family and festive occasions despite health risks that include exposure to tapeworms, salmonella and E-coli.

While most people are taught that eating raw meat is not good for you, the tradition persists in Ethiopia.  Whenever there is something to celebrate -- like a wedding, or the end of one of the many fasting weeks for the large Orthodox community -- raw meat is eaten in large quantities.
 
The story goes that eating raw meat started during times of war.  Fighters hiding in the mountains would have exposed themselves by making fire, and so ate their meat raw.
 
Temesgen Yilma is the owner of Yilma Restaurant, one of the most famous raw meat restaurants in Addis Ababa.  He eats raw meat almost every day and claims that neither he nor his customers have gotten sick from eating it.
 
“Today we are the only butchery in the country having our own animal transport trucks and meat transport vehicle," noted Yilma.  "And our meat is always inspected by the ministry of agriculture, it’s free of any tape worm or any other thing.  It’s always inspected and its always healthy.”

The meat is delivered late at night or early in the morning to one of the hundreds of raw meat establishments in the city.  The delivery time is important, to ensure the freshness of the meat and thus to prevent customers from falling ill.
 
But despite these precautions, eating raw meat still poses the risk of several types of infections.  Akaze Teame is the medical director at the American Medical Center.  He said that eating raw meat is not recommended.

“You will also be at risk of non-communicable diseases such as stroke and heart disease because as you’ve witnessed, most people when they consume raw meat they actually like it white, with a lot of fat on it," Teame explained. "So that puts the person at a much increased risk for heart disease and stroke as well.”

Whatever the health risks, for many Ethiopians raw meat remains one of the most popular dishes.  And to prevent tapeworms, the most common and well-known consequence of eating raw meat, any meat lover can just walk to the pharmacy and buy pills without a prescription.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rawraw from: Cali
September 23, 2013 1:50 AM
Disgusting. Someone needs to tell them to stop eating this stuff. Gross.


by: Wond from: CA
September 21, 2013 10:56 AM
I am sure if you had followed the physician after work by the end of the day, you would have found him at Yilma's restaurant. I can't wait to get back to Ethiopia and taste what makes me drool watching the clip:)

In Response

by: Rebecca from: Addis Ababa
September 29, 2013 10:31 AM
i have been eating raw meat for some years now and no health risk at all. Their meat is healthy and fresh at anytime. you won't find such service or product anywhere but at Yilma's.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid