In 1997, Mr. Tunde Fabunmi abandoned journalism for bee farming. His reason: Journalism was no longer challenging enough for him. He has since been growing the bee farming business under the name, Bee Conservation Project.
Today, he has moved notches higher than just harvesting honey and selling. He has gone into apitherapy, which borders on using honey to cure diseases. He has also gone into using food generally for the same purpose.
In this interview with SAKIBU OLOKOJOBI, Fabunmi, who has travelled far and wide over his honey business opens up on how diabetes, stroke and other diseases are cured with food. He also speaks on bee farming project, how it can be set up and how anyone can make a living out of it. He speaks on other relevant issues including eating to live and the lifestyles that can make anyone live healthily. Excerpts:
How can the government come in to make a good industry out of bee keeping and honey production?
I think the most practical way was in my entry for an award in 2012 or thereabout. The entry was for people all over the world. 16 people were shortlisted and I was the only Nigerian. What I said in the entry is what I will recommend for the government. The rate of youth unemployment in Nigeria is alarming and as far as I am concerned, there, is no solution provided. Year in, year out, it is getting worst because there is no conscious effort to solve the problem. Students are leaving the university but where are the industries. I stated that we should introduce bee keeping as a course of study in all our universities and other tertiary institutions. I said that industrial nations that do not have this kind of challenge have bee keeping as a course. You can do it up to PhD level. For a developing nation like ours, we need such a course. If you do bee keeping as a course, after your graduation you don’t need to apply to anybody. It is so wide. You could be an apitherapist, you could be a trainer… There are so many options. Bee keeping can solve the problems of health and youth unemployment. We should include it in our curriculum. It is a practical thing. Even before you graduate, you are already in business. So, that is the only way out.
How would you describe the market for honey?
For me, if you have good honey, it is as good as money in bank. The advantages over other farm products are in legion. For example, if you harvest yam and you don’t sell it on time, the yam could go bad and you will lose your investment. But I can keep my honey for ten years. I can determine my prices. Go and ask fish farmers. When their fish are ripe for sale, they go out to look for those women who buy. And once they price and there is no agreement, you will be shocked that the next person that comes will even price it lower. So, at the end of the day, the fish farmer may be forced to sell the fish at a loss. The buyer determines the price, but in bee farming, you determine the price. If you have 100 litres of honey today, you can finish it. It depends on how you market it. Now, you can market online; you can do home delivery. You may sell 100 litres of honey or more in a day. There is no fear of it getting perished or something like that. It is lucrative.
You talked about healing with food. What is that about?
Yes. There is the need to eat well and live well. If you do that, if you have a challenge, the challenge will go. Or you may not even have a challenge. But of course, death is certain. At one point or the other everyone will die. Today, all over the world, it has been realised that all diseases are diet related. A doctor in America said, “After practising Medicine for nearly 17 years, I know there is a relationship between one’s diet choices and the ability to either be healthy or ill; I’ve witnessed the cure of chronic illnesses which I was taught in the university had no cure with the adoption of healthy diet.” All diseases are diet related. I can give you two statements that nobody can dispute. One is that barring accident, every disease is caused by improper diet and lifestyle. The second one says every chronic disease has nutrient deficiency at its root and its cure requires redressing the deficiency with nutrients derivable from food medicine and healthy diet. I will give you an example. Most people who have hypertension are deficient in potassium. They are deficient in Vitamin A; they are deficient in Vitamin K2, they are deficient in other nutrients. So, where do you get them? From food! Imperial College, London, conducted a research that covered 200 countries. The study data was about 1,500. The conclusion is that 98 per cent of hypertension is related to diet and lifestyle problems. The remaining two per cent will be probably be genetic. So, I am convinced beyond any doubt that if you know what to eat in terms of good food and how to live, of course, no health challenge will come.
What is the ideal lifestyle to live and how can one prevent diseases with food?
Food and lifestyle are interwoven. Sometimes, your lifestyle determines your diet. The children of the super rich are those who are likely to eat chocolate because their fathers travel and bring them chocolate. Talking about food, the typical Nigerian foods of about 30 years ago, not today, were good foods. Most Nigerians eat rice in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening today. That is not the way to live. That is a recipe for disaster in terms of health. What is wrong with pounded yam? It is even the best food. What is wrong with amala, yam flour; not cassava flour? What is wrong with our beans? Beans is a super food that we should eat every day. Then, of course, meat. Just go for cow meat. As at today, our meat are grass-fed. They are free range; they are natural and that is the design of God for us. Unlike in Europe and America where their cows are caged, confined. Animals are not supposed to be confined.
But most doctors and even alternative medicine practitioners say we should avoid red meat, particularly at certain ages…
That is fallacy. That is medical fallacy down here. That statement is applicable abroad, given what I have just told you now. In Europe, most of their cows are confined; the cows in Europe and America will probably be five or six years old before they are slaughtered and that cow never eats a blade of grass. But in Nigeria, Fulani can lead a herd of cattle from Sokoto to Kwara, grazing. So, if those cows are killed, they are super food four our system. When they are talking about red meat, we should use our common sense. Our grandfathers ate red meat and they lived long. What makes you different? Sometimes, a lot of us have lost our commonsense and it shouldn’t be so. They are only parroting the research done in Europe and America. Red meat in America and Europe are not good because they are caged. It does not apply to us. The food the cows eat over there are chemicals. But cows are meant to graze on grass. It is wrong to cage them and give them artificial food. The advice not to eat red meat is relevant in America and Europe and not here.
If you want to eat chicken, it must be free range chicken, not poultry chicken; of course bush meat is good meat; fish too; you must eat fish –wild caught fish. Fish caught in the lagoon or ocean are described as wild because nobody rears them. Today, what do we have, we have fish farmers, farming catfish, farming tilapia. These are not good for consumption.
Why are they not good?
The habitat is not natural. Some people rear fish in plastic tanks, cement… No ocean bed, no river bird is made of cement. Then, not to talk of the feet. The starting point, the foundation of the fish is made by artificial hormones. They are hatched with synthetic hormones. The fish, being raised in plastic tanks are hatched by synthetic hormones; the same thing with poultry. That is what makes them unhealthy for human system. We are lucky here, unlike abroad. Today, we still have choices. I eat chicken, but I don’t eat poultry chicken. It is local chicken I eat. Any natural food is medicine in itself. Whether you are a Muslim or Christian, you will know that God’s power exists in anything he created. So, if you eat natural food, you are harnessing God’s power.
Talking about lifestyle, what should it be like?
You must sleep for about seven hours. People don’t know how important sleep is, so they sleep for four hours or less than that because they are looking for money. That is a recipe for early death. Then of course, sun exposure. You must have daily sun exposure. At least you should be in the sun for 20 minutes in a day. If it is longer, the better for you. Then, water. Take adequate water. Exercise is also a part of lifestyle. Even if you have cars, remember that your leg is made to walk. If you use more of your car than your leg, you will pay for it. So, for short distances like 200 to 500 metres, you can walk. See a friend, go to church etc. The pillar of lifestyle is exercise. At least, walk. You don’t need to run or jump, but just walk with your legs. Also, very important, have relationship with your neighbours. That is why God did not create one man. Loneliness kills.
The use of phone has also brought a new dimension to it. It has brought danger to our health. Phone is good to use, but we must use it with common sense. Don’t sleep with your phone by your side. Infact, the phone should not be in the room you sleep because of radiation. Even when switched off your phone is still working. Switch it off in the night, when you wake up in the morning and you switch it on, the date will still be correct. That is an indication that it was working even when you switched it off. So, radiation is a problem.
It is also not good to take or make calls when you are eating. This is because it can disrupt the function of insulin. It can cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the cause of all chronic diseases, including cancer. It is not good to have too much of insulin or to be short of it.
If you have too much, it’s a problem. It can cause cancer. If you don’t have enough it is a problem. So, there must be a balance but the phone can disrupt the balance. It is not good to take or make calls while eating.
People complain against drinking of soft drnks and eating foods which they describe as junk. What is your view about that?
Of course they are not good food. For me, the excuse of the pressure of work or economy is not enough to eat badly. What I would adduce as the main reason for eating badly is that some people are ignorant of the implications of what they eat or do. I tell people, rather than buy meat pie, buy coconut; you can eat banana, apple and cucumber, cashew nuts. They are better than eating meat pie and other sausages. Buy water and take with your cup. It is not good to take bottled water directly from the bottle. You can also eat roasted yam. When you get home, then you can eat your food prepared according to your specification. Like I said, everyone will die one day, but we don’t want to be sick. Some may save N100 million but it may vanish into looking for cure for certain diseases. Yet, they die and still waste the money. So, what is the sense in your wealth accumulation without living a healthy life. If you eat well and live, well, you are not going to spend any money for any doctor or any Indian hospital.
We have increase in the cases of diabetes, cancer and others. What would you blame it on?
I will blame it on what we have been talking about – bad diet and bad lifestyle. You will agree with me that 30 or more years ago, the cases were not as high as they are in Nigeria today. Or let me say that it was not in Nigeria. Diabetes, very few. Kidney failure, no.
Is Cancer curable?
Yes. There is no disease that is not curable
Have you treated any case?
What about stroke?
Yes, we treat all diseases with food.
Can you treat cancer too?
Yes. The problem with cancer is that I have had cause to visit some people, but they didn’t come here for treatment. Most people who have it are rich people and they would prefer to go to Canada, India. I know, some of them might have said: Is it that I don’t have the money to go abroad for treatment?
Another factor is fear. Doctors said cancer is incurable. The moment you believe that as a patient, you cannot be healed. It has a psychological implication. In some countries, when they diagnose one of cancer, they would not tell the person, particularly in Japan. Instead, they will be treating you. Fear is stress. The body cannot heal itself when there is fear because it brings stress. If any cancer patient comes here, the first thing to tell him or her is that it is curable. Believe it is curable and hold on to that. Once you believe, you are healed to a good level.
They say it is curable at the early stage…
At any stage! It can be cured at any stage if you know what to do. The orthodox doctors don’t know the causes, if I may say that. If you don’t know the cause of something you can’t cure it.
Do you know the cause?
Yes. The causes can be grouped into three. The basic cause of cancer is low oxygen in the body.
And what could bring about low oxygen?
Your food. If you are not eating well. If you eat rice, morning afternoon and night, rice will take oxygen in your system for processing. But if you eat more of food that will give you oxygen, the better. Oxygen is derived from two source –what you inhale and your food.
How do you arrive at your conclusion that one of the causes is low oxygen because I had interviewed some doctors and they are not specific on the cause(s).
Let me answer it this way. Nobody was born a doctor. Medicine is a course of study. From when education started, everything has been documented and I have access to some of them. Medical doctors limit themselves to drugs, etc. But in terms of health, everything that comes as causes are documented. I have so many books and some things are online. Somebody got a Nobel prize on this thing I told you – Otto Warburg. He got a Nobel in 1920. It is low oxygen. Every disease that recurs, shows that that person has low oxygen. But the lowest of oxygen causes cancer. Once your oxygen is low, your immune system is weak. And the weak immune system allows diseases develop in the body. We can go on and on. Then, lack of sun exposure is another cause. That is why the Europeans come here. If you have good sun exposure regularly, no cancer. Sun gives you more oxygen. Heat is pro life and cold is anti-life. That is why old people die more during cold. That is when oxygen is low.
What advice do you wish to give to people generally?
The advice I would give is that death is an inevitable end of everyone. Whether we like it or not we shall die one day. But what I know, from my experience is that the most important thing we should devote our time and resources to is what we eat and how we live. It is very important. What is the sense in working hard to make millions and probably billions and at the end of the day, you spend the billions looking for health. It doesn’t make sense. For any wise man and woman, health is wealth.