Cow Hide: To Eat or Not to Eat Cow Skin Meat/Pomo

Cow Hide: To Eat or Not to Eat Cow Skin Meat/Ponmo/Kpomo/Pomo

Cow Hide Picture: To Eat or Not to Eat
Cow Hide Picture: To Eat or Not to Eat

Is cow skin red meat? Cow Hide (aka ponmo/kpomo/pomo)

Kanda, Kpomo, or Pomo is the hairy covering of a cow and is popularly known as edible cowskin. The skin is the largest organ in a cow and serves as its protective covering.

Table of Contents

Cow Hide: What are hides and skins?

Hides are “skins” of large animals, such as cows and buffaloes, whereas skins are “skins” of smaller animals, such as goats, sheep, deer, pigs, fish, alligators, snakes, and so on.

Leather from cattle and other livestock animals, buckskin, alligator skin, and snakeskin are all common commercial hides.

Related Articles on Cow Hide/Cowskin
What is hide meat? Hides and Meat

Hide skin is a natural byproduct of the meat industry. They can be tanned and used to make a wide range of products.

Regardless of social class, cowhide/cow skin has become a popular local delicacy. It’s a good weight loss meat that has fewer calories and tastes good when cooked properly in dishes.

There has always been debate over whether eating cow skin is good or bad. While some scholars believe that edible cow skin (kpomo) has no nutritional value!

However, another group of scholars completely disagrees with that statement but chooses to qualify it by stating that cow skin has low nutritional value when compared to other protein sources of meat.

In any food culture around the world, there’s always one food item or another that sparks debate about why and how it is eaten and enjoyed….and for Nigeria and Nigerians, one of these food items is cow hide…(aka cow skin, pomo, ponmo, awo, Kanda (dried form), raincoat).

In today’s post, I’ll share some of the research I’ve done on cow skin to help you decide whether you should or should not eat pomo…

According to in one of their articles and I quote

‘Stop consuming cow skin meat and stave off cancer, Vice-Chancellor, Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan, Prof. Kola Oloke, advised in Ibadan

“Animal skin that is also known as “ponmo’’ is harmful to the body; it has no nutritional value.

“Runaway from meat, especially red meat. If you want to eat chicken, eat the local one.

“Consumption of animal protein can lead to diseases. More importantly, it causes cancer and death,’’ the microbiologist said while addressing a seminar on “Lifestyle, Diseases and Management’’ at the university.

“Millions of cases of food poisoning are recorded every year which are traceable to the consumption of meat, especially those with mad cow disease and helminthic infestations,’’ he said.

Prof. Oloke asserted that cancer was not only preventable but curable and added that 60 percent of chronic diseases could be prevented through healthy diets.

He added that other lifestyle measures to stave off cancer and other diseases included managing stress, avoiding toxins such as alcohol and tobacco, regular exercise, and adequate sleep.

“One of the things that cancer cells thrive on is sugar; so if you can take off the consumption of sugar from any cancer patient, you would have helped the patient’

What is Cow Hide?

Cowhide is the hairy natural skin of a cow.

Kpomo is cow hide meat that has been processed so that users can cook and eat it like beef, such as the traditional peppered Pomo.

Pomo is a delicacy popular among Nigerians, especially when added to soups and stews. Others, on the other hand, prefer spicy peppered kponmo meat to whine their mouths and keep their jaws busy.

Similarly, some African countries, such as Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, and the Benin Republic, prepare delectable delicacies with cowskin meat. West Indians and Caribbeans are not excluded from eating ponmo.

Cow hide, also known as cow skin, is a byproduct of the meat processing industry that is typically earmarked for processing into leather.

Because of its large surface area, the skin is considered an organ and the largest organ in an animal.

To the rest of the world, cow hide is destined to be tanned and used to make leather, which is then used for a variety of things in the fashion and furniture manufacturing industries.

On the other hand, collagen/gelatine, a protein found in cow skin, is extracted for use in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetics industries.

From Cow Hide Meat to Pomo

Cow hide is extremely tough to eat and requires a lengthy cooking process to soften/tenderize it for human consumption.

The main goals of processing cow hide to pomo are to remove the hair from the skin and tenderize it, which can be accomplished through two methods: boiling and burning/roasting.

After the skin is removed from the cow, it is cut into manageable pieces and either boiled or burned/roasted.


In this method, the cowhide is first immersed in hot water to aid in the removal of hair. Following shaving, the cow skin is cooked until it is soft and ready for consumption.

After boiling, the skin is soaked in water for several hours, resulting in a brief stage of fermentation that also contributes to softening the cow skin.

The white variety of pomo is created as a result of this process.


This method involves immersing the skin in a burning flame to singe the hair and begin the softening process.

The flame is made from recycled tyres and/or wood.

To create an intense flame, other petrochemical agents (such as kerosene, diesel, or petrol) are frequently added.

After roasting, the pomo is boiled again, then washed and soaked in water. The brown/burnt color pomo is the result of this method.

How to Process Cow Hide Meat into Ponmo

Cow skin is difficult to eat if not properly cooked, and it takes time to prepare before eating.

Cow skin is difficult to eat if not properly cooked, and it takes time to prepare before eating.

How to Perfectly Clean Cow Hide Meat
  • Firstly, bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat to cover the cow skin.
  • Besides that, remove from the heat and place in a bowl of cold water to cool. After that, use a sharp knife to scrape out whatever is inside the Pomo.
  • Thirdly, you can also use an iron sponge purchased specifically for washing cow skin to remove any dark particles from the skin as you wash it to brighten it.
  • Finally, after thoroughly cleaning the cow skin, discard it and replace the water. Add fresh water and soak for as long as you like in clean water.
Cow Hide Meat Processing

There are three approaches to this. The first two methods involve removing and softening the hair from the skin, while the third involves tanning

The first two methods involve removing and softening the hair from the skin, while the third involves tanning Pomo

The white Pomo is much healthier than the dark Ponmo due to the method of processing the cow skin into the meat rather than burning, which can be hazardous to human life.

The cow is then immersed in boiling water or, after slaughter, the air is infused into it, causing it to rise and puff up before hot water is poured over it to soften it and the hair is gently shaved off.

Then, they are boiled until they are tender enough to eat.

The skins of the prepared cow, on the other hand, are soaked in water for a few hours to achieve a mild fermentation process that makes them tenderers.

Dark Pomo

The skins are burned on open firewood (or possibly burning tires or petrochemicals) as you scrape to remove hair while burning in this method.

It is then cut into smaller pieces and boiled.

The type of fire used in processing a dark Pomo determines how healthy it is; if it is firewood, it is usually a minor problem, and tires and petrochemicals are major problems.

Based on the petrochemicals and tires used in the commercial processing of these cow skins, Lagos residents are being warned against consuming poisonous Pomo. According to a new study on

Tanning Cow Hide

The process of treating animal skin to make leather is known as hides and skin.

Tanning hide in the skin is a process that permanently changes the protein in the skin, making it more durable and less prone to decay while also providing color.

Notably, Ponmo emerges as the best meat substitute for outdoor/indoor delectable delicacies around the world, and it’s heart-friendly, so eat in moderation.

What are the health benefits of eating cow skin? Nutrition Facts and Calories for Cow Hide Meat – Health Benefits

The nutritional value of kpomo will help you decide whether to use cow skin for your shoes or for better skin health.

A 100-gram serving of boiled, thick cow skin contains approximately 224.65 kcal energy, 46.9 g protein, 6.80 g carbohydrates, 1.09 g fat, 43.9 g water, and 0.02 g fiber

It contains iron (4.3 mg), calcium (61 mg), magnesium (12 mg), phosphorus (36 mg), and trace amounts of zinc in terms of micronutrients (6.79 mg).

Furthermore, Kpomo contains skin collagen and a small amount of protein, so it is still beneficial to the body. So Pomo has something to offer and will add little to your diet.

Collagen is a protein found in large quantities in our bodies. There is no need to take collagen for growth because it is produced in our bodies.

However, as we age, our ability to produce collagen decreases, resulting in wrinkles.

Eating more refined carbohydrates or sugar (white rice, white flour), smoking, and UV rays from the sun can all reduce our ability to produce more collagen effectively; thus, cows are recommended.

Collagen has been widely advertised for its ability to revitalize the skin, build muscle, improve skin elasticity, improve hair, and alleviate arthritis pain.

So, what are the issues? I mean the concerns?

There are numerous references on the internet to pomo being unhealthy, cancer-causing, nutritionally worthless, and a drain on the Nigerian economy.

Even the BBC reported on it (Nigeria Is Eating Its Leather Industry…!)

To begin with, in terms of pomo being unhealthy, we have established that it does contain some protein (albeit low quality because it lacks some essential amino acids) and some minerals.

This assertion was made in the investigation work of  Akwetey W. Y., Eremong D. C., and Donkoh A. referenced above.

They however conclude that the quantities of nutrients in pomo are directly reliant on the method of production.

Akwetey W. Y., Eremong D. C., and Donkoh A. also discovered that contaminants are most likely introduced into pomo as a result of the manufacturing methods.

For example, pomo made by roasting in flames made of tyres and petrochemicals is more likely to contain residual elements that are unsuitable for consumption and may have harmful effects on the body.

There are also concerns that some chemical substances given to cattle prior to slaughter (for veterinary reasons) may remain in the skin and be passed on to humans who eat the skin.

This is in addition to concerns that the skin may harbor parasites, lesions, or diseases that could be passed on to the food chain.

Furthermore, there are concerns that unethical pomo processors/producers inject chemical agents into pomo to plump it up and make it more appealing.

Last but not least, Nigeria could earn more foreign currency by exporting cow hides or perhaps developing its own leather manufacturing industry.

Instead of eating cow skin, Nigerians are being persuaded to sell it or turn it into leather!

My Opinions on Cow Hide: To Eat or Not to Eat

Every concern expressed above is directly related to pomo processing methods.

I believe that with better production methods, as well as appropriate monitoring, public health inspection, and certification, there will be fewer concerns about pomo.

Pomo is a delicacy that Nigerians adore, owing to its flavor and texture (when cooked properly).

It does add a distinct taste and texture to any dish to which it is added, particularly stews and soups.

Pomo, owing to its popularity and availability, does not appear to be on the verge of extinction in Nigerian culinary culture any time soon!

Instead, what should be done is to address the concerns surrounding its production and ensure that the methods used to adhere to the appropriate specifications and standards.

How I Make Use of Pomo in My Cooking
  • I like to use pomo on occasion, especially when making traditional soups like egusi, ogbono, and efo riro.
  • I enjoy the great taste and texture it adds to my dishes.
  • When it comes to the ones I buy, am very picky, but while there are no guarantees, I do look for the following three things before I buy:
  • The thickness and texture, as well as the smell and general appearance
  • I check to make sure there are no cuts or bruises on the surface. I also make certain that the texture is firm and spongy, and that there is no offensive or overpowering odor.
  • When I buy kpomo, I thoroughly clean it before using it.
  • First, I immerse the pomo pieces in hot water and scrub them with a metal sponge to remove any black streaks from the surface and crevices/folds.
  • I then rinse with fresh, clean water that has been infused with lime or lemon juice.
  • Finally, I cut them into smaller bite-size pieces and boil them for about ten minutes, or until they are soft to my liking.
  • “I then remove the pomo pieces from the boiling water, discard the water, and keep the pomo pieces until needed.”

When I cook with pomo, I make sure it isn’t the only source of protein in my meal. Pomo can be combined with other types of protein and vegetables to create a nutritionally balanced meal.”

Uses of Cow Hides in Other Countries

Cow skin is processed similarly to pomo and eaten in other West African countries such as Ghana, where it is referred to as welle or wele.

Cow Hide is also popular in the Caribbeans, where it is added to stews and soups and is particularly popular among West Indian men. However, in other countries, particularly in the more developed ones,

Gelatine/collagen is extracted from cow skin (as well as pig, chicken legs, and other animal bones) and used in the food industry to make jelly, gello, gelatin sheets, fruit or wine gums, gummy bears, jelly babies, ice cream, and other foods.

It is also used as a gelling agent in ready meals and other processed foods.

Gelatine is also used in pharmaceutical companies to make medicine casings and as a gelling agent in medicines.

In the cosmetic industry, it is also added to beauty creams/products.

The Japanese also extract collagen from cow skin (as well as other animal sources) to create collagen powder or bases, which are then used to make collagen cream, a rumored trendy/fad beauty treatment.

Is eating animal skin healthy? The Summary
  • Pomo has become a very popular local delicacy that is enjoyed by all, regardless of social class.
  • Its distinct taste and texture are what make it so popular.
  • The methods and materials used to manufacture pomo, such as the use of tires and petrochemicals such as diesel/petrol/kerosene, raise questions and concerns about its safety for human consumption.
  • Cowskin pomo is not as nutritionally deficient as previously thought. According to research, depending on the method of production, pomo contains reasonable levels of protein (albeit of a low quality/low biological value because it lacks one or more essential amino acids). Some minerals have also been discovered in processed pomo as a result of research. Establishing a certifiable standard processing industry for pomo production in Nigeria is one sure way to ensure that the current health issues associated with it are resolved.
  • Cow skin is consumed in some form or another all over the world, whether directly or indirectly through processed foods, sweets, jelly or gelato, ice cream, food additives, ready meals, snacks, and so on.
  • Never rely solely on pomo for protein. To strike a balance, combine with other proteins and vegetables.
Where can I find cow skin meat in Nigeria?

In the market, slaughterhouses, or from Kanda meat hawkers.

Can cow hide be eaten?

Cow skin is a popular ingredient in Jamaican cuisine, and it is commonly used in soups and stews. This soup is typically made with root vegetables, Scotch bonnet peppers, and chunks of cow skin; everything is cooked until the skin softens. Cow skin soup is well-known for its ability to cure hangovers.


Does cow skin benefit human health?

It’s a common misconception that cow skin is nutritionally worthless. Actually, this is not the case.

Collagen, a type of protein that is crucial for stabilizing bones and skin tissues, is abundant in cow skin.

What effects does Ponmo have on the body?

Ponmo also has nutrients, to sum up. However, it shouldn’t take the place of meat, fish, or other excellent sources of complete protein.

Ponmo includes collagen, which benefits skin and hair in older people and those who are aged.

Is there any nutritional benefit to Ponmo?

Ponmo doesn’t contain all of the necessary amino acids, hence it has a lower nutritional value than other protein sources, despite the fact that it still includes a lot of nutrients.

Does cow skin contain collagen?

Calorie and Nutritional Information for Cow Skin Meat – Health Advantages

Additionally, because Kpomo contains some protein and skin collagen, it still has some benefits for the body.

Can we eat cow skin?

Popular in Jamaican cooking, cow skin is typically used in soups and stews.

Typically, chunks of cow skin are boiled with root vegetables, Scotch bonnet peppers, and other ingredients in this soup until the skin is tender.

Cow skin soup is well known for curing hangovers.

Does Ponmo have cholesterol?

Yes, it has… Ponmo is a very healthy meal that is high in fiber and low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. Cancer cannot be brought on by a healthy ponmo or one that wasn’t preserved using hazardous chemicals.

Does Ponmo have collagen?

Ponmo includes a lot of collagen, which is the most prevalent protein in our body, despite having low nutritional value compared to other protein sources because it lacks all essential amino acids.

Is Kpomo food healthy?

But consuming this meal plainly has no positive effects on your health. Since no one can tell another what should be thrown into the fire being used to burn this edible skin, burning kpomo has raised many health concerns.

Can I get fat from eating Ponmo?

Weight loss IS NOT a side effect of pomo. However, it won’t result in weight gain.

Is consuming animal skin healthy?

Why? The majority of the fat in chicken skin is the heart-healthy, unsaturated form. So you can leave some skin on the chicken the next time you cook it.

The Harvard School of Public Health claims that unsaturated fat may help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol.

What is the English name for Ponmo?

Southwestern Nigerians love to eat cow skin, also known as “ponmo,” as a side dish, snack, and seasoning.

It is cheap, and probably because of this, it is widely used in restaurants and other eating establishments. Purchasers keep an eye out for either soft or thick ponmo for their crunchiness.

Is eating animal skin healthy?

Its nutritional value is debatable.

Nigerians disagree with health specialists who claim it is toxic and unhealthy.

So, the essence of eating ponmo is defeated if it is confirmed that it has no health benefits

What is the best source of collagen?

Bone broth

This is the food item with the highest collagen content on the list. You can either prepare your own bone broth or purchase it at the grocery store.

Simply simmer beef, pork, poultry, or fish bones in water to prepare bone broth at home.

What are the side effects of taking collagen?

Mild side effects from collagen supplements could include bloating, heartburn, and a sense of fullness.

Make careful to buy supplements devoid of your allergens if you suffer from food allergies.

What part of the cow does collagen come from?

The primary building blocks of skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, gums, teeth, eyes, and blood vessels are types I and III of collagen, which is a naturally occurring protein found in the cartilage, bones, and hides of cows.

What is cow skin called?

The natural, unbleached skin and hair of a cow are known as cowhide. It keeps the animal’s original coloration.

Cowhides are a food industry byproduct made from cattle.

Can you eat cow’s breasts?

One of the innards and an edible part of mammals, especially cows, is the udder. It is known as elder in the kitchen in Great Britain and Tetine de veau in France.

Why do we eat pig skin? We eat pig skin because…

Crispy pig rinds are a good source of fat and protein.

They don’t contain any carbohydrates, which appeals to individuals following a low-carb diet.

However, they contain very little in the way of healthy vitamins and minerals.

Is Ponmo meat red meat?

“Animal skin also referred to as “ponmo,” is unhealthy and has little nutritional value.

Avoid meat, particularly red meat. Eat local chicken if you want to eat chicken. Animal protein consumption can cause illnesses.

How is Ponmo produced?

The steps used to produce ponmo, as seen in the Agege abattoir, begin with the killing of the cow in the slaughterhouse and continue through the dehairing and skin removal steps.

There are three varieties of ponmo: white, dark (Ijebu ponmo), and those made from buffalo, according to Fatai.

Does animal skin contain protein?

Animal skin contains between 60 and 65 percent water, between 30 and 32 percent protein, about 10 percent fat, and between 0.5 and 1 percent minerals. In the beginning, skins are soaked to clean them and enable rehydration

Is cowhide leather?

The natural, hairy skin of a cow is called cowhide. Its leather can be used to make belts, shoes, wallets, leather coats, furniture, and cars.

Although most cow leather is hairless, it can also be treated to produce leather that is furry (Hair-on Leather).

Are cow legs healthy?

It contains sufficient amounts of calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, boron, iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and the B vitamins. Cow Leg Broth Strengthens Bones and Teeth

Is Ponmo leather?

She claims that Ponmo is essentially cow skin that has been processed to resemble beef, which is sold in markets and used as a key component in the production of many stews in different cultures.

How is tough Kpomo softened?

Salt or baking soda – rub a piece of meat with salt or baking soda, and leave it to rest in a refrigerator for 1-2 hours;

Rinse meat THOROUGHLY to remove the salt or baking soda before boiling.

Ponmo Ijebu | How to Clean Ponmo Ijebu


  • Put ponmo Ijebu in a big Bowl
  • Add a lot of water
  • Cover and let it Soak for 12-24 hours
  • After 12-24 hours you will find that the ponmo has softened and it has also expanded
  • Start scrubbing the ponmo one by one with the iron sponge
  • Scrub the ponmo until all the black dirt has been removed
  • Put cleaned ponmo in a separate bowl
  • Repeat the process until all the ponmo have been washed clean
  • Dispose of the water after all the ponmo have been washed clean
  • Fill the bowl with a fresh batch of clean water
  • Wash the ponmo the second time to ensure that the stubborn dirt are removed
  • Use the knife to scrape/cut stubborn dirt if it can not be removed with the iron sponge
Define Ponmo Ijebu.

Animal skin is commonly referred to as ponmo in Yoruba, kanda in Igbo, or Fata or Ganda in Hausa. While in Ghana, some people refer to it as wele or kahuro. Cleaned Ponmo Ijebu. Ponmo is cow skin that has been processed for consumers to cook and eat

What parts of an animal are halal?

These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the gazelle, the roe deer, the goat, the deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep.

Can we eat goat skin? 

In reality, since some animals have skin conditions, it is not advisable for you to consume animal skins.

Some of these skin conditions don’t always respond well to boiling the skins to kill the bacteria.

What can be made with cow skin?

What Kinds of Products Are Made from Cowhides?

  • Cowhide Rugs. Cowhide rugs are one of the most popular products made from cowhide
  • Cowhide Pillows
  • The cowhide Furniture
  • Cowhide Lampshades
  • Cowhide Gun Cases
  • The cowhide Bottle Cozy

Cow skin

Cow skin, commonly known as beef tripe, is the edible lining from the stomach of cattle. While it may not be as popular as other cuts of meat, it is consumed in various cuisines around the world.

Here are some potential benefits of cow skin meat:

Rich in Protein:

Like other meat products, cow skin is a good source of high-quality protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and maintaining overall health.

Collagen Content:

Cow skin is rich in collagen, a structural protein that is crucial for maintaining the health of skin, joints, and connective tissues. Collagen is also known to promote skin elasticity and joint flexibility.

Nutrient Density:

Cow skin contains various nutrients, including vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. These nutrients play important roles in various bodily functions, including energy metabolism, immune function, and blood formation.

Potential for Gelatin Production:

Cow skin can be processed to produce gelatin, a substance with various culinary uses. Gelatin is often used in desserts, soups, and various food products. It may also have some health benefits, such as supporting joint health and improving skin condition.

Cultural and Culinary Diversity:

In many cultures, cow skin is used in traditional dishes, adding diversity to the culinary landscape. The preparation and consumption of tripe vary widely, and it is often included in stews, soups, or grilled dishes.

It’s important to note that while cow skin can offer nutritional benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. Some people may find the taste, texture, or odor unappealing.

Additionally, individuals with certain dietary restrictions or health conditions may need to be cautious about consuming certain animal products.

As with any food, moderation is key, and it’s essential to consider individual preferences and dietary needs.

If you have specific dietary concerns or health conditions, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.

What nutritional benefits does cow skin meat offer?

Cow skin meat, also known as beef tripe, is rich in high-quality protein, essential for tissue repair and immune function. It contains collagen, promoting skin and joint health, and provides essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins.

How does the collagen in cow skin meat contribute to health?

Collagen is a structural protein found in cow skin meat that supports skin elasticity, joint flexibility, and connective tissue health. Consuming collagen may contribute to improved skin and joint health.

Are there any specific nutrients in cow skin meat that are noteworthy?

Yes, besides protein and collagen, cow skin meat contains essential nutrients like iron, which is important for blood formation, and zinc and B vitamins that play roles in various bodily functions, including metabolism and immune support.

Can cow skin meat be beneficial for those looking to boost their protein intake?

Absolutely. Cow skin meat is a good source of protein, making it a valuable addition to a diet aiming to meet protein needs. Protein is crucial for muscle maintenance, repair, and overall body function.

Are there culinary uses for cow skin meat?

Yes, cow skin meat is used in various traditional dishes around the world. It can be included in stews, soups, or grilled dishes, adding cultural diversity to culinary practices.

What precautions should individuals take when consuming cow skin meat?

While cow skin meat has nutritional benefits, individual preferences and dietary restrictions should be considered. Some people may find its taste or texture unappealing, and individuals with dietary restrictions or health conditions should consult healthcare professionals for personalized advice.

Can cow skin meat be processed into other products with health benefits?

Yes, cow skin can be processed to produce gelatin. Gelatin has culinary uses and may offer benefits such as supporting joint health and improving skin condition.

How should cow skin meat be included in a balanced diet?

Cow skin meat can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. It can be prepared in various ways, ensuring a diverse and nutrient-rich approach to overall nutrition.

Remember, individual dietary needs vary, and it’s advisable to consult with healthcare professionals or dietitians for personalized advice based on specific health conditions or concerns.


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