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Destruction Of the Rain Forest – Not All Acai Products Are Equal
The Amazon covers 1.2 billion hectares on the northern side of the South American continent, part of which is in Brazil and covers almost half of that vast country. The fact is that the Amazon and its fertile soil for various plants and animals that thrive in its exotic climate, that products from the Amazon are better than what we call organic – they are wild. Things that grow in the wild are strong in their defense mechanisms to fight off insects and all manner of warriors as a result. Amazon products such as Brazil nuts, guarana and Acai berries are known for their complex composition and concentrated nutritional values.
Destruction of the rainforest!
Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest reached its peak in 2004 and 2005. Satellite images show a record-breaking 10,000 square miles of rainforest burned and cut in 2004 alone.
One of the main reasons is the worldwide demand for heart of palm, which is a salad garnish. Poachers were known to illegally cut 5,000 to 10,000 palms per week. This was just to get the 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inch) section found near the crown of a 20 meter (65 foot) palm tree.
For this delicacy alone a poacher would have cut down an average of 50 trees a day just to earn roughly $1 per tree from which the heart of palm was removed. Once the heart is removed, the tree dies and rots.
The harvest of one palm tree that has been growing for more than 100 years has enough of this delicacy to fill two 14 oz cans of heart of palm. This would retail in a supermarket for less than $5.00 per can. To feed salad bars and salad connoisseurs around the world, is such destruction of palm trees and rainforest worth it? It is especially a waste because palm heart has no particular nutritional value beyond its fiber.
This is not the case with the Acai berry which has significant nutrient density and harvesting it is a completely different approach.
Harvesting Acai this way can save the jungle!
Due to the high interest and demand of the Acai berry, this has started to help locals realize that cutting these precious palms down to just a few inches of the top core of the tree was no longer a solution and discovered that there are better options out there. good available. Each palm produces a bountiful crop of Acai fruit twice a year. Within a few years, the value of the palm fruit itself far exceeded the value of removing the top kernel of the palm just for use as a salad garnish.
Therefore, a legitimate reason was found to not cut down those trees by harvesting Acai berries in a different way.
Workers now climb up the 90-foot palm to harvest what is known as the Amazon’s Black Pearl.
As these workers quickly realized this kind of reputed harvest every year or in some cases twice a year is a better way to secure their jobs and increase their income.
Harvesting palm fruit is better for the environment because the palm tree will continue to grow for years. This was the way to stop unscrupulous cutters who destroy Acai palms for a quick profit.
This is opening another window of opportunity for the locals and showing them how to protect one of the best treasures they have, saving the palm that gives so much to people’s health.
Preparations after harvesting Acai berries!
The Amazon River is long and wide, and a boat can navigate its interior from the sea for over 3,218 km (2,000 miles).
The river offers the best opportunity to navigate by barge for quick transport and preparation immediately after the fruit is harvested. Time is crucial; if not properly cared for, the oxidation process begins and quickly spoils the delicate fruit.
Without a way to refrigerate or process the fruit quickly, it would spoil quickly as almost all food in the tropics does. In the last decade or so, a reliable and cost-effective transport infrastructure is being established, including large refrigeration facilities. Well equipped barges can navigate the river deep into the jungle taking in the crops.
Barges equipped with such facilities where certain stages of processing were carried out and transported to cities near the Amazon River. One of the most effective ways is to freeze the fruits in large blocks and send them to different destinations. Why frozen flash? This is the only and most effective way for the fruit to retain all its goodness and nutritional value.
The Power of Acai
As reported in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, a study showing extracts from Acai berries induced a self-destructive response in more than 86 percent of leukemia cells tested.
This study was one of the first of its kind conducted by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to show what people can benefit from the use of drinks, dietary supplements made with berries. There are many such reports for various health benefits. Therefore, there is no better reason for distributors and businesses to be eager to take advantage of Acai’s name.
Not all Acai products are created equal
The label doesn’t tell all. The label may say it contains Acai, but how much does it contain? Also, does it store like it should? Therefore, not all Acai products as shown on the labels are the same and do not contain the right amount to have the effect it should have. How this berry is stored and processed can have a dramatic effect on its overall quality.
Many labels on products listed as including Acai, but most only have a fraction of the amount of Acai and its antioxidant activity that it should have. Some companies do not understand how important all post-harvest processing actions are, or are simply trying to save money by taking shortcuts in the process.
Around the late 1990s, university laboratories became more advanced in accurately measuring the amounts of specific nutrients in acai berries and other foods. It wasn’t until preservation methods were realized and became available, such as freeze-drying, that would contain its nutritional quality.
There are not many leading companies that have done their research and followed strict rules and guidelines for storing and transporting this very high quality product without losing any of its nutritional value.
Processing and storage of Acai berries
The key to it is that the benefits of the Acai berry are delivered in the most effective and concentrated form. A process of freezing fresh-harvested fruit to preserve the fruit’s nutrients that is carried out at a very low heat temperature; This process removes the moisture from the berry – leaving pure Acai powder behind.
Freeze-dried Acai powder, on a gram-for-gram basis, has an ORAC of 1.027, which I talked about in the previous article. This makes it one of the highest of any type of fruit or vegetable.
A product has been found and developed with one of the best health benefits for anyone who wants to take advantage of it. Now, more than ever, people are growing up to accept responsibility for their health and the food they eat. Scientific evidence shows that the most powerful health benefits come from mother nature, and using natural food as medicine is the most logical step.
Public health officials are urging consumers to eat several servings of fruits and vegetables each day to get all the important antioxidants. Unfortunately, most people have very little knowledge of what antioxidants are and why they are important.
The next positive step is to change the harvesting process, save the palm trees and protect the Amazon rainforest. It’s not just about receiving, it’s also about giving back.
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