Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Baru Nut: Brazil's New Superfood

by Chris McGowan

(translation of Aldicir Scariot
interview by Luciana Dutra)

Could a little-known nut from Brazil become a global super food and help save South America’s two biggest ecosystems? Baru is a smooth brown nut with a delicate taste that is somewhere between a peanut and a cashew; it is packed with protein and nutrients. It comes from the baruzeiro tree (Dipteryx alata Vogel), which grows mostly in the Cerrado region of Brazil, a giant savanna in the heart of the continent that covers some two million square kilometers, about 21% of the country. 
The Cerrado is South America’s second largest biome after the Amazon rain forest and has come under even greater attack – it has lost some fifty percent of its original vegetation, due mostly to cattle ranching and soy production, which are powering Brazil's current agricultural boom. 

...Cultivating a native tree like the baruzeiro, or at least preserving those still standing, is one small step towards reversing the ecological devastation in the region. There is a big incentive for local farmers to do this: the baru nut is a powerhouse treat that could generate serious national and global sales and join the pantheon of better-known nuts.
 Read more.