Monday, December 21, 2009

Pic-A-Day 12/21/09

A lesson from Hearts of Palm: Sustainable agriculture is all about crop production in balance with nature -- growing and taking, but restoring and giving back. CASE IN POINT: The acai palm grows in South America (principally the Amazon river basin in Brazil and Colombia.) From this wild jungle palm is harvested "hearts of palm", which we see in salads, and cans on grocers shelves. To harvest this delicacy (approximately a 14" core near the top of the tree) the entire plant is cut down, and spent. But this tree also produces the nutritious acai berry, which is a staple of the Brazilian diet . . . and recently discovered to be very high in anti-oxidants. Acai berries are now juiced and freeze-dried, and shipped round the world as an energy and vitamin supplement. Most importantly, these berries can be harvested from the same acai palm several times a year, and represent a profitable, sustainable agricultural product for the local indian population. Now the acai palm can live on as a productive part of the Amazon jungle, with little waste and a healthier, longer contribution to the natives . . . the consumer . . . and the planet earth. So be good to the planet -- our salads can survive without Hearts of Palm.

No comments:

Post a Comment