The Amazon encompasses 1.2 billion acres on the South American continent’s north side of which the part is in Brazil and covers almost one half of that extensive country. Tha matter of fact is, the Amazon and its fertile ground for various plants and animals that thrive in its exotic climate, that the products from the Amazon are better than what we call organic – they are wild. Things that grow in the wild are strong in their own defense mechanisms to fight against insects and all manners of combatants, as a result. Amazon products such as the Brazil nut, guarana, and the Acai berry being recognised for their complex make up and concentrated nutritional values.
Destruction of rain forest!
Deforestation of the Amazon rain forest reached its highest in the years of 2004 and 2005. Satellite photos show loggers burned and cut down a near record over 10.000 square miles of rain forest in 2004 alone.
One of the main reasons is the world demand for heart-of-palm which is a Salad Garnish. It was known, poachers were illegally chopping down 5,000 to 10,000 palm trees a 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.
Just for this delicacy one poacher would have chopped down an average of 50 trees a day only to earn roughly $1 for every tree from which the heart-of-palm was removed. Once the heart is removed, the tree dies and rots.
The harvest of a palm tree that has grown for over 100 years has just 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 world-wide, is this worth such destruction of the palm and the rain forest? It is particularly a waste because the heart-of-palm has no particular nutritional value beyond its fiber.
This is not the case with the Acai berry which has significant nutritional density and the harvesting of it is a complete different approach.
Harvesting the Acai this way may safe the jungle!
Because of the huge interest and demand of the Acai berry, this has started to help the locals to realize that cutting down these precious palm trees just for a few inches of the top core of the tree was no longer a solution, and found that there are better options available. Every palm tree produces an abundant crop of Acai fruit twice a year. Within a few years, the value of the palm fruit itself exceeded by far the value of removing the top core of the palm just for the use as a salad garnish.
Therefore, a legitimate reason was found not to cut down those trees by harvesting the Acai berry another way.
Laborers now climb high into the 90-foot palm to collect what is known as the Black Pearl of the Amazon.