Eat Jackfruit, Save Trees
Why you can make a difference in the world by eating jackfruit?
It was a great day when The Guardian put the spotlight on jackfruit by echoing the voices that call jackfruit a ‘miracle’ crop. We are not sure whether it’s a miracle crop, but we see it is a crop that can play an important role in our fight against hunger and environmental issues we are facing in the world today.
It’s been 5 years since The Guardian’s article, and we have to admit that jackfruit is starting to make a name for itself in the world. It’s always been known in countries near the equator, especially in South East Asia. But now the fruit has made its way up North and West to Europe and North America.
Well, it has a lot to do with the growing demand for plant-based food products. People are becoming more and more aware of the dangers of CO2 emissions on the environment. All types of initiatives are on the rise from renewable energy to alternative foods.
Challenger brands are starting to break through the noise, getting their call for change to land on consumers across the globe. Think Oatly, with its no-fear approach to place oat milk as a real alternative to traditional cow milk.
Jackfruit, or Jack, is a food that should play an important role in our struggle to reduce meat consumption. The problem is that Jack is like the heroes from the stories we love. He is destined for greatness but needs a little help to overcome the obstacles holding him back:
- Jackfruit is not the friendliest of fruits to cut and clean
- People often see jackfruit as a waste crop
- Wood from jackfruit trees have other financial benefits
Jackfruit is not the friendliest of fruits
If you have ever cut a jackfruit, you know exactly what we are talking about. It’s no joke, you need to be prepared. It’s heavy, it has a thick outer skin, and when you reach the inner part you find a sticky sap that is practically glue. You can imagine, it can get messy!
But, where there is a will there's a way:
- Put on gloves and grab a knife, make sure you apply oil to both to fight the stickiness
- Cut the jackfruit in half and then in quarters
- Loosen the fibrous layers covering each bulb
- Extract the bulbs from the fruit
- Remove and keep the seeds
It can be a tedious process, but we can vouch that the result is well worth it. One fruit can feed a whole family for days, with several types of dishes.
And yet, we know you are not going to jump up with excitement at the idea of cutting and cleaning your jackfruit, are you?
This is why we have great hopes for Naked Jack. It’s cut, cleaned, and ready to cook jackfruit chunks that take away the headache of dealing with a whole jackfruit.
⅓ of jackfruit goes uneaten
In places where jackfruit grows in abundance, like India, it’s sometimes seen as a waste crop. Jackfruit trees can produce jackfruits at an impressive rate. One single jackfruit tree can produce around 200 fruits per year. The more fruits farmers pick from a tree, the more fruits the tree will produce.
Sadly this means that more jackfruit is grown than is consumed. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing, but the reality is farmers end up running into many practical problems due to a large number of rotting jackfruit on their land.
Imagine 60 fruits spread throughout your backyard each weighing around 30 kg. Now can you imagine being in the farmer’s shoes? Looking at all those fruits and thinking of how to dispose of them before they start to rot.
This is why jackfruit is often seen as a waste crop.
Jackfruit trees are used for wood
Farmers often choose to cut down jackfruit trees. On one side due to the abundance of jackfruit, and the other because they can sell it as wood. The wood from jackfruit trees is often used for making furniture and within housing construction. It’s said to be termite-proof and superior to teak, which makes it ideal for all types of furniture.
So, to prevent the cutting of trees we need to show farmers that there are better ways to monetize jackfruit trees. And this is where you come into the picture.
Eat jackfruit, save trees
Jackfruit trees are easy to grow. They require very little water to survive at high temperatures and don’t need pesticides or chemicals to survive pests and diseases. This makes jackfruit a drought-resistant crop, ideal in the fight for soil and water conservation. A true climate-smart crop.
Jackfruit is an ideal crop, it just misses more people wanting it on their plates. A way to monetize it so farmers not only stop cutting the trees but grow more.
And this is where you can help by spreading the word. By eating jackfruit we increase demand to help farmers monetize the crop. In turn, jackfruit trees revitalize groundwater, contributing to reforestation and agroforestry efforts in the area.
We removed an important obstacle by turning jackfruit into a friendly fruit. Now he is ready, in smaller sized chunks, to heroically help:
- You make delicious meat-free dishes
- Farmers better monetize jackfruit crops
- The environment by giving it a much-needed break from deforestation.
What we like to see as: win, win, win.