The African Baobab is officially the latest craze in Europe and the United States and has been dubbed the new favourite superfood.
The fruit of the Baobab tree is fast becoming one of the most sought-after superfoods in major first world countries and this means that people who have been picking the fruit for years are now doing better than ever in business.
The fruit, which looks like a hard green nut, has a citrusy centre made up of pulp and it’s this pulp that has become the new wonder ingredient for fancy smoothies everywhere.
The Baobab is rich in vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. It is dried and ground into a powder much like other superfoods on the market.
Due to demand, Baobab pickers are earning more than double per sack than they did a few years ago.
“The baobab…has six times antioxidants of blueberries, six times the vitamin C of oranges, more potassium in bananas, more calcium than milk.” – Dan Nessel, the owner of Limitless Good, a health food company based in Northampton, Massachusetts
Conservationists are concerned by how the ancient trees will cope with global warming. Many trees have started dying out due to lack of rains and unlike other crops, Baobab isn’t a tree that can be planted in crops and fruitful in a few years. It can take a whole generation for the tree to mature.
Many families have started planting the trees so their future generations will be able to harvest the fruits. Organisations have also come in to teach the pickers how to nurture and protect the trees. And most pray that the rains will come so that these trees will live for many many more years.
It is important to note how special these trees are and followers of this new trend should respect the time it takes for the trees to mature and the implications of over picking and lack of rains will have on the species.
While we celebrate that small African villages are able to accumulate some wealth, it is up to us, the public, to shop responsibly.
What are your thoughts on this new superfood trend?