According to analysis, the world’s population heads towards a projected 9.6 billion by 2050, and by then producing enough healthy food in a sustainable manner will be a challenge for world leaders. However, a non-profit organization says that it has found a piece of the solution, which is the tropical fruit known as Breadfruit.
The starchy Breadfruit was described as “much better than a lot of other carbohydrates”, EAT director Gunhild Stordalen said.
The institute noted that Breadfruit could replace potatoes in many dishes as it can be boiled, steamed or even friend to make chips. They also pointed that the Breadfruit is high in carbohydrates, and is also a source of antioxidants, calcium, iron and fiber.
Diane Ragone, director of the Breadfruit Institute, said she first came across the plants in the Pacific Islands decades ago, where they are an important staple food.
“The first time I saw one (breadfruit tree) I was so in awe,” she said. “They had hillsides covered in breadfruit trees and other plants — it was a real model of a long-term sustainable system.” “We’re seeing a lot of interest in breadfruit because it’s gluten free,” she said. “And that’s of interest to a lot of people in their diets.”
The institute began at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii in 2003, and launched the global Hunger Initiative to respond to global food security issues about five years later.
In collaboration with other organizations, the privately funded institute has sent about 60,000 plants to around 32 countries, Ragone said.
“It is the greatest distribution of breadfruit in a project ever, and we hope it will get bigger and bigger,” she said. Easy to grow and low maintenance, one tree can provide food for more than a half-century.