Brazil Nuts Fair Trade

Agoutis do it for food. Castañeros do it for a living. And conservationists do it for the environment. They all ‘protect’ Brazil nut trees in their own ways, helping save the steamy Amazon Rain Forest of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia from destruction. The agoutis, reddish-brown cat-size rodents with sharp teeth strong enough to open the thick woody husk of a Brazil nut, squirrel-away the nuts for food, but sometimes they forget where they are buried and the nuts geminate to form the next generation of Brazil nut trees. 

The castañeros are the people who live by collecting the nuts. They have to brave many dangers in their job, one of which is the risk of death from pods falling from the nut trees at the time of harvest. The pods, which can just about fit in a man’s hand, weigh between four and six pounds and grow at a height of 100 feet or more above the ground. 
On a good day an experienced collector can gather up to one thousand pods, each pod holding 10 to 25 Brazil nuts arranged like the segments of an orange. The pods are broken open with a machete and the single nuts are put into baskets before being taken to a nearby river. Here the nuts are thrown into the water to sort the bad nuts — which float — from the good. The nuts are then dried on mats, before being put into large sacks and taken by canoe to the nearest depot — most likely — to be exported.

Brazil nuts have great nutritional value. They have both a high protein (a 100gm serving provides 12-15gm of protein) and fat content (a 100gm serving contains 60gm of mostly linoleic fat, with a good percentage, 7 percent, of omega-3 fatty acid). They are high in potassium, magnesium and phosphorus and have significant amounts of calcium and sodium, as well as small amounts of B vitamins. 

They are the richest natural source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant, which may deter cancer. One nut is enough to satisfy daily requirement for this essential mineral!

Shelled Brazil nuts should have a pale cream colour underneath the skin. Chopped they can be added to salads, fruit salads or other fruit desserts. They also go exceptionally well with chocolate, and mixed with oats make a crunchy substitute for pastry in a tart base. They are also good in stuffings and nut roasts.   


Nutrition Information

Typical valuesper 100g  
Energy 2743kJ 
Proteins 14.3g29%*
Carbohydrate 12.3g9%*
    Total Sugars 2.4g 
Total Fat 66.4g 
    Saturated 15.1mg 
    Monounsaturated 24.5mg 
    Polyunsaturated 20.6mg 
Dietary Fibre 7.5g25%*
Sodium Trace  
Vitamin C 0.7mg2%*
Thiamin 0.6mg75%*
Niacin 0.3mg4%*
Riboflavin 0mg 
Vitamin B6 0.1mg5%*
Folate 22mcg11%*
Vitamin E 5.7mg57%*
Calcium 160mg32%*
Iron 2.4mg20%*
Magnesium 376mg125%*
Zinc 4mg40%*
Manganese 1.2mg60%*
Selenium 1917mcg3485%*
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