Tobago Reforestation is planning on embarking on an island-wide breadfruit campaign. This drive seeks to heighten the discussion around planting not only breadfruit trees but also trees such as avocado, sapodilla, balata and so on. The idea behind beginning this conversation with breadfruit is simple.
Breadfruit is a substantial and versatile food source.
At a time when the issue of food security is high on every country’s agenda, breadfruit presents as one of the best tropical trees for feeding people and capturing carbon. Breadfruit is high in carbohydrates and a good source of antioxidants, calcium, carotenoids, copper, dietary fibre, energy, iron, magnesium, niacin, omega 3, omega 6, phosphorus, potassium, protein, thiamine, vitamin A and vitamin C.
The fruit can be shredded, dried for storage or easily processed into gluten-free flour, far superior in taste, nutrition and structure to any other gluten-free flour alternative. Breadfruit is like “tropical manna” and can be consumed at all stages of development; ripe as a fruit or mature as a vegetable—where it can replace conventional starches (superior to rice and Irish potatoes). As the fruit ripens, the starches convert to sugars and the flesh softens to a custard-like consistency. Aside from being eaten raw, breadfruit can be baked, boiled, candied, fried, pickled, roasted and steamed.
The breadfruit tree also provides a multitude of other advantageous uses:
Insect Repellant: In addition to being a safer alternative to DEET, the male breadfruit flower is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes and other insects.
Latex: The sap excreted from the breadfruit can be used as waterproof caulking for watercraft and homes, as well as chewing gum.
Fabric: Fibers from the bark of the breadfruit tree can be harvested without killing the crop and used to make mosquito nets, clothing, accessories, artwork and even paper.
Animal Feed: Fallen fruits, as well as the leaves of the tree, can be used as nutritious animal feed.
We envision that every household in Tobago must have access to breadfruit. In these times, food sovereignty is important…
…our BREADfruit and water must be sure!
We are still in the planning phase of the Tobago Breadfruit Initiative, however, while we plan and collaborate with our stakeholders we believe that we must “walk and chew gum at the same time”. We are interested in knowing where the existing breadfruit trees on the island are. If you own a tree or know someone who owns a tree, let us know. Whatsapp the information to 713-2624.
More about the Tobago Breadfruit Initiative will be unvailed in the days to come… so stay tuned!