Superman, Wonder Woman. . .and Breadfruit?

firstbreadfruitemailJuly 1st, 2014. According to the Huffington Post, “Watch out folks, there’s a new wonder food in town, and it promises to make a big difference to the world.”

Breadfruit has picked up a lot of media traction this week, and it is being touted as a new wonder food that has the potential to feed the world. Here at Trees That Feed Foundation, we couldn’t be more excited to be reading this! While we know that breadfruit itself isn’t new, the global pick-up of the idea that it can be used to help alleviate world hunger is fantastic news and indicates new growth in potential of breadfruit. No one should perish from hunger when a $15 breadfruit tree can feed a family for a lifetime.

More and more people around the world are talking about breadfruit as a key ingredient for the solution in addressing hunger and providing food for those who need it most. Join the conversation and check out this week’s media pieces about breadfruit, the coolest new global super-hero, below:

Breadfruit: The Wonder Food Packed With Carbs and Protein That Could Feed the World – Huffington Post

Recipes for an unexpected tropical wonder food – New Scientist

Is this the new wonder food? Breadfruit is high in protein and has the potential to feed the world, experts say – Daily Mail

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Back to School with Breadfruit

Schoolgirl with tree AJuly 21st, 2014. Although we are still in July, the next school year will be here before we know it! With the start of the new academic year around the corner, TTFF continues to focus on providing sustainable food sources to communities and children who need them most.

We are particularly excited about this school year, as TTFF has partnered withJamaica’s Ministry of Education andRotary to plant breadfruit trees in all of Jamaica’s 3,000 schools. Planning for this initiative commenced last year, and after much hard work, the program will officially launch in September. Stay tuned for updates surrounding the launch!

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Trees That Feed Heroes: Mr. Zavier Gray

Zavier AJuly 24th, 2014. From students to CEOs, TTFF works with amazing individuals around the world to alleviate hunger, create jobs and improve the environment. These individuals are our heroes; those admired for noble qualities and regarded as models for others. This certainly describes our hero, Zavier Gray! Through his role as Farm Manager at Orange River Research Station, and his personal dedication to improving our planet, Zavier spends endless hours ensuring TTFF trees receive the best care possible. He goes above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis, and his dedication is an inspiration to us all. 

Zavier grew up in the parish of St. Mary, Jamaica. His father was a farmer and also worked as a driver for the Ministry of Agriculture. Zavier completed his studies at the Jamaican College of Agriculture, Science and Education. Today, he has a beautiful family of his own, including seven year-old daughter Zahra.

Since 2000, Zavier has been Farm Manager at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ renowned Orange River Research Station, a 327-acre crop research station specializing in tree crops. Orange River is the hub of most agriculture research in Jamaica. Here, new varieties of plants, including the Ma’afala breadfruit tree, are tested before distribution to Jamaican farmers. The Jamaican government works in partnership with TTFF to grow young trees to a robust size, increasing the trees’ chances for survival, before distributing them to smallholder farms and community members.

A true hero to TTFF, Zavier wears many hats to help us achieve our mission. He collects TTFF trees at the airport, grows them with care, helps facilitate the distribution process and provides training in the best agricultural methods for successfully growing trees. Host to our February 2014 Breadfruit Summit at Orange River Station, Zavier is the face of what makes our mission successful. Thank you, Zavier!

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Reducing post-harvest waste

truck with breadfruit AFeeding Development, hosted by Devex,recently posted an article that poses the question of whether or not we can double net food availability to meet food needs by 2050and still have a living planet.

“Most experts predict that the global population will exceed 9 billion by 2050…To meet the increasing needs of everyone in developing and developed countries alike, accounting for a changing climate, we will need to double net food availability…The bottom line is: Can we do this and still have a living planet?

…One of the simplest ways to increase net food availability is to reduce post-harvest and post-consumer food waste. Globally, we waste one of every three calories produced. If we could eliminate waste, we would halve the amount of new food we need to produce by 2050.”

Reducing post-harvest waste is highlighted as one simple way to increase net food availabilty; exactly what TTFF sets to accomplish with our partnership with Northwestern University. Equipment distributed as part of Factory-in-a-Box, developed by TTFF and Nortwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, allows for up to 1,200lbs of breadfruit flour to be produced per week, preventing potential for post-harvest fruit going to waste.

Check out more of the article here.


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Need ideas for dinner?

Breadfruit being slicedNewScientist recently got in touch with TTFF for breadfruit recipes that we could share with readers. We are thrilled to see them printed in NewScientist’s recent article,Recipes for an unexpected tropical wonder food.

Try out the recipes in your own kitchen! Breadfruit is a wonderful source of nutrition for the family:

“Breadfruit’s flavour is a bit ambiguous, but its nutritional value and potential as a worldwide staple are clear. It is high in vitamins and minerals, and has a higher proportion of essential amino acids – meaning it contains better quality protein – than soy. It’s also gluten-free, and can be ground into flour, making it the ideal substitute product for those who are gluten intolerant.”

Click here for the rest of the article.

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Breadfruit demand on the rise

Breadfruit in figiAnother article stating that breadfruit demandcontinues to be on the rise:

“The CEO of a Fiji company exporting breadfruit to New Zealand says demand is increasing and Pacific businesses need to grow to meet the demand.

Michael Finau Brown was speaking at the Pacific Wave Conference in Auckland yesterday and said he was sending a clear message to growers that it’s not just the Pacific market in New Zealand, but many others who are interested in breadfruit and other crops.”

Check out the rest of the article from Radio New Zealand International here.

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What is Happier than a Pig in Mud?!

IMG_0242June 3rd, 2014. Nothing, except maybe a Haitian pig in mud. Why is this photo from our recent TTFF trip so important? It indicates environmental growth in Haiti. There was an unfortunate chapter in Haitian history when local Haitian pigs were almost completely eradicated. In the late 1970s, in part due to the outbreak of swine flu, there was a program to replace the local pigs with American hogs. It was a controversial program, and while partly well-intended, it hurt local Haitian farmers. Farmers had to kill off their small pigs to get the large hogs. This presented a problem: while the local Haitian pig was a smaller and hardy sort, living off of the land and eating whatever scraps were available, the American hogs needed special foods and did not tolerate the hot weather. These replacement hogs died off, leaving the farmers worse off than before. Luckily, the Haitian pigs were not completely exterminated,and now they are staging a big comeback and will benefit Haitian farmers once again. We were delighted on our recent trip to see a very happy Haitian pig in mud on a local farm in Gonaives, Haiti. Stay tuned for a more detailed report about our trip!

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1,000 More Trees to Haiti

20140422_120843CroppedSmallerJune 9th, 2014. Mike and I recently returned from TTFF’s trip to Haiti. We visited communities throughout the Haiti that have received trees from our organization. We went to Three Angels‘ nursery in Port-Au-Prince and saw the first fruit on TTFF Ma’afala breadfruit trees planted there in 2012. Success! (You can see a picture of the fruit if you scroll below.) The trees are vigorously healthy. We then visited Three Angels’ school and saw over 250 schoolchildren who regularly eat breadfruit porridge; a critical, nutritious meal. A satisfied tummy helps the kids to learn!

Later in the week, we met with theSmallholder Farmers Alliance in Gonaives. With over 2,000 members, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance has made great stride with trees they have received from TTFF. These trees will provide sustainable food sources for local farmers and their families, along with economic opportunity. We had proud, happy farmers tell us that now, with TTFF trees, they can feed their families all year long.

But there are still many communities among the barren hillsides in Haiti that don’t have enough food. During our trip, we continued to witness firsthand how large this need for food actually is. So large, in fact, that we are aiming to turn around and deliver 1,000 trees in Haiti by the end of June. By providing more than 40,000 trees from TTFF supporters to communities throughout the Caribbean, we’ve already helped reduce hunger. We’re making real progress. But we can’t slow down now. We hope that you will join us in giving as many trees as you can today.

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Checking in with Randi and Afia

RandiAfiaBlogPostJune 25th, 2014. Randi and Afia, two graduate students from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, are in their third week of their TTFF summer fieldwork project in Jamaica. They continue to travel throughout the country,meeting with farmers, gathering data and geo-tagging TTFF trees. They are finding that TTFF breadfruit trees are thriving and many farmers have developed various plans for the use of the breadfruit, including processing breadfruit flour to make food products, making sales to exporters and feeding farm staff.

After multiple farm visits last week, the next stop for Randi and Afia was meeting with the Jeffrey Town Farmers Association (JTFA) to interview Mr. Wordsworth Gordon and Ms. Ivy Gordon, the president and secretary of JTFA. The Gordons offered valuable insights on commercialization of Jamaican farm produce and how agriculture in Jamaica can be improved.

We are thrilled to share an additional, exciting update about Randi and Afia’s work:They were selected to present at Columbia University’s 2014 International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice in New York City in September. They will be presenting about TTFF and our work to increase food security. Congratulations, Randi and Afia! We are proud of you.

We will continue to keep you posted on Randi and Afia’s progress!

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Breadfruit Flour Feeding Patients in Haiti

Dr. CoffeeJune 6th, 2014. During our trip to Haiti, we reached out to the local TB/AIDS hospital that receives breadfruit flour from TTFF. This flour is produced locally, contains many nutrients and has a very long shelf-life. The flour is made into a porridge, which is easily digestible for patients. Below is a clip of an email from Dr. Megan Coffee, the well-known doctor who runs the hospital:

“The breadfruit flour has been a real help. We use it to supply three meals a day for 50+ patients and their families, as well as to provide supplemental food for hundreds of outpatients. I would say we only want more breadfruit. Currently we do not have an inpatient ward, but we continue to follow outpatients who have been using this flour. Many of our patients arrive as adults weighing 20-30kg, many not more than 50lbs. Any nutrition they liked was – and is – important.”

We are very happy to be able to support Dr. Coffee’s work and the patients at her hospital. We are excited to continue planting trees and using fruit to produce breadfruit flour!

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