Baru seeds are a really new thing in North America and nobody has ever heard of them until now.
How come? And if they’re so special, shouldn’t they be all over the place?
It is not simple to answer that. Let’s go through some points:
- Baru seeds come from literally the middle of nowhere, and most locals only started paying serious attention to them some 15 years ago. Even though the seeds have had several scientific articles published on them all over the world since the 80’s, these resources were not easily available not even in Academia, as access to the internet was restrained to large urban areas.
- It’s easy to ignore baru fruits. They blend in perfectly with their environment, in a place where other much more attractive fruits grow, such as pequi, mangaba, and wild cashews. The seeds are hard to extract, and unattractive next to those foods. Why bother?
- Until 15 years ago there was barely any infrastructure in the Cerrado to process and export them. Only now there are proper roads to transport them, communities organized around them, and machinery to optimize their extraction.
- Mainstream media wasn’t aware of them at all. Baru seeds were largely ignored by the major Brazilian population very recently. Increased science research funding circa 2011, along with a larger parcel of the population attending higher education, brought to light much of the seeds’ potential in many universities. Media interest grew by leaps and bounds, as nutritionists and other health professionals started prescribing the seeds as a tool for weight and cholesterol control.
- They come from an underdeveloped country with many economic, political and social issues. This combination sabotages any natural wealth whenever possible. There are dozens of other nutrient-dense “superfoods” in the Cerrado growing in the wild, with simply no incentives to be studied or even protected from deforestation.
That’s why baru seeds haven’t been a thing yet. They were just ignored this whole time, for many reasons. A buried gemstone, waiting to be uncovered – hopefully in time to save the Cerrado.