From Forest To Fork
How our organic Brazil nuts make their way from the Amazon to your kitchen
Have you ever wondered just how our ethically sourced, organic whole foods make it all the way to your local Grape Tree store or direct to your home?
We wanted to share this incredible global journey, so we have tracked our new Organic Brazil nuts all the way from the rainforest in Bolivia to our Midlands HQ. And we thought you would like to come on the trip with us.
- MONTE CARLOS BARRACA, BOLIVIA
Our journey begins after the heavy rains in November and December where the pod (coco) falls naturally to the ground. More than 150 workers travel into the barraca to collect the Brazil nut pods from the rainforest. The pods are then put into sacks and taken to collection points where they are opened with a machete and the seeds (inshell Brazils) removed. The sacks are then transported by truck and then boat to Monte Carlos which takes several days.
- RIBERALTA, BOLIVIA
On arrival the sacks go to the processing plant, PAMOC, for drying and shelling. PAMOC collects and stockpiles Bertholletia excelsa, commercially known as “Shelled Brazil Nut”. On arrival, the raw material has a moisture level of around 20%. Drying must take place carefully to preserve quality. The nuts are then shelled and hand selected fit for the shelves at Grape Tree and across Europe.
- LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
Once the kernels are packed into export cartons they travel by truck, which takes three days, to La Paz which is a natural cool store in the area of El Alto. After another three weeks an export licence is issued, and the container is loaded to be taken to the port.
- RICA, CHILE
Since Bolivia is land locked, the closest export port is Arica in Chile, eight hours from La Paz. The nuts are then loaded onto the container ship destined for Europe.
The Brazil nuts intended for our Grape Tree stores arrive at the port of London Gateway to the east of the capital. They are then moved by truck to our Kingswinford base. It is here that we package them and deliver the nuts to our stores and send them out to our online customers.
Ailsa Perez Ulecia, of Freeworld Trading who supply our Brazil nuts, added:
“Everyone who has bought Brazils over the past 10 years has made a huge impact on people’s livelihoods making it sustainable through growing demand.”
Leanne Mason, of Grape Tree’s Technical and Quality Assurance team, added:
“It is so exciting to be able to offer our customers more information about our organic Brazils, allowing them to not only trace them back to our warehouse, but to the exact farm they were grown on the other side of the world.”
BRAZIL NUTS, WHAT’S INSIDE
Protein 14.3g, Fibre Carb 7.5g, 11.7g, Water 3.4g, Energy
ALSO: 659kcal calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and selenium
*per 100g serving, source USDA, FoodData Central
New season’s Brazil nuts 250g, £4.49
100% Organic Brazil nuts, 250g, £5.99
Snapped Brazil nuts, 1kg, now £6.49
Natural sea salt, 500g, £2.00
BRAZIL NUTS: The Facts
Brazil nuts are actually the seeds of the Brazil nut tree and grow inside a coconut-like shell, pictured below. Each shell can hold up to 20 nuts and are the highest known food source of the mineral selenium.
Just one nut can deliver everything you need for your daily immune system needs. And a 150g bag of Brazil nuts can protect six football fields worth of rainforest. Here is why we think this well-travelled nut is so important.
Selenium is a vital mineral which has been linked to improvements in depression and anxiety. The Department of Psychology, University College, Swansea, reported that trials showed that selenium “intake was associated with a general elevation of mood and in particular, a decrease in anxiety”.
HEALTHY CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Brazil nuts are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, are mineral rich and are high in fibre. This heart-health package has been shown to reduce total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood. BRAIN HEALTH Ellagic acid is an essential polyphenol found in Brazil nuts, it reduces inflammation and has important antioxidant properties. Research from St. Petersburg University indicates that selenium is important to the performance of the diverse functions of the central nervous system and in supporting memory, co-ordination, and cognition.
Inflammation can create dangerous free radicals but with an abundance in antioxidants, Brazil nuts can protect cells from damage. THYROID HEALTH Our friend selenium is a key nutrient in supporting thyroid function. Studies have shown that adding Brazil nuts to a diet can improve thyroid hormone levels in people who had exhibited low levels.