Baru nuts

Bolivia, Brazil
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Baru nuts are the seeds of the giant Baruzeiro tree that populates the Cerrado, an endangered savannah biome stretching across parts of Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay. The Cerrado has been under threat of deforestation for decades as trees have been cut and land has been transformed to grow feedstock and for grazing cattle.  The commercial success of Baru nuts is critical to the health of the Cerrado – the landscape desperately needs these giant trees which stabilize the earth and help prevent flooding, provide shade and habitat for numerous animals, and contribute to the general health of this environment. Baru nuts are one of the most difficult nuts in the world to crack, secured inside an extremely tough shell which itself is inside of an edible fruit roughly the size of a pear. Reminiscent of a peanut crossed with an almond, they are usually consumed with the brown papery outer skin intact which provides a pleasant crunch along with being chock full of nutrients. We partner with local organizers who work with indigenous communities to collect the fallen Baru nuts providing a critical source of income for these groups otherwise isolated from global markets.