By: V Capaldi
It is hard to live in the world today and not be aware of the concerns over the farming of red palm oil. Thankfully Greenpeace and now Leonardo DiCaprio among many other groups have taken a strong stand regarding red palm farming practices that are destroying the rain forest in Africa and around the world. The companies that are doing this are not only destroying the forest they are doing the same with people's lives. These are companies who are driven by greed and nothing more with employee lawsuits for unpaid wages, poor working conditions, harassment and so much more. The further you scratch the service while looking into the horrific deforestation of the rain forest the more you understand it is the people who run the company that have had a mastermind idea of deforestation for a long time married to abusing the local people.
When I was asked to travel to Ecuador to see organic and sustainable red palm farming I was at first skeptical and excited. The brand of PaleoBOSS Lady often hears from followers that coconut oil does not support their conscious living journey for one reason or another. Knowing the healing properties in red palm I was excited to learn 1st hand how red palm was farmed and what it could mean to the community of PaleoBOSS Lady. On the other hand I was skeptical because of the history of red palm farming and its most publicized effects on the environment making this trip a must do if I wanted to learn 1st hand about organic, sustainable red palm production.
Little did I know what I was going to learn!
This BOSS Lady was honored to have been chosen to participate in this amazing and life changing trip. I was joined by some of the leaders in the field from the following companies: Nutiva, Boulder Brands, Cooking Light Magazine & Nourish Evolution which added an additional element of growth for me personally and professionally.
The 1st morning breakfast I remember looking around the room and thinking why am I here? Who are these people and what was my role?
By lunch I knew the answer.
I was there as the representative of the community who truly uses food as medicine. A roll as PaleoBOSS Lady I take very seriously and one that I am honored Natural Habitats recognized.
Who where those people?
A group of folks who have dedicated their lives to consciousness regarding food. Each from a different lens yet encompassing almost the entire community who would benefit most from the power of palm done right. A group of individuals who collectively have shaped the organic food industry as we know it to date.
Needless to say this gal worked hard to up her game and realized that I too am now expected to be shaping the industry by being a voice in the food as medicine revolution.
From the moment of my arrival in Ecuador it was clear this was a proud country of people. They welcomed our group with open arms and I knew this trip was going to a life changing reality. Natural Habitats organized the trip to Ecuador for a hand picked group of influences to show us the beauty and power of red palm farming done right. This trip included many stops visiting various farms that showed the culture known as Natural Habitats.
Traveling many long hours each day our group was taken to remote farms all over Ecuador to see all the various ways palm done right was happening in Ecuador.
Not going to lie the terrain we traveled was windy, remote and often a challenge for many of us on the trip. Never have I witnessed so many grown ups car sick yet determined to see if palm could really be done right.
The 1st farmer we visited set the tone for the trip with his 1st statement sharing that organic farming comes from the heart and not the wallet.
The farmers that represent Natural Habitats are an organic people not only organic farms. Their moral and conscious makeup is organic. They farm this way because of a personal moral code that goes deeper than a consumer driven desire to succeed.
All you have to do is read one article regarding companies destroying rain forests to note the difference in moral code.
There is also a plausible argument that no matter what the farming methods promoting red palm oil supports the demand which in turn will increase the deforestation. An argument I have sat with a long time and one which certainly is valid on so many levels. Yet not an ideal solution.
To sink our heels into the ground and say, "No we will do nothing" will not create change. Especially if one believes food is medicine.
Red palm is medicine and to many. South America uses red palm like Italians use EVO. It is a cultural norm. Farming of red palm is an industry that gratefully is here to stay.
Red palm oil has healing properties that support our bodies in so many ways. This medium heat cooking oil offers an often described nutty flavor and adds a perfect compliment to meats & vegetables alike. The red color adds a slight tint to foods making the visual as pleasing as the taste. The beautiful red color of the palm means it is loaded with beta-carotene and lycopene. Both of these have huge antioxidant properties making this combo an antioxidant powerhouse. In addition red palm offers vitamin e for the added extra BAM!
Being a miracle was the 1st step and now it is time for me to be the ears and eyes for the community I represent. I take this role very seriously and with certainty know that the work of Natural Habitats regarding the production of red palm oil feels like a walk back in time. Back to a time when companies where like what I remember as a kid in America from my grandparents and parents adult lives. Companies that supported family, a sense of home and the community. Natural Habitats gives from the soil to the sun and in between with a focus on marrying the community with the earth while enriching both at the same time.
Here are some great blog posts I did for my friends at Breaking Muscle all about my trip & the healing power of red palm. Enjoy and 2016 is the year of #palmdoneright for this BOSS Lady!
Check out the amazing video sharing our trip done by the fine folks at Natural Habitats:
Thinking today is a great day to subscribe to my blog if you have not already? Many new recipes coming using red palm to help add a little extra BAM to your kitchen...