Project Jackfruit in UK takes aim at pork, vows to end world hunger

Will Indian farmers who grow jackfruit benefit now?

Jackfruit
Jackfruit Susan Slater/ Creative Commons

Though Jackfruit is loaded with nutrients, more than 75 percent of these fruits go waste in India, where it is also known as 'poor man's fruit' and most of it is grown in wild and get wasted, as people are not preserving it as food. But soon the fruit will become a valuable export item that its price may go up two graduates in Britain have found a way to brand the fruit differently.

Grayson and Abi Robertson, graduates based in Birmingham, are busy importing jackfruit from India and they believe that this miracle fruit can end the problem of hunger in the world. They have kicked off a new initiative called 'Project Jackfruit' which is being projected in the UK market as a healthy alternative to pork.

The project took its roots when Grayson and Robertson were looking for a healthy substitute to meat in their meals. The entrepreneur duo hit upon the jackfruit and now they are selling it in different flavours including barbecue, satay, and Caribbean jerk.

Jackfruit when ripe tastes like mango, and it will turn fleshy too. Grayson and Robertson are using it before it gets ripe, as unripe fruit will give it a texture like pulled pork.

"We kicked off Project Jackfruit because we couldn't believe this was the reality. Almost all jackfruit exported globally is coming from countries like Thailand despite the fruit being native to Southern India whilst a staggering 75% of it is simply just dropping from the trees and rotting away," wrote Grayson and Robertson on their website.

In a recent talk with Daily Mail, Robertson said that the dairy and meat industries are just too much of a toll on the planet, and made it clear that it is time to look for healthier alternatives.

"All of our jackfruit products are soy-free, gluten-free and of course entirely vegan. We use jackfruit just before it's ripe so it doesn't have the sweet fruit flavor. We're working really closely with farmers in India to reach our targets and provide them with a fair pay by sourcing wild/organic jackfruit. All of the fruit is picked from the trees fresh - prior to ripening for the perfect texture and then cut by hand and cooked by hand too," says the Project Jackfruit website.

Project Jackfruit's one single pouch which weighs one kilogram is priced at over £15, while one kilogram of pork costs almost £3.50 in UK. However, the entrepreneurs are quite hopeful about breaking the market, and they believe that people will start buying it after understanding the beneficial effects of jackfruit when compared to pork.

Agriculturists have already given jackfruit a high calorie and nutrient grade. "If you just eat 10 or 12 bulbs of this fruit, you don't need food for another half a day," said Shyamala Reddy, a biotechnology researcher at the University of Agriculture Sciences in Bangalore, India, the Guardian reports.

Soon, jackfruit will become the answer to world hunger, say the graduates from Birmingham.

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