Could This Exotic Fruit End the World’s Starvation Issues?

Katie Sweeney

With its massive size, bumpy yellow skin, and strong smell, jackfruit is an exotic fruit not well known to Americans. The largest tree-borne fruit in the world (it can weigh between 10 and 100 pounds), jackfruit is native to South and Southeast Asia, and is the national fruit of Bangladesh.

A recent Business Insider story highlights the “miracle crop that could save millions from starvation.” How? Well, a single jackfruit yields hundreds of small bulbs of flesh, each containing a highly nutritious seed. Jackfruit is a good source of vitamin C, and the seeds are rich in iron, calcium, protein, and potassium. Plus, 1/5 a pound of jackfruit is approximately 95 calories. Therefore, if you eat 10-12 bulbs of jackfruit for breakfast, you won’t need to eat any other food for another half a day.

According to the story “a single fruit could feed your family for an entire meal,” and it can be served dozens of ways; the photo shown above are jackfruit pulled pork sandwiches. It's also great in a curry or stir-fry, as juice or chips, and even the seeds, which can be dried and ground, can make a flour to use in baking. The trees that jackfruit grow in are a highly beneficial crop to the grower as its leaves are a source of farm animal food, the bark can be used as a dye, and the wood produces a sticky substance that can be used as glue.

Jackfruit is definitely an underutilized crop, but “fortunately for the fruit, it has a growing number of fans advocating for it, trying to raise awareness for its nutritional value.”

To slice a large jackfruit, you’ll need a strong sharp knife.

Have you tried jackfruit?

Explore: Fruit, Asian

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