Can ‘Slow Food’ save Brazil’s fast-vanishing Cerrado savanna?

It’s November in southeast Brazil, and the tall, feathery babassu palms (Acrocomia aculeata) are beginning to drop ripe coconuts. By January, the ground is littered with them, as some 67 families that live nearby, outside the town of Jaboticatubas, get to work dragging the trove home. Sometimes called macaúba, this coconut serves as the lifeblood for these traditional farming communities in the Cerrado savanna in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. There’s an old saying here: “Through my thin veins it’s not red or blue blood that flows, it’s pure milk, it’s pure babassu oil.” Archaeological sites trac…

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