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Originally published December 21 2006

Demand for acai berries may help save the rainforests

by Jerome Douglas

(NaturalNews) The acai superfruit from the Amazon rainforest is shaping up to be one of the most potent antioxidants available to the health conscious. But not all acai is ethically equal, according to one distributor.

The Brazilian government estimates that the Amazon forest will have lost 25 percent of its original area by 2020. While this is a large problem for the acai, a change of that magnitude would be disastrous not only for the ecosystem of the region, but for the world's climate as well.

Large pieces of the Amazon rainforest have been disappearing for quite a while due to the practice of logging and unsustainable farming that leads to more logging. Cattle ranching and soybean farming are the two main industries for which trees are cleared.

Unless there are financial and social incentives to keep the Amazon rain forest standing, no amount of rules and regulations can stop the destruction of the home of superfoods like acai, according to officials. The growing demand for acai and other fruits like it could turn that around.

The ašai started its appearance in North America due in large part to trendy juice bars and nutraceutical beverages, and by all accounts these trends are continuing and even expanding.

In addition to the acai fruit, the World Wildlife Fund estimates the Amazon rainforest holds approximately 30 percent of the world's plant species. In addition, the Amazon River is the world's largest water basin, with a flow volume equal to 20 percent of the joint volume of all rivers on the planet.

"The Amazon rainforest is filled with healing superfoods and medicinal plants. The more we recognize and promote these plants in North America, the more valuable the Amazon rainforest is alive rather than dead," explained Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate and author of Superfood Smoothies, a book that uses Amazon rainforest ingredients in blended smoothie recipes.

"Conventional medicine and the FDA are trying to shut down the supplements industry, using censorship, intimidation and propaganda to tell consumers that supplements are useless or dangerous, but the truth is that the Amazon rainforest contains all the medicine we really need, and the medicine of the Amazon makes conventional medicine obsolete. That's why modern medicine is so afraid of allowing food and supplement manufacturers to tell the truth about what their products can to do prevent or even reverse chronic disease," says Adams.

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