Cacao, The Ancient Maya-Olmec Fruit That Could Save The Rainforest

Cacao is a fruit that grows all over Mexico, Central and South America who’s beans produce the delicious food we all know as chocolate. Cacao has been cultivated by the Olmec people of the Mexican state of Tabasco and the Maya peoples of Guatemala, Chiapas, Yucatan and Belize for centuries now. Cacao is high in Magnesium, and many other nutrients that have abilities to heal many ailments, being considered magical by the Indigenous peoples of Latin America. When the Aztec invaders came from northern Mexico to the south, they discovered the drink and named it Xocolatl or Chocolatl which is where the word Chocolate originates from. But recently Cacao has come to the light as the tree that could possibly save the dying rainforests.

Because of the fruits high demand in the international market, the increase of production as a result has increased. The plant is not only nutritive, but when sustainably grown or cultivated in the rainforest, the tree produces an amazing amount of oxygen, and has great values of carbon sequestration, which could potentially reverse CO2 contamination. With agriculture being the number one cause of deforestation in the world, cacao, which is a tree that is always found in the rainforests and jungles and thrives in the biodiverse ecosystem, farmers do not have to clear land or to destroy biodiversity. If the demands of cacao in Central and South America outnumber the demands for other produce and exports, than the rainforests and ecosystems would be protected for economic reasons.

And if you would like to support this movement, there are many amazing brands of organic, fair-trade and sustainable dark chocolate that you should definitely consider buying. In addition, attend a fundraiser for movements and organisations such as Belize Chocolate Company.

1 thought on “Cacao, The Ancient Maya-Olmec Fruit That Could Save The Rainforest”

  1. Dark chocolate is said to be okay now in USA . Has some healthy benefits even! Many kids from my era (1950’s) grew up drinking chocolate milk since milk was important and many kids did not like white milk? Nestles / Boscoe / Ovaltine/ Hersey’s Chocolate Syrup all came out for that reason I believe. Just cannot imagine all the foods that contain chocolate comes from a bean ? It would be fun to visit Belize to see the source of this amazing plant?

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