Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Breadfruit alternative to rice?

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As a child, I heard a funny story from the mouth of Araj. A sailor after a shipwreck floats to an unknown island. There were fruits hanging on the trees of that unknown island. The sailor ate it and survived the journey. Barabhai read a lot of books and was good at making fiction. We younger brothers and sisters assumed it was a made up story. Can bread ever hang on a tree? One day I came to know the existence of breadfruit when I was growing up. Translated into Bengali, I understood that it is breadfruit. By now I realized the reality of my brother’s story.

This breadfruit is a staple food in the Pacific region. The outside and inside of this fruit are similar to jackfruit. This fruit can be sliced and eaten like bread. It is possible to sustain life by eating these fruits which are rich in carbohydrates and sugar like rice and bread. In the middle of the fruit there is a jackfruit-like receptacle (bhuti) surrounded by seeds. It is a compound fruit. Jackfruit also has gum like gum. Inside there are cells like jackfruit. Fruit trees grow to over 50 feet tall. The leaves of the tree are as big as the Dewa tree. The leaves are smooth and glossy. They can create a shady environment with wide branches and large green leaves.

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The fruit tree is a tree of the jackfruit family (Moraceae). The scientific name of this fruit is Artocarpus altilis. They are native to the South Pacific region. The fruit was brought to the Caribbean in the 18th century as a source of cheap food for slaves. This food is now used as a staple food in many islands. In all these regions breadfruit is eaten roasted. It can also be refrigerated. They also eat it fried in coconut oil which can be prepared very quickly. Their crispy fried pieces go well with almost anything. Baked in the oven or fried in oil, the bread is filled with the beautiful aroma of baking. That is why this fruit is named breadfruit and its Bengali translation is breadfruit.

A military officer brought a breadfruit tree from Sri Lanka. He gifted the tree to Dhaka University. The breadfruit tree has grown fully in the botanical garden of the Department of Plant Science, Dhaka University. Breadfruit trees from the Oceania region are now in the garden of Dhaka University. The fruit is full on the tree. Several more seedlings grew from the roots. Department of Plant Science of Dhaka University is dreaming of spreading this huge branched tree all over the country. This tree is in the botanical garden of Jahangirnagar University. On the campus of Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) is a very large citrus tree with fruit. Apart from these gardens, there are a few breadfruit trees in private collection in Bangladesh. The plant is also considered suitable for the environment of Bangladesh.

Although it will take time for its widespread cultivation in our country, it is good to know about it because it will create our interest to spread this fruit. They are usually eaten cooked. Half-ripe breadfruit curry tastes like potatoes. This fruit is rich in sugars and also contains protein, vitamins and other ingredients. Therefore, it can be used as an alternative to sugar-rich crops such as rice, bread, cassava and maize. This breadfruit is a staple food in many island regions of Asia-Pacific. Day after day this fruit spread to Central and South America, Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, Maldives, Florida and Northern Australia, including 90 countries in the world.

Interestingly, these fruits look like fruit but taste like bread which is packed with nutrients. This robust fruit has been a staple food in tropical countries for many years. They were born there. A serving of breadfruit is high in fiber, contains 100% of the daily requirement of vitamin C, and contains about a dozen other important nutrients. Breadfruit Institute ethnobotanist Diane Ragone (Diana Ragone) said breadfruit can be eaten at any stage. When young it is eaten like an artichoke, when it is mature it is like a potato and when it is ripe it can be eaten as a dessert. In Hawaii it is eaten as a staple food like potatoes. So it is called tree potato there. This fruit is considered better than potato. It contains carbohydrates like potatoes, as well as high-quality protein and plenty of vitamins and nutrients.

This is why Regoni has spent years researching this fruit and trying to plant it in poor areas of the tropical part of the world, where many hungry people live. According to him, breadfruit trees grow faster, require much less labor to care for, require less fertilizer and fewer pesticides. A tree produces about 250 fruits in a year, which he thinks is enough to feed a family. If cultivated on a large scale, breadfruit can meet the food needs of a farmer’s family and become a business.

This result has attracted the attention of scientists and a lot of research has been done on it. Realizing the importance of this fruit, research has been done on the role of this fruit in curing diseases like cancer, heart disease, inflammation etc. This fruit is full of amino acids. The building blocks of our body are amino acids. They play a basic role in our body structure, organ organization and keep the organs functioning. A study by the University of British Columbia found that breadfruit is full of essential amino acids and also contains large amounts of phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine and valine. It is rich in antioxidants. This fruit is very beneficial for the heart. It is rich in fiber which reduces the risk of high blood pressure and hypertension. Breadfruit is rich in potassium which reduces the risk of heart failure. This fruit is good for hair growth and also removes dandruff. There are many other qualities of this fruit which are difficult to convey in the short space of this article.

There is a lot of disagreement about importing foreign fruits to this country and cultivating them on the soil of this country. What is wrong with the cultivation of such a rich fruit in the soil of this country? Many crops of the past have lost their relevance, giving way to other crops. People are getting used to it. Once it was cooked in mustard oil. The people of that era could not think of any other alternative than this oil. We didn’t realize when soybean oil came and took its place. Soybean oil is now an essential cooking ingredient. Just like that, breadfruit or any other food grain will take place in our country because of its essential qualities.

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