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(15,943 posts)
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 05:20 PM Nov 2021

Small children are climbing 60-foot trees to harvest your acai

CURRALINHO, Brazil — The sun had barely risen, but José Armando Matos de Lima, 11, was already on the job. As his sisters slept in their hammocks, the boy fired up the family’s longboat, headed upstream and collected the order of the day: 15 buckets — more than 450 pounds — of açaí.

He was dreading the task ahead. The day was shaping up to be another scorcher. The jungle was full of scorpions, one of which had bit his hand months before. A girl across the river had been hospitalized after a recent fall while harvesting the fruit. But he was the best climber his family had. Açaí was their primary source of income. And this was his life: Toiling on the bottom rung of an industry that connects some of Brazil’s poorest people to America’s health-absorbed elite.

“Let’s go,” José said.

A brooding child with a shy smile, he tucked a serrated blade into his ripped shorts and headed out to perform what researchers and labor officials describe as one of the most dangerous jobs in Brazil, the world’s principal producer of açaí. At harvest time, tens of thousands of Brazilians, equipped with nothing more than knives and swatches of burlap to protect their bare feet, climb the wild açaí palm trees every day, ascending without harnesses to heights that can top 65 feet.

Because the tree’s trunk is tall and thin, and because the weight of an adult can snap it, often those who make the climb are children. It’s unknown how many assume the deadly risk; the government has never counted. But researchers agree the practice is widespread among the estimated 120,000 families who work the harvest.


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Small children are climbing 60-foot trees to harvest your acai (Original Post) Zorro Nov 2021 OP
Thanks for sharing! alwaysinasnit Nov 2021 #1
I'm not joining to find out what the heck that acai is. jimfields33 Nov 2021 #2
Health food AZSkiffyGeek Nov 2021 #3
Oh good. I'll never eat anything with health on it. jimfields33 Nov 2021 #11
It's a berry that has a lot of anti-oxidant properties. TexasTowelie Nov 2021 #4
Latest fad in a long, long, long line of fads. paleotn Nov 2021 #6
Thank you for asking that - I was wondering, too. n/t TygrBright Nov 2021 #9
Heartbreaking. Joinfortmill Nov 2021 #5
Acai are abundant throughout the Amazon Normanart Nov 2021 #7
please listen The Jungle 1 Nov 2021 #8
America has slave labor zentrum Nov 2021 #10
cobalt mines, clothing manufacturing, Uyghur labor cadoman Nov 2021 #13
I truly believe our attention is being purposely diverted from many issues. The Jungle 1 Dec 2021 #15
Fricking horrendous per usual Pas-de-Calais Nov 2021 #12
Kick dalton99a Nov 2021 #14


(11,845 posts)
3. Health food
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 06:50 PM
Nov 2021

I’m not exactly sure what the benefits are, but I see it on smoothie menus and as a chocolate-covered berry.


(113,715 posts)
4. It's a berry that has a lot of anti-oxidant properties.
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 07:04 PM
Nov 2021

About a decade ago I used to go to Quiznos and order the black and blue salad (roast beef and bleu cheese). The salad came with an acai dressing that I liked--it had a berry taste, but it wasn't overly sweet like strawberry or tart like raspberry.


(18,420 posts)
6. Latest fad in a long, long, long line of fads.
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 07:20 PM
Nov 2021

Next year it will be the roots of some endangered plant in Borneo. Who knows?


(279 posts)
7. Acai are abundant throughout the Amazon
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 07:21 PM
Nov 2021

A simple google search will show that not only children harvest these berries. They are an important resource for rural families. Children old enough, and strong enough, are working to help support the family. This report is not very accurate.


The Jungle 1

(4,552 posts)
8. please listen
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 07:23 PM
Nov 2021

Slave child slave labor is still harvesting coco beans on the Ivory coast.
Today this is happening.
Slavery is not over.


(9,866 posts)
10. America has slave labor
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 08:57 PM
Nov 2021

.....in its private prisons, as well. Making license plates and God knows what else.

This stuff ain't over.


(792 posts)
13. cobalt mines, clothing manufacturing, Uyghur labor
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 10:52 PM
Nov 2021

And more. We need to do more to steer ourselves and our politicians and media to address it.

Sometimes it seems like they almost want us to care about less important things..


The Jungle 1

(4,552 posts)
15. I truly believe our attention is being purposely diverted from many issues.
Wed Dec 1, 2021, 08:48 AM
Dec 2021

Squirrel look at the squirrel. Good boy, pat pat pat.
Most of white America refuses to admit racism still putrefies our society. No way would they agree they should stop eating chocoholic because slave children pick and process it on the ivory coast. We have not even touched on the slave sex trade. Which flourishes in America.
Is this taught in school. Of course not!


(9,943 posts)
12. Fricking horrendous per usual
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 10:39 PM
Nov 2021

People never find out about stuff like that this. All they know are the articles, superfood bs. Making them appealing to joe & jane consumer.
Superfood? Marketing BS.

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