Scientists Recommend Tropical-Tree Foods for Better Human and Environmental Health

Research from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, published in People and Nature, indicates that eating more food from tropical trees has the potential to improve both human and planetary health. “Planting the right type of trees in the right place can provide nutritious foods to improve diets sustainably while providing other valuable ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration,” notes the study’s lead author. Scientists point to overconsumption of wheat, rice, sugarcane, and maize as contributing to climate change and loss of biodiversity, and they contend that tropical tree fruits offer more nutrients. They call for scaling up agroforestry systems to produce more and healthier food, while simultaneously diversifying income sources for smallholder farmers. Crops like avocado, mango, Brazil nuts, and dozens more are options.