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Vegan Life

September 17, 2020 - BBC

Jackfruit: the 'vegan sensation' that saved Sri Lanka

Jackfruit: the 'vegan sensation' that saved Sri Lanka
Jackfruit, whole and fleshFile Photo / © Photabulous

Sri Lankans began planting jackfruit trees to gain food self-sufficiency during British rule, and they’ve since helped islanders avoid starvation.

My mother grew up in a house of eight people in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, 100km north-east of Colombo. During the island’s severe droughts in the 1970s, most of her family’s humble, home-cooked meals consisted of boiled jackfruit served in a clay pot with a handful of freshly grated coconut.

This simple, carb-rich meal fused with natural fats fuelled enough energy for the farmer-family to toil day and night in the dry plains. Today, Starbucks serves jackfruit in wraps, while Pizza Hut offers it as a topping. The London Evening Standard called jackfruit “the new kimchi, kale and cauliflower all rolled into one”. Pinterest named it “the hottest food trend of 2017”, and more recently, The Guardian declared it “a vegan sensation” thanks to its shredded meat texture.

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“In my work with the defendants (at the Nuremberg Trials 1945-1949) I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men.
Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.
Captain G. M. Gilbert
American Military, Chief Psychologist, Nuremberg trials

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