Loving Earth Gubinge Powder (Kakadu Plum) 500g
High source of vitamin C
Wild crafted Gubinge (Kakadu Plum) Powder from the Kimberleys in Western Australia is a potent, natural wholefood source of Vitamin C. Harvested by the Nyul Nyul people, all profits from this product are sent to them.
What is it?
Gubinge is the Nyul Nyul language name for the Kimberley version of the Kakadu Plum. This fruit is wild harvested from the Dampier Peninsula just north of Broome and is a potent, natural wholefood source of Vitamin C. In line with the Nyul Nyul tradition of eating both seed and fruit, Loving Earth dehydrates the entire Gubinge fruit at 40°C. It is then milled into a powder making it a true whole food.
Bruno Dann, an elder from the Winawaal region is bringing back the ancestral ways of land care to the local community, helping restore the natural balance of the bush in this area. All the profits that we receive from the sale of the product go back to the Nyul Nyul community.
How to use
Add 1 teaspoon to a glass of water or your favourite juice.
Gubinge is a bush plum; there's a lot of hype around stuff coming out of the Amazon, Acai and so on, but Gubinge is a really powerful indigenous Australian superfood. It's the highest natural source of Vitamin C on the planet, and that's been verified. The species is called Terminalia Ferdinandiana, more popularly known as the Kakadu plum, and it grows in the Kakadu and the Kimberleys. The Kimberley version however has tested higher than the Kakadu version for Vitamin C. In the Kimberleys, where it is known as Gubinge, they're not irrigating it or cultivating it using typical commercial horticultural techniques, which a number of operations up in the Northern Territory are doing. Essentially, those precious vital phytonutrients (the antioxidants within plants) are there to make the plant itself stronger. They do the same for the plant as they do for us, so if you pamper the plant too much, it doesn't need them anymore! If that plant is in its natural environment and there's a certain level of environmental stress present, that makes the plant stronger, so you get these higher levels of antioxidants. The Gubinge Powder that we produce and market under the Nyul Nyul brand is a raw whole food and in terms of the nutritional aspects, it's one of the only high Vitamin C products on the market that literally is a whole food. To make it we simply take the whole frozen fruit, dehydrate it at 40ºC for 16 hours and then mill it into a powder, so in essence all we have done is take away the water: everything else is there in the powder. The thing about it being a whole food is that nature packages these things in such a manner that they can easily be absorbed; Vitamin C is one important phytonutrient, but like most things, for that to be absorbed into the system, there are a couple of other things that the body really needs to be able to properly utilise it. Those other things are also important and carry out functions, but in our Western approach we tend to reduce things; there is in fact awhole, so in terms of a supplement it's amazing. It's packaged with everything; not only is it the highest natural source of Vitamin C, but it also includes everything else your body needs to assimilate the Vitamin C. All the synthetic Vitamin C supplements and extracts, they're going to be a lot cheaper in terms of milligram for milligram of Vitamin C. In terms of overall effectiveness however...they're incomparable. Two different worlds.
Growing & Processing
Our grower Bruno Dann is one of the stolen generation from the area north of Broome, near James Price Point, where they're planning on putting in the massive gas hub. He lived a fairly traumatic life, taken away from his mother at birth by missionaries. Back then it was law that Aboriginal women had to give birth in hospital, so that their babies could immediately be taken and given to missionaries. Bruno's mother ran away and actually gave birth to him in the wilderness, hence Bruno’s special connection with the land; on the weekends they'd let him go and spend time with the elders, but when he came back, if the missionaries found out that he'd been speaking his language or engaging with his culture, he was beaten. Yet they couldn't stop him: Bruno picked up enough traditional knowledge that together with his partner Marion, he was able to start reviving those traditional ways of taking care of the land. Gubinge grows up there in natural wild orchards, three or four trees together throughout the Bush. Each year the fire comes through and destroys everything, so what Bruno and his people began doing is back-burning, clearing the dead wood so that the fire's not coming through any more. They soon noticed that through these traditional ways of taking care of the land, the Gubinge trees started producing more fruit... Each year Bruno coordinates the harvest. The picking season goes from December through March. Depending on the weather, it can be as long as three months or as short as six weeks, and there are designated spots where people can pick from. Most of the harvesters are from Bruno's language group and the surrounding areas and people get paid by the kilo, so come Gubinge season, everyone gets out on the land and picks it. It's a really good project because it's a high-value product and it's something that's growing wildly, so there's a fair bit of it around and it's sustainable. The other thing that Bruno is doing is working with people to show them how to care for the land throughout the rest of the year. People see what Bruno's achieved and then they say alright, we're going to do that as well. It's not just about the Gubinge: it's about the whole environment. If you're taking care of the land, the Gubinge will thrive...but so will everything else. Gubinge is their asset, it's the thing that they've got up there. It's something that's benign, that's sustainable and supports the environment. The other main industry up there is mining, which is unsustainable and which destroys the environment. It took us at Loving Earth a couple of years to really get the project going, since we needed to develop the infrastructure and figure out how we were going to process the fruit. Scott stayed in touch with Bruno, and when we finally got our commercial dehydrator and found a special grinding machine from India, we were in business. That was a couple of years after the initial contact, during which time we'd been working on the post-harvest infrastructure to collect, clean and pack the fruit into frozen storage. With everything in place to really get stuck into the project, Scott returned for harvest season two years after first contact...the difference was amazing. The traditional harvesting techniques were paying massive dividends, and the quality was incredible. We got the frozen fruit down here to Melbourne and figured out how to process it into a powder. We did some trials, got some tests done and found out that we were getting really high levels of Vitamin C. That's when we began commercialising it. We got our graphic designer to come up with a logo, Nyul Nuyl, which is the language group for Bruno's people, and this is the brand we have created for the community up there.
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