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Eat like an orangutan to save rainforests

 Bornean orangutan wading through the water in Kalimantan. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Bornean orangutan wading through the water in Kalimantan. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.

One doesn’t have to be a scientist or a government official to help save the world’s vanishing rainforests, one can also be a chef. World-renowned chef Andre Chiang has added a new item to his menu called Orangutan Salad, reports the Wall Street Journal, which he hopes will raise awareness for the endangered apes at his Singapore eatery, Restaurant Andre. The new salad gives restaurant-goers the chance to enjoy all the subtle, earthy tastes of a typical orangutan meal, including ferns, fungi, figs, berries, leaves, and flowers.

Not content to just raise awareness, Chiang is planning to source these wild ingredients from villagers in Indonesian Borneo, putting a cash value on vanishing rainforests. Kalimantan, Indonesia’s state on the island of Borneo, is racked by deforestation for palm oil and logging. Recent satellite data has shown that Kalimantan has lost nine percent of its tropical forests in just eight years—one of the highest deforestation rates in the world.

“For [the villagers] it’s just five minutes’ walk into the jungle to pick, but they don’t see the value of it,” Chiang told the Wall Street Journal. “They say this is everywhere, but for us it’s fantastic.”

Restaurant Andre is listed as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world by San Pellegrino and one of the New York Times’ top 10 restaurants worth a plane trip.

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