Com­pletely balmy nuts mate - co­conuts

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

HE HAS sur­vived be­ing hit on the head by a co­conut and is healthy de­spite us­ing co­conut oil on ev­ery­thing he eats - he is the Co­conut Man.

His alias is Carl Jo­han­son and his se­cret lair is among the co­conut trees at Thala Beach Lodge, where he guides tour groups reg­u­larly on a Co­conut Odyssey and ex­plains the ben­e­fits of co­conuts.

Mr Jo­han­son used to guide ad­ven­ture tours all around Cape York and through Cape Tribu­la­tion be­fore de­cid­ing to fo­cus on his pas­sion - co­conuts.

“I had a pas­sion for co­conuts and wanted to share it with peo­ple and it went from there,” he said.

“The best thing about be­ing the Co­conut Man is peo­ple don’t take me too se­ri­ously, I just want ev­ery­one to have a laugh.”

But among the com­edy is a level of se­ri­ous­ness that not even doc­tors, re­searchers and sci­en­tists could dis­pel when they at­tempted to change Co­conut Man’s be­liefs.

The Gazette re­cently par­tic­i­pated on a Co­conut Odyssey tour - the only ded­i­cated co­conut tour in Aus­tralia - to find out ex­actly who this Co­conut Man re­ally is.

In­stead we found out about the life cy­cle of a co­conut.

Co­conuts drop out of palm trees af­ter about 12 months and the liq­uid inside so­lid­i­fies and be­comes a food sup­ply for the tree.

The liq­uid is ex­tremely ster­ile and matches the plasma in hu­man blood and was used dur­ing war times when blood sup­plies were low.

The Co­conut Man ex­plained the best way to get into a co­conut, from cracking open the husk to the eas­i­est spot to pop a hole in the co­conut for a straw.

“Co­cos nu­cifera - the first word means mon­key face in Span­ish and the sec­ond part means it’s part of the nut fam­ily,” he said.

“The mon­key’s mouth is soft and the eyes hard - put a knife in its mouth and twist it out and don’t hit the mon­key face or tail, then use a hard ob­ject or ham­mer around the mid­dle to snap it.”

The tour sam­pled an eightweek-old green co­conut, a de­li­cious six-month-old spec­i­men which is slightly fizzy and a 12-month-old sample of when the co­conut wa­ter so­lid­i­fies that you can munch on at the su­per­mar­ket.

Co­conut Man also ex­plained how the co­conut in­dus­try was de­stroyed by the grain in­dus­try and out­lined the ben­e­fits of co­conuts, in­clud­ing in­creased me­tab­o­lism, strength­en­ing the im­mune sys­tem, as a hang­over cure and a mosquito re­pel­lent.

If you are in­ter­ested in find­ing out more, con­tact Thala Beach Lodge on 4098 5700.

Photo by ALI­SON GE­ORGE

Keen on co­conuts: Carl Jo­han­son

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