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Brazilian chef Alex Atala, of two-Michelin-starred restaurant D.O.M. in Sao Paulo, still remembers the first time he ventured into the Amazon rainforest as a child in the 1970s.

One day, his mother, a seamstress, and his father, who worked in the rubber industry, packed up their dusty old car and drove 4,000 kilometers from Sao Paulo to “the middle of nowhere” in Amazonas, “just to discover the place,” he says.

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