It's been an Amazon regional food for thousands of years.
Naked Juice, owned by PepsiCo, sells an acai-based drink called Purple Machine, while Bossa Nova markets a line of acai juice, flavored with mango, agave, cranberries and other fruits. In October, Anheuser Busch introduced 180 Blue, an acai energy drink. Proctor & Gamble incorporated acai into one of its shampoos, while Haagen Dazs features Brazilian Acai Berry Sorbet.
Acai juice is said to have between 10 and 30 times more antioxidants than grapes,pomegranates, and even blueberries. Because of the extensive vitamins, amino acids, minerals, Omega acids, and other properties, the acai very is said to be one of the most nutritionally dense berries on the planet.
The acai berry was first used by the tribes of the Amazon jungle as a cure for various ailments (Just one of thousands of known medicinal fruits int he Amazon.)
"The acai berry was discovered to have natural antioxidant properties, as well as being a natural cholesterol controller. When eaten it helps reduce the bad cholesterol in our blood and increases the good cholesterol. The tribes of the Amazon knew of these properties and found out that it helped build the immune system, fight infection, protect the heart, and control prostate enlargement (nature's viagra). It was a great energy food for the tribes-people. The acai berry, which is a palm fruit, was traditionally pulped to make wine that was rich in minerals. The acai berry was also discovered to fight schistosomosis, which is transmitted by snails. Schistosomosis affecting more than 10 million Brazilians. The acaí berry is also used to produce an antibiotic that helps to fight against 'Staphylococcus aureus,' a common infection contracted mainly in hospitals. A berry so useful but only known to the traditional tribes men and woman of the Amazon, a lost secret."(-taken from http://board.classifieds1000.com/Brazil/Life/The_History_of_the_Acai_Berry)
So perhaps the only bad thing Oprah has ever done in her life was mention this miracle fruit, and discuss its amazing properties. The U.S. sells over 100 Million dollars worth of the berries a year these day.. but what does that mean for the natives that literally survive off of the plant? They need the fruit as it provides most of their protein, and unfortunately they are now going hungry. Why should they go hungry just for us to take our pills and smoothies with a little more protein. As the wealthiest country in the world we need to take responsibility before thinking about stealing another vital resource from people that literally live off of it.