A Local Foodie’s Weekend

Happy Monday!  There were some major local-foodie events in Honolulu this weekend.

Beginning with Friday afternoon, I caught a showing of Ingredients, a documentary on how the local food movement is taking shape in Oregon and New York State.  It’s message is to inspire its viewers to find out where their food comes from and support local food producers in their own community.  Ingredients covers a lot of the same topics as Food, Inc. — namely the decline of farming as an occupation and how our conventional food system has sacrificed nutrition and food safety for simplified commodity production.  Much of this documentary is also focusing on how farmers and everyday citizens are raising awareness about the importance of our local food systems.  Many people are supporting farmers’ markets and restaurants that serve local food, while others are experiementing with biodynamic farming in wine production and using land use planning mechanisms like urban growth boundaries to protect agricultural lands.  One part of the dialogue that I especially appreciated was the dicussion on accessibility.  Ensuring that citizens of all socio-economic classes have access to appropriate and affordable food is a major challenge for the local food movement.  If this challenge was conquered, it could mean nearly universal access to nutritionally-dense and energy-efficient food — something that will be of dire importance as the cost of oil continues to increase.  Besides, as it was put by one of the backyard farmers featured in Ingredients, we shouldn’t be buying garlic shipped from thousands of miles away between sex toys and flip-flops.

The showing was followed by Q&A with Claire O’Sullivan (Whole Foods Kahala) and Martha Cheng (food writer, Honolulu Weekly)

Hawaii residents: If you want to catch the next showing of Ingredients in Honolulu, it’ll be featured again on August 10-12 at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Doris Duke Theatre.  And get psyched: the Ingredients crew is already working on Ingredients Hawaii, a documentary about local food in Hawaii!

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Then on Saturday, I and my FH (future husband :)) found ourselves at Kahala Mall, where Whole Foods was hosting it’s Community Day and 5% of its proceeds went to supporting the production of Ingredients Hawaii. Farmers and volunteers from MA‘O Farm were showing off their organic produce and giving a cooking demonstration in the middle of the mall and several Kahala Mall vendors were out sidewalk-sale style featuring their Hawaii-made products.  It was great to see passers-by stop to watch the demonstration and my lunch from the salad bar in Whole Foods was just as yummy as usual.

And finally on Sunday, we had lunch at the Hawaii State Farm Fair!  I had the (Oahu-grown and grass-fed) teriyaki beef from North Shore Cattle Company, and my FH had the shrimp scampi from the Hawaiian Style Chili Co..  Yum!  After we took care of that important business, we took a tour around the fair.  We watched a few kids learning to extract honey from combs, sampled garlic and herb butter from Naked Cow Dairy and a guava-tamarind pop from Ono Pops, saw some of the award-winning 4-H livestock and bought a dill plant.  Fair admission also included admission to the Bishop Museum, so we took a stroll around the new science building to cool off before heading home.

Check out the pictures and hopefully you’ll be inspired to catch the next farm fair near you.

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