Eating Good in the Neighborhood -- High % Locavore

Aug 3, 2010 by Carolyn Blake | Story Popularity: 2


The more I document and describe in detail the food I eat (for my blog Live dis life) the more I realize just how much local food I eat - a LOT.

It began as a goal, even before it was a Kanu commitment, and I feel pretty amazed every time I write it out! Pretty much the only things I'm eating that are imported are things that I cannot get a good substitute locally. In addition to that, I try to chose imported products that are possible (in time) to be produced within the HI Islands.

An example of an imported food that I buy would be olive oil. (Although olives could grow in the Hawaiian Islands, and probably are somewhere, I have heard that it is discouraged for fear of invasion, so I count these as a non-produceable item). For things like starches or carbohydrates I chose local first and for the vast majority of the time. I forgo bread, cereals and pastas by and large in favor of bananas, taro, sweet potatoes, 'ulu etc. The next best choice would be rice because despite the fact that it is not cultivated locally (not to say there isn't some rice somewhere) it has been and can be grown. Now, there are some other grains that can be cultivated in the Islands, my preference is towards the ones that grow readily and with the least amounts of inputs. This leads me to my next topic.

I have a concept called the Food Sustainability Continuum that would be a metric used to determine the "sustainability" of any item (durable or non-durable) within a given locality. On one end would be things that are readily sourced and easily replenished that have a minimal or no negative impact on the ecology (micro & macro); on the other end of the spectrum would be things which are impossible to obtain locally and are extremely damaging to the ecology (micro & macro). Everything in between would be measured along those lines with production inputs, ecological, social, and cultural impact being considered first and foremost.

This is the loose framework concept by which I try and guide my consumption. It has proven to be a mostly successful goal of mine, especially in the food category. I think now I'll work towards refining that goal and moving into an even more intimate relationship with my food.

The photo is a delicious stir-fry supper my BF and I made over the weekend. It includes nearly all local ingredients (including amazingly ONO 100% grass-fed Kauai beef!) and ranks very high by my Food Sustainability Continuum metric because all the imported ingredients (raw coconut oil, onions, garlic, Nama Shoyu, black pepper) are possible to be produced locally!

For more food photos and the full story visit my blog :-)

Aloha no! -CB


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  1. Kaimana Pine says:

    Mahalo nui for taking the time to share Carolyn! Your dishes look very 'ono! Your idea reminds me of many things nowadays that we overlook or take for granted, only if we had a sustainable system of measurement (metrics) to apply to our food as I feel this will help us make a more conscious decision not only as consumers, but stewards of Hawai'i. A recent article(1) talks about electricity, and how energy monitors combined with other devices reduce usage by 70%! Is it safe to say that knowing real-time how much energy we use will help modify our behavior? I believe so. Another article(2) that may appeal to you is the use of mobile devices and QR codes, it relates to your idea of attaching information to the product where enduser access is optimized, information IS power!


  2. Aloha Kai says:

    Aloha Carolyn ~
    You're amazing!

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