HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Farmers, educators, researchers and entrepreneurs from across the Pacific gathered to discuss the benefits of crops like breadfruit that can help address food security and sustainability issues.
On Tuesday, the National Tropical Bread Institute hosted the 2022 Global Bread Summit at the Hawaii Convention Center.
Baking flour, hummus, whiskey, pasta were among the many products that were presented at the summit.
“The products you can make with ulu are endless,” said John Cadman, owner and operator of Pono Pies and Maui Breadfruit. “There are so many, it’s amazing.”
Cadman created Pono Pies, made from Maui breadfruit.
He said chefs are always looking for healthy options that are reliably grown in Hawaii.
“As long as we have enough of it [breadfruit] many institutions do not want to include it in their menu, – said Kadman. “So we definitely need to plant more trees and have a larger area, that would be nice.”
Hawaii schools use more local produce from the farm to the kitchen.
But the pandemic has highlighted how dependent Hawaii is on tourism. Experts in the field of food and agriculture said that the government should invest in other sectors.
“If the Hawaii Tourism Authority gives me $20 million to tell people to get out of Hawaii, they will come anyway,” said M. Kalani Souza, director of the Olohana Foundation.
This dilemma is familiar across the Pacific.
King Tuain Waeruarangi Ariki of Aitutaki Island in the Cook Islands attended the conference.
The pandemic reminded a small country that tourism is not a sustainable industry.
“So we have to look at other means, and of course ulu will be an option,” Ariki said. “And of course, we would add other things to it, like fish, abundant resources, [there’s] always its abundance. “
“So we already have it, but it’s just a matter of making it an economic process for us.”
A new food distribution center being built on Kauai is the type of project these groups want most.
“To grow more breadfruit and other locally grown crops in a sustainable way that sustains the land, people and the economy,” said NTBI Institute Director Dr. Diane Ragone.
and it is just one example of the growing effort to return our economy to its roots.
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