Saturday, April 30, 2011

Think Local: Haiku Organic Farm tour

Out in Haiku we stopped in and checked out the large fields of Organic Salad Mix from Haiku Organic Farm were they are working hard to bring affordable organic bulk salad mix to our bins. A small Family Farm they are a very consistent supplier for us and their mix is priced right and well received by our customers. Dealing with the birds and working to find the perfect organic fertilizer hasn't been easy but they have stuck with it and are really pumping out the produce now.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Think Local: Charlie's Farm tour

Right up the road in Paia we stopped by and checked out Charlie's Farm were he is producing sugar cane, taro, and a whole lot of great Bananas, Charlie is a natural, as he has been growing food since he was a kid and it shows. His bananas are abundant plump and beautiful, and produced less than a mile from Mana Foods.

Pictured: Austin, Charlie, Mason and Victor

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Think Local: Hana Fresh Farm tour

Our trip to Hana to visit Hana Fresh was very inspiring. Rocky soil and lots of bugs in Hana haven't made it easy, but they have stepped up to the challenge and are one of the premier organic farms on Maui. Producing some of the finest fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and veggies that you have ever seen, Hana Fresh has made a great name for themselves. They have fruit trees, bananas, papayas, along with many fields of fresh greens and cherry tomatoes, spread around with several very nice greenhouses to help with the bigger tomatoes and delicious cucumbers, their commitment to diversity is amazing. They are always trying out new rare varieties.

Our customers Love Hana Fresh Produce and are always clamoring to get their hands on something new and different. A local non profit - Supporting Hana Fresh is a no brainer ( High Quality, Super Fresh, Local, Organic, and supports the Hana Health Community Center.

Cheryl, Gary, and Sam at Hana fresh

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Think Local: Gildersleeve Farm tour

In Lower Kula We visited the Gildersleeve Farm, were we saw this summers pineapple crop shaping up nicely and a whole new orchard of mangoes taking shape, They have been growing local potatoes, beets, citrus, bananas and late season special lilikoi varieties.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Think Local: Coca Farm tour

Over at Coca Farms we saw Joel and his crew working away in the vegetable fields which were chocked full of gorgeous leaf lettuce, sweet potatoes, carrots, cassava, fresh herbs, broccoli, cabbage, kholrabi, beets, spinach and even some asparagus and papayas in the works. Coca farms is one of the bigger growers of certified organic produce on Maui, A family run operation with three generations helping out to get the produce to market.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why eat locally?

“If every U. S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by 1.1 million barrels of oil every week.”

Barbara Kingsolver,
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Buy Local, shop local: What is local washing?

Generally, locally grown is considered to be grown and consumed within a 100 mile radius. We have a little more wiggle room in the Hawaiian islands, because let's face it, the Big Island is much closer at 121 than the 2500 to the mainland.

Buy local
Corporate giants such as Frito Lay, McDonald's, Starbucks, HSBC, Unilever and Walmart are using localwashing tactics in their marketing and advertising. Showing a farmer in an ad, does not make the potato chips local by the time they reach their destination. Removing the corporate name and rebranding the store does not mean it is locally owned, it's deceptive localwashing at it's worst.

Shop local
For every $100 spent at a locally owned store, $45 stays in the community. Only about $13 stays in community when it is spent at a chain store.

Read more

and more

Localwashing in pictures

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What the heck is a locavore?

The word "locavore" was the word of the year for 2007 in the Oxford American Dictionary. This word was the creation of Jessica Prentice of the San Francisco Bay Area at the time of World Environment Day, 2005. Those who are interested in eating food that is locally produced, not moved long distances to market, are called "locavores." Some people consider food grown within a 100-mile radius of their location local, while others have other definitions.

This concept is especially important to the Hawaiian islands. On the mainland, food travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to market. This figure is far higher, considering the distance between Los Angeles, California and Honolulu, Hawaii is 2551 miles. As of this writing Mana Foods has an average of 50% locally grown produce and over 400 local vendors.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Maui County Ag Fair

We had a great time at the Maui County AG Fair April 2, 2011 at the Maui Tropical Plantation. There was 6,500 people in attendance with live music demonstrations and many local vendors. In fact it was all about Local. We got to visit many of our regular Maui growers as well as some Molokai Farmers. Eileen from Hana herbs is pictured here, see pahole salad recipe below. Lots of local food all around from cooked to preserved and of course loads of fresh local produce on display.

Pahole Salad
1 bunch pahole (fiddle fern shoots)
3 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 sweet Maui onion, sliced

1 cup soy sauce or Braggs
1 cup water
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp lehua honey
Dash chili flakes and apple cider vinegar

Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Place the pahole fern in water for 2-3 minutes.
While the pahoe are cooking, prepare an ice bath (sink or bowl full of ice & cold water)
Remove the pahole (I use tongs) and plunge into the ice bath until cool.
Drain and chop into 1 inch pieces.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half, slice onions.
In a bowl mix all sauce ingredients together.
Add tomatoes, pahole, and onions, toss to coat.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aluminum recycling facts

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to watch a TV for three hours - it's equivalent to half a gallon of gasoline. More than 20,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of tinfoil. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it. A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That's closed loop recycling at its finest! Because so many of them are recycled, aluminum cans account for less than 1% of the total U.S. waste stream, according to EPA estimates. An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now! There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled. We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Increasing sustainability and reducing waste

Earth Day is coming up and it is a good reminder to take stock of your personal habits and how they impact the environment. I personally, really look at my daily habits and I think these have the largest impact. Here are 3 choices I make to reduce my impact on the landfill and the Earth.

1. bring a reuseable shopping bag. Although Paia has been plastic free for a few years, Maui as a County was the first to ban plastic bags in Hawaii. The ordinance passed in August of 2008, but the law took effect January 11, 2011. On average we use each plastic bag for approximately 12 minutes before disposing. It then lasts in the environment for decades (500-1,000 years).

2. bring a refillable coffee mug. Typical paper coffee cups aren’t made from recycled paper. Instead, most cups are manufactured using 100% bleached virgin paperboard. According to the paper industry, Americans will consume an estimated 23 billion paper coffee cups in 2010. That's a lot of trees! If you want to learn more, check out

3. bring a refillable water bottle. 60 Million plastic bottles a day are disposed of in America alone! Massive amounts of greenhouse gases are produced from manufacturing the plastic bottles. Millions of gallons of fuel are wasted daily transporting filtered tap water across America and around the world. It requires 3 times as much water to make the bottle as it does to fill it... it is an exceptionally wasteful industry. If you want to learn more, check out

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Portable Water Ionizer

The portable, reusable Titanium - Alkaline/Hydrogen stick makes 1000 bottles of healthy purified, ionized 9.5 pH supercharged drinking water from ordinary tap water. It improves tap water easily - removes chlorine and other impurities, adds minerals, raises pH to 8.5 -9.0 or higher and most important... negatively charge your water for antioxidant properties. Alkaline / Hydrogen water health benefits:slow down aging, increase energy, promote weight loss, support wellness, hydrate and detoxify deeply, boost mental clarity and, most important... scavenge up free radicals.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Natural Beauty: Seaweed Bath Co.

All natural bath salt, body wash, shampoo and body cream formulated with Kukui, Neem and Moroccan Argan oil. Founded by Adam Grossman, a long-time psoriasis sufferer, who found that certain varieties of seaweed effectively and dramatically reduced the redness, dryness, scaling and flaking of his irritated skin. The brown seaweed used in all Seaweed Bath Co products is known to be a potent natural anti-inflammatory. from their website: For generations, cultures around the world have used the power of seaweed to help soothe the symptoms of irritated, flaking and scaling skin. Seaweed is rich in essential and non-essential amino acids, which can help to hydrate dry skin and alleviate flaking, scaling and red skin often associated with certain skin conditions. Soaking in a seaweed bath allows your body to easily absorb a large amount of valuable nutrients, amino acids and oils that nourish the skin. The nutrients in The Seaweed Bath Co.'s products soothe irritated, red skin by increasing pH alkaline levels in the bloodstream while simultaneously reducing acidity levels in the body and the skin.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Earth Day: Sunscreens and the environment

Did you know that 5,000 tons of sunscreen wash off people in oceans annually? And that up to 10 percent of the world's coral reefs are threatened by sunscreen-induced bleaching? Italian marine biologists have linked four UV-blocking chemicals (butyl paraben, octyl methoxy cinnamate (octinoxate), benzophenone-3 and methyl benzylidene camphor) in sunscreens to coral bleaching because they cause viral infections in the symbiotic algae that live inside reef-building coral. other common sunscreen ingredients Octocrylene, octyl salicylate (octisalate) and avobenzone were shown no bleaching effect on corals. There are tons on reef safe suncreens that do not contain the offending ingredients, such as Beyond Coastal, Alba Mineral, Caribbean Solutions, Aqua Sport and Kiss My Face. Mostly, they are made with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter: Natural Egg Dyes

Using the foods and flowers found in nature to color eggs is better for you, your family and the Earth. The colors will muted and ligher than synthetic commercially prepared dyes.
- Pick four colors and cooresponding botanicals from the list below. Your stove probably only has four burners, and that is why we are limited to 4 colors.

- If you want to use a white crayon to make designs or write names on the eggs, do it a this time. - Place the uncooked white eggs in a single layer in a pan. Add water until the eggs are covered.

- Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and the natural dye. Use more dye material depending on the amount of eggs or for a more intense color.

- After water comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

- If you are satisfied with the color, remove the eggs from the dye solution. The color will lighten once the egg dries.

- If you want the color to be more intense, you can soak overnight. Remove the eggs from the liquid. Strain the dye through a coffee filter, let the dye solution cool to room temperature. If you want a speckled effect, skip the straining step.

- Cover the eggs with the dye solution and let them soak in the refrigerator overnight.

- Naturally-colored eggs will not be glossy, but if you want a shiny appearance you can rub a bit of olive oil onto the eggs once they are dry.


Lavender: Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice, Red Zinger Tea

Violet Blue: Hibiscus Tea, Red Wine

Blue: Blueberries, Red Cabbage Leaves

Green: Spinach Leaves, Liquid Chlorophyll

Yellow: Orange or Lemon Peels, Ground Turmeric

Orange: Yellow Onion Skins, Cooked Carrots, Paprika

Pink: Beets, Cranberries or Juice, Raspberries, Juice from Pickled Beets

Red: Lots of Red Onions Skins, Canned Cherries with Juice, Pomegranate Juice, Raspberries

Friday, April 8, 2011

Paia Parking Update

Good news! In case you haven't heard, Mana Foods has leased a new gravel parking lot for it's employees and the community to park in free of charge. The parking lot is below the Patsy Mink Post Office, about a block up from Mana Foods on Baldwin Avenue.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Think Local: Maui Preserved

Maui Preserved Hot Hot Sauce, Roasted Tomato Puree, Cucumber Dill Pickles are now available at Mana foods. These hand crafted specialty food items made in Haiku with Maui grown fruit and vegetables whenever possible. Maire likes to put the Hot Hot Sauce on her popcorn.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Think Local: Native Maui Sunblock

Native Maui's line of sunblocks were invented by a woman who has lived on Maui for 30 years. As an avid polo player, diver, windsurfer, boat captain and beach goer, she found herself in constant search of the best means to protect her skin. After many years of using chemical sunscreens, it came to her realization that 60 - 85% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. Native Maui's innovative sunscreen formula contains Z-Cote, a finely milled, micronized clear zinc oxide, a natural mineral for SPF. Native Maui organic sunscreens gently replenish the natural oils lost by exposure to the sun, water and wind. A primary ingredient, organic shea butter, helps to preserve skin's elasticity and suppleness. Our products use only natural preservatives including organic Carnauba Wax, Hawaiian Beeswax, and Candelilla Wax to naturally waterproof. Our organic sunscreens are biodegradable, free of synthetic preservatives, 100% paraben-free, 100% non-toxic, and reef safe.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Think Local: Aina Gourmet Coffee

Now available at Mana Foods, 100% Maui grown and roasted Arabica coffee from Aina Gourmet Coffee. Aina Gourmet Coffee thinks that coffee has become much more like wine. Described in terms of body, acidity, flavor and finish...ranging from mild to wild. Their roasters focus on creating the perfect conditions to attain the right balance of flavors. A medium to dark roast will highlight the intrinsic flavors, while too dark a roast will burn off these subtleties. All Aina Gourmet Coffee is 100% Maui grown and 100% O'o Farm roasted. Aina Gourmet Coffee is delivered weekly to ensure you receive the freshest, highest quality 100% Maui coffee. Aloha in every cup.