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Andrea’s Eat Local Food Stamp Challenge: Days 23-27

Andrea Dean cracks and snacks. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Dean)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: North Kohala resident Andrea Dean calls herself a SocioEcoPreneur who partners with communities, businesses and non-profits on initiatives that enhance the island environment, economy and community. She is involved with the North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Campaign and has challenged herself to eat only local foods on a food stamp budget for the month of September 2011.)

The Breadfruit Festival (ironically!) and a subsequent trip to Oahu were the reasons for my temporary fall from grace.

On Thursday, Sept. 22, I decamped from my home base in Hawi to stay at the Keauhou Beach Resort. Traveling away from home and trying to eat on a food stamp budget was difficult, but I did the best I could.

I could not cook and there was only so much food that I could take with me. I did fairly well most of the day on Thursday with my homemade ulu-broccoli soup and smoothie, but had to purchase a prepared salad at Island Naturals to make it through the day. (Actually, my friend purchased it for me so I didn’t have to spend the money – but there is only so much freeloading one can do!)

Thankfully, the Keauhou Beach Resort was a sponsor of the Breadfruit Festival and it was featuring Ulu with Tomato-Ogo Relish at the restaurant.

For dinner, I paired the ulu special with some local poke and beer, and life was good – but expensive! We shared all of this at the table, but is was about $30, and obviously could not be purchased with food stamps.

When I have done local foods experiments in the past, eating out at restaurants was fair game, which made being on the road fairly easy.

Friday morning, I ate the local fruit on the breakfast buffet at the Keauhou Beach Resort. Friday was our big preparation and meeting day, and I didn’t have anything with me for lunch.

Sadly, that was when I succumbed to the bag of potato chips that was being passed around. That night David Fuertes served a delicious locally procured and prepared meal – beef hekka, smoked pork, ulu salad, sweet potato salad, taro in coconut milk.

Saturday, the day of the Breadfruit Festival, was fairly easy! I did start the day with some banana bread (another minor fall from grace).

The Breadfruit Cooking Contest was incredible – we had about 30 entries, all original recipes.

Chef Olelo paa Ogawa and Chef Scott Lutey did cooking demonstrations and made incredible gourmet dishes with breadfruit. I was too busy to actually eat the luncheon, but by all reports Chef Betty Saiki and the students from the West Hawaii Community College Culinary Arts Program served a fabulous ulu inspired lunch.

That night it was dinner at the Keei Cafe – a local greens salad with Ahi and some brie (oops).

Again, local but expensive.

The real challenge was when I traveled to Oahu on Sunday – Tuesday. A tight travel schedule and staying in a hotel made it pretty difficult to stay all local, and impossible to stay within any kind of budget.

So … now that I am back from Oahu, I need to pick up the ball and finish out the week!

I do have some data that I need to report with regards to prices of local vs. non-local–coming soon.

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