Hawaiian Prophecies - Na Kupuna Na’auao

Perpetuation & Preservation of Ancestral Knowledge & Practices

Traditional Cooking Methods & Food Habits

The traditional Pacific Islander diets are superior to Western diets in many ways. Though there are a few weaknesses of the traditional Pacific Island diets, the strengths are immense.

Traditional foods are nutrient-dense, meals are prepared in healthful ways, and oils are used sparingly. The high-fibre, low fat characteristics of these diets reduces the risk of heart disease, hypertension, stroke , diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers.

Starchy foods are the foundation of the traditional diet. The traditional Hawaiian diet is 75 to 80 percent starch, 7 to 12 percent fat, and 12 to 15 percent protein. Starch comes primarily from root vegetables and starchy fruits, such as taro, cassava, yam, green bananas, and breadfruit. The traditional diet is also plentiful in fresh fruits, juices, nuts, and the cooked greens of the starch vegetables (e.g., taro, yam). Traditional meals include poi (boiled taro), breadfruit, green bananas, fish, or pork. Poi is usually given to babies as an alternative to cereal. Many dishes are cooked in coconut milk, and more than forty varieties of seaweed are eaten, either as a vegetable or a condiment.

Fresh food is still widely available at local markets on the Pacific Islands, and fish and other seafood is abundant. Fish or seafood is eaten with at least one daily meal; it is usually stewed or roasted, but sometimes it is served marinated and uncooked. Pork is the most common meat, and it is incorporated in many ceremonial feasts.  Throughout the Pacific Islands, pit-roasted foods are used to commemorate special occasions and religious celebrations; whole pigs are often cooked in pits layered with coals and hot rocks, and the part of the pig one receives depends on one’s social standing.

Read more about the Pacific Island Diet here

Posted in 6. Nutrition & Medicinal Plants.

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