Eat Local Challenge : Proteins

Since steel cut oats aren’t local to Hawai’i, I’ve had a really tough time making breakfast (if you know me, you know that I eat steel cut oats at least once a day–and am currently having serious withdrawals).

I really want to challenge myself this week, so I’ve been sticking with the Eat Local Challenge!  Mostly I’ve been having fresh fruit from the farmer’s market/my dad (he’s the best pineapple-picker I know).

I’d typically have some type of protein substitute, but apparently protein powder doesn’t come from Hawai’i, either. Lucky for us, my high school classmate is a farmer and sells her free-range eggs at the farmer’s market!

I cooked up the eggs with some of Chef Kevin’s Maui-made “Terragon Tropical Blend” Seasoning and (my new favorite!) Habanero Coconut Pepper Sauce…

put it on a piece of Mana’s 100% Sourdough Rye bread with a bit of Surfing Goat Dairy chevre… and voila!

My delicious–and nutritious–100% local breakfast!

As explained in a previous blog, Ben and I are “selective omnivores” and we’ll eat most meat/dairy/eggs if we know exactly how it’s been raised and where it comes from.  I went almost 100% vegan right after reading “Eating Animals” and wound up having to go on iron supplements (lame).  Since then I’ve re-incorporated eggs, goat dairy and sustainably raised meat back into my diet and keep a close watch on my iron intake.  I consider myself a pescatarian (veggie + seafood) for labeling purposes ;).  In any case, eggs are super healthy for you in moderation. I usually have about 5 per week to keep my protein and nutrient levels up.  I’m so glad to know that my eggs come from chickens on my friend’s farm and that I can ask her how they live (they come home to a coop but roam around their huge farm all day) and whether they’re injected with hormones (they’re not).

Speaking of local protein sources, Ben and I decided that we’d make fish tacos tonight because it’s pretty much the only local protein source we’ll buy (Maui Cattle Company sells locally grown, grass-fed beef, but we just can’t get ourselves to eat red meat anymore).  So imagine my frustration when my favorite Maui seafood shop Valley Isle Seafood was closed early (to their defense, it was during the Maui County Fair Parade and the whole town shuts down early).  So I went to Foodland, the local market to get some poke (raw fish mixed with seasoning) because they’ve got a great selection of affordable, delicious seafood.

…Or not.  Can you believe that–in the state of Hawai’i–we get our ahi (tuna) from the PHILIPPINES?!? Are you kidding me?  Ugh.  I totally didn’t know what to do because I had everything ready to go for the tacos.  I was so frustrated (and was less than polite with the poor fish-packer lady) as I got the Filipino fish (we share the same ocean… that’s gotta count for something).

[awesome semi-local fish tacos — excuse the lighting, it was dark already.]

In the end, the poke did it’s job and I had an awesome fish taco with cilantro-lime sauce, but it’s the principle.  We are the most isolated island chain in the world.  We need to be self-sustaining, especially with fish!  Come on now.  I’ll be writing a letter to Mr. Foodland and Mrs. SackNSave very soon.

How important is eating locally to you? How far away is too far?

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