Tag Archives: NPR

Hawaii Food News Round-Up, Aug. 29-Sept. 4


Don't worry about cracked eggs, it will be an egg-cellent three day weekend!


  • Vegetarians lamenting about how little restaurant options you have in the land of loco moco? Well, the Star-Advertiser just reviewed two new vegetarian restaurants that opened up. Check out the article here on Loving Hut and Peace Cafe.
  • Speaking of vegan, how about vegan cupcakes too? Check out Honolulu Weekly’s write-up on Rise Up Cakes!
  • Midweek interviews Dave Campbell, Brewer at Sam Choy’s Big Aloha Brewery. Sounds like an intoxicating! Might need to hit up Sam Choy’s for ideas for the HGC Oktoberfest Party!
  • Midweek also takes a look at Ka Lei Eggs and how its tradition keeps this local brand egg-cellent, as the mainland egg farmers suffer from salmonella outbreak; for more info on the salmonella outbreak check out this NPR article and see also this article about the resistance of eggs to salmonella.

Neighbor Island

  • Honolulu Weekly reminds of the Taste of Hawaiian Range Festival coming up on the Big Island’s Waikoloa. If you are on the Big Island next weekend something definitely to check out.
  • The Maui News has the following food interest pieces:
    • Whole Foods in Kahului has just made it easier getting breakfast with its new hot bar;
    • Sansei doesn’t want you to forget that they have awesome cooked entrees right alongside their raw items;
    • and its recommended you check out Bistro Molokini at the Grand Wailea for lunch and dinner.
  • Reported from The Garden Island: at the first-ever Kaua‘i Grown Chef Cookoff for Charity at the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair Chef Matt Dela Cruz, executive chef of Roy’s Po‘ipu Grill and Bar, topped his competitors.

NPR Recognizes How Special Our Food and State Really Are

If you are born, raised, or have lived in Hawaii for a number of years this NPR article does not really tell you anything new about our food, its history, and how much our cultural diversity has had an impact on foods. However, if you like to be reminded how special Hawaii is because of its history you only need look at its food.

I wholeheartedly agree with the writer’s ending paragrpah:

I love poke. I love shave ice. I love oxtail soup. And yes, I even love Spam musubi. But what I love most about local food is that every time I dig my chopsticks into a bowl of noodles or a Styrofoam box of plate lunch, I can taste the cultures that created it, the things they gave and took from one another to make the 50th state the most authentically American of them all.

The plate lunch, one lunch, came from many culturues. If that doesn’t fit the American bill, what does? Anyway, take a read of the article and remember how lucky you are in Hawaii.

U.S.A. – United Spices of America

Sorry, I thought this was cute, dorky, and well I liked Dune . . .

It’s a spice party in the USA. This NPR article talks about how America’s changing demographics has created a nation that consumes a massive amount of spices. In fact, the consumption rate of spices in America has grown three times as fast as the population.

The USDA reports from the 1970s that America has consumed 600 percent more chili pepper, 300 percent more cumin, and 1,600 percent more ginger. That is a lot ginger . . . does that consumption amount include that pink ginger they add in sushi packs? Because I know for sure I don’t eat it.

Anyway, it is probably part my growth as a foodie, but I do like the ability to go to a lot of restaurants and ask for a variety of spices and condinments that may be 20 years ago only carried steak sauce of ketchup.

So what are some of your favorite spices? I for one love them all, and could not imagine a world without spices. The Spice Must Flow.

Btw, I highly recommend reading this book if you are interested with the hisotrical aspect of spice in the world.

Word Origin of “Om Nom Nom”?

Thank you CM for "om nom nom."

So I noticed in the prior post’s NPR article that the caption for the opening picture used that famous internet lingo of “om nom nom” (also “nom nom nom”). I was kind of curious where this oft-used onomatopoeia phrase came from. I myself use it as do many HGC members use it in their Facebook posts as we take pictures of our delectable treats.

So with a quick internet search Know Your Meme actually has a whole page with Youtube videos talking about “om nom nom.”

Apparently, we have Cookie Monster of Sesame Street fame to thank for this phrase. So thanks CM for “‘C’ is for Cookie” and “Om Nom Nom.” Now I am going to go do some nom nom noming myself.

Respect Your Steak, it Probably Made Us Smarter

NPR (I will find another source of information in a couple of more posts I’m trying to make up for the dearth from the past two weeks ok!), has come up with interesting story about the evolution of humans with regard to our diets.

Keeping with the theme of the last post, the article discusses how our ancestors used to eat things raw. However, instead of that being a benefit (as raw foodists proclaim), foraging and eating all that raw food required a large gut. Not a fat gut, but a big one for processing all that food to survive.

There was one problem with that, big guts require a lot of energy. Therefore, more energy meant less power for our brains. Digestion required a lot of energy and the brain power was not a priority. Eating trumped thinking (which I can sometimes agree with). Anyway, we then discovered MEAT!

What’s so special about meat? It’s packed with a lot of calories and fat. With influx of energy our guts shrank and no longer needed to be a veggie processor. And what did we do with this new found energy? Think of new ways to hunt animals and chop them into bits to eat easier! That is how the theory goes from Leslie Aiello, an anthropologist.

However, that theory is not for fellow anthropologist, Richard Wrangham. He feels that is not enough to explain the new mental power we have gained through evolution. He cites a study where people lost weight and had chronic energy deficits while on raw food diet. He believes that it was actually cooking that made us smarter. By cooking things, their make-up changes, making it easier to digest.

Whatever the reason we are smarter it sure tastes great to me . . . . now where’s the beef?

Raw or Regulated?

Is it time we go raw? Should we strip our food safety processes from the supply chain?

NPR recently brought an interesting issue to light. Whether or not people should be allowed to consume raw meat and milk products?

On one side are raw foodists, these people eat everything raw, not just their fruits and vegetables, but cheese, butter, fish, bison (bison?!), etc . . . . All of these raw foods are unfinished, non-hormone-injected products. These raw food advocates say that there is nutritional value to be had in these raw foods. There is also value in “friendly” bacteria that comes with the rawness. These people generally join a co-op that rejects the government’s rules on pasteurization and homogenization. Basically, they want E. coli and salmonella in their food because they believe it makes our immunities stronger. 

Of course the government doesn’t see that as being the case and has been shutting down their co-ops or confiscating the raw food. On this side, the regulators and advocates for safety feel that the bacteria in raw food is not safe for mass consumption. Moreover, the bacteria itself has evolved just as we have. 

So of course the difference in points of view led to police raiding Rawesome Foods in Venice, CA. 

What do you think? Do you think we have become overly protected due to government regulation and we should let the raw flood gates open? Or are there just some bacteria that shouldn’t be in our food supply?

Pass that Ancient Ale!

There were drunks in the past who talked to their alcohol as they do today. Humanity doesn't seem to change in certain ways.

NPR recently reported on a small Delaware-based brewery that creating some odd alcohol. Specifically, Doghead Fish Brewery is re-creating a very, very, old brew. It is producing Chateau Jiahu, which is based on a recipe found at a Neolithic burial site in China.

With the help of UPenn biomolecular archaeologist, Dr. Patrick McGovern Doghead Fish Brewery was able to determine that the beverage made of rice, grapes, hawthorn berries and honey. I particularly, enjoyed that Dr. McGovern’s specialty is fermented beverages . . . go my ala mater bringing nerdism to drinking!

Anyway, would you drink something from a recipe that is 9000 years old? By the sounds of it doesn’t too appetizing, I mean the hieroglyphs show the people drinking their beer using straws trying to avoid solids and wild yeast. I think I’ll stick to my Tsingtao. However, Doghead sounds like a very fun, off-beat, company. Anyone for Midas Touch Beer?

There is a Disturbance in the Taste

If you have made this face you probably met a bad nut.

Ever get a bitter-metallic aftertaste when eating pine nuts and it just won’t go away? Like there is a lingering problem or a disturbance in the force if you will? Well, I haven’t so this ends this post . . . just kidding. Anyway, NPR has an article about “Pine Mouth.”  

What is “Pine Mouth”? It definitely is not a Syfy B-movie (not yet). Well, some people experience a nasty aftertaste from eating pine nuts that will not go away for a while. It ruins the taste of everything after it because it is so potent. The cause? No one is really quite sure, unlike the cilantro problem, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of experiences. The FDA documented only 53 complaints last year and because there is no accompanying illness only marks this problem as “taste disturbance.”

The two possible theories (which they people aren’t even sure about) is the preparer leaves the pine nuts out too long. Pine nut oil can go rancid quite fast. The second theory is Chinese imports. Researchers in Switzerland did an analysis of imported pine nuts and discovered two inedible species in the supply chain.

So ever eat bad pine nuts? Ever eat anything bad that ruined your afternoon/week/month? Share it with us. Also check out some other people’s experiences with nuts gone bad! Here and there is even a Facebook group you can join.

Worried about Senior Moments?

I need to remember! I need more coffee!

Then drink a cup of coffee or 5! In this NPR article it seems that researchers have been studying the effect of caffeine on the brain. They basically gave caffeine water to mice, who over the course of the study showed improvement in their memory. The catch was they needed a certain amount, and that translated to humans, would mean 5 cups a day.

However, like any scientific research on animals, it does not necessarily mean it will work out that way in humans. There has been some promising studies, that show people who drink 3 to 5 cups, in their 40s and 50s led to a 65-70% decrease in getting Alzheimer’s in their 70s. Once again, correlation does not prove causation, and another plausible explanation is that these people who drink coffee have active lifestyles. The activity might be combating the disease.

So if you want to protect your brain head to Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, or just brew it yourself. Just remember to turn off the coffee maker.

Drowning in Salt

The real phantom menance, salt . . . it hides in your food waiting to attack you.

Our bodies are drowning in salt. 9 in 10 Americans eat too much salt, so reports NPR. In general, it isn’t your “supertaster” friend dumping salt on your popcorn, nor is it you just sprinkling some salt on your steak that is the main culprit. Suprisingly, that is only 10%.

Where is all this salt coming from? It is coming from foods that have more salt in them than we think, but yet when we eat them they don’t taste salty at all. Some of the biggest offenders are: grain mixtures, frozen soups, breads. and yes, I’m sad to write, cakes . . . why are cakes so evil?! They tempt us and then poison us with sugar and salt. Oh well, pick your poison I say, death by cake!