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Mixed Plate: Fish and PoiUPDATED 6:56 PM HST Dec 29, 2013Video Transcript
Pacific staples for centuries, but today they represent more than food choices. On tonight's mixed plate we see how they are changing the way islanders see their past, and their future. As legend has it, the forest god Haloa lives on earth within the taro plant, or kalo in Hawaiian. When haloa thrives, so do the people. Just as his ancestors did 200 years ago Daniel Anthony tends to his family kalo patch. "I AM A TRUSTED CARETAKER OF HALOA. I WAS TRAINED AS A CHILD TO DO THIS WORK." "MY LIFE WITHOUT KALO IS NOT THE KIND OF LIFE I WANT TO LIVE." "WITHOUT TARO NOTHING IS POSSIBLE. SO FARMING TARO IS LIKE SAYING A PRAYER. YOU GO TO CHURCH, YOU PRAY AND THAT'S THE MIRACLE." And a miracle is what Hawaii needs, he believes. The cultivation, preparing and consuming of taro is the key providing Native Hawaiians with employment, nutrition, and a spiritual connection to the land. "HERE'S SOME HOT TARO." "IT WAS PRESSURE STEAMED WITH BANANA LEAF AND TI LEAF" "THE FIRST PART, WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS CRUSH THE TARO WITHOUT MAKING IT EXPLODE. SO SOMETIMES TO CRUSH IT YOU HAVE TO BE VERY FORCEFUL,OT HER TIMES YOU HAVE TO BE MORE DELICATE ." "NOW WHY GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS, WHEN PEOPLE SAY I CAN JUST GO TO THE SUPERMARKE T. " 'WHEN YOU GO TO THE SUPERMARKET..." "WHEN WE FOLLOW THE PATH OF CONVENIENCE WE KNOW THAT IS A SHORT PATH TO BEING UNHEALTHY." "AND WHEN YOU MAKE IT YOU KNOW THE QUALITY OF YOUR POI." And within minutes we have pa'i'ai, hand- pounded poi, the gluten-free, organic starch that has sustained generations of Native Hawaiians. "THE AVERAGE TARO ROOT COOKED PROVIDES ABOUT 140 CALORIES, 35 GRAMS OF CARBOHYDRATE AND NEGLIGIBLE FAT. IT'S CHOCK FULL OF POTASSIUM, MAGNESIUM AND PHOSPHOROU S. EVEN THE LEAVES ARE BRIMMING WITH VITAMIN K, CALCIUM AND BETA- CAROTENE, ALL THE ELEMENTS NEEDED FOR STRONG BONES AND TEETH." Native Hawaiians found themselves not only caretakers of the land, but stewards of ocean resources. Responsible fishing was the law. "REAL SIMPLE, WE'VE CUBED OUR AKU. " A half pound chunk of aku provides about 260 calories, 52 grams of protein and it's low in fat and sodium. NOW WE'RE GOING TO ADD SOME GREEN ONIONS TO IT. " "HAWAIIAN CHILI PEPPER I GOT IN THE BACKYARD, CHOP THIS UP REAL FINE." "GOTTA HAVE A LITTLE HEAT IN IT. OF COURSE HAWAIIAN SALT." "I LOVE INAMONA." "IKUKUI NUT RELISH" "WE'RE GOING TO TOP THIS OFF WITH A LITTLE SESAME SEED OIL. THERE WE GO." "WE'RE GOING TO TAKE OUR FRESH POUNDED PA'I'AI AND MAKE POKE SIZED BALLS TO GO INTO OUR POKE HERE. " "THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. LOOKS PHENOMENAL, I CAN'T WAIT TO EAT IT.." "IF YOU DON'T MIND I'M GOING TO TRY IT. PLEASE DO. SOME FISH, SOME PA'IAI. IT'S A MOUTHFUL BUT I THINK WE CAN HANDLE. HMMM." And so Daniel's campaign to re- introduce taro as a staple continues. The answer to modern health, economic, and social issues, he believes, lies in Haloa..and in listening to the lessons of ancient voices. "IT'S REALLY HARD TO FARM WITHOUT LOVE. IT'S HARD TO NOT, FROM THE INCEPTION TO PLANT THAT SEED WITH HOPE." "TARO HAS AND WILL CONTINUE TO UNITE HAWAII'S COMMUNITY" "AND AS YOU SAID, THIS IS HOPE. THIS IS HOPE." Justin ad-lib...