The 18th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range at Hilton Waikoloa Village proved to over 2100 attendees that grass fed beef tastes good and can be used to make a wide assortment of satisfying dishes. A wide variety of beef cuts—everything from tongue to tail—were featured at 35 culinary stations, plus pork, lamb, mutton and goat.
In addition, there were 36 product/educational displays. Some booths shared tastes of goodies, like pipikaula poke and PAVA smoothies, while others offered compelling displays ranging from heirloom squash to solar cooking.
A handy Graze Your Way at Taste map again guided attendees through the event. Info and recipes collected from booths could be conveniently stowed in canvas Taste bags that were given to each attendee.
Another big hit at this year’s Taste was a 636-pound pumpkin that was grown using kitchen scraps composted by The Bokashi Bucket system. Complete with a costumed “Cinderella,” the display was part of Recycle Hawaii’s booth
Recycle Hawaii also helped with the event’s zero waste effort. Attendees discarded their compostable serving ware and leftovers at 15 waste stations, assisted by students at Kanu o Ka ‘Aina School.
“The kids were super great to work with and it was gratifying to see that they got what we were doing,” says Kristine Kubat, zero waste coordinator for Recycle Hawaii.
Kubat reports that “everything we recovered got recycled, redeemed or composted. Northing was taken to the landfill.”
According to Dr. Norman Arancon of the University of Hawai‘i, total waste (discards captured) was 2,852 pounds, of which 49.2% were compostables, 8.8% were HI-5, 6.1% were mixed recyclables and 35.9% were food wastes (see graph).
A slew of Hawai‘i Community College culinary students from both East and West Hawai‘i helped chefs and product booths dish out hundreds of tastes. They included 26 students and two instructors from West Hawai‘i and 61 students and five instructors from East Hawai‘i.
Mahalo to the many others who helped make Taste a success! With a mission to provide a venue for sustainable agricultural education and support of locally produced ag products, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. Find a list of the 2013 supporters and participants, details on the Mealani Research Station—where Taste began—plus where to get grass-fed beef on the Big Isle AND recipes, at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.