THE AH-HA MOMENT
After the birth of her son Beckley, Brynn Foster created an allergy-free teething biscuit using home-made taro powder from Hawaiian taro root as a healthier alternative to the overly sweet and fiber-empty gluten-free foods on the market.
We would feed our baby poi but couldn’t eat all our stash-so I started preserving it in the form of a flour
What began as one mother’s attempt to supply her children with nutritious gluten-free meals has evolved into the artisan milling company to support both the economic and health stability for her island community that is now Voyaging Foods.
Voyaging Foods merges Brynn’s culinary interests with her Hawaiian ancestry.
When I started to eat more taro, make more taro powder, plant my own taro-I reconnected with my memory as a seven-year-old eating my first poi in the form of a cookie that my great-grandmother gave me. I reconnected with a part of me that I completely forgot about, but now is the basis for all I do.
VOYAGING FOODS CORE VALUES
After years of researching studies and historical reports on taro, Brynn unearthed the history on taro flour and found that Hawaii’s agricultural history included a number of companies involved in its production. In the late 1880s, Hawaii’s last king, King Kalakaua, enacted a bill creating a subsidy for the manufacture of taro flour. Taro flour became an export for the Mainland health market.
Fast forward to today, Hawaiian taro is still a culturally treasured food although Hawaii imports over 80% of its food and has no current flour manufacturing facilities. Subsidizing our farmers of canoe plants such as taro, ‘ulu (breadfruit) and sweet potato, and the islands becoming more self-reliant is what Brynn wants to see happen again.
We hear talk about food security and growing future farmers. Let’s invest in this actually happening. Voyaging Foods’ core values are to support food-growing land in Hawaii while growing a healthy community. We want to double the amount of taro-growing lands in the state through this company’s work.
The purpose behind the brand includes a holistic view of health. The health of the people parallel the health of the land. With this belief in mind, everything we do is influenced by these three pillars: mindful cooking, maintaining healthy lifestyles and sustaining local communities.
WHO IS BRYNN FOSTER
Brynn grew up in Southern California and is a graduate of Pepperdine University. She is a Hawaii-based mom, graduate of permaculture design through the Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design, board certified holistic health counselor, community volunteer and soon-to-be published author and founder of Voyaging Foods. Her hobbies are painting, getting inspiration from the cultural creatives and social entrepreneurs around the world, experimenting with a variety of ingredients (like all the different edible plant varieties), swimming in the ocean and traveling off the beaten path with her family and friends.
Brynn acts as a resource to promote holistic values with the foundation that healthy habits start at home. Brynn’s intent to inspire families globally through her healthy living Voyaging Foods website which features an online journal called IslandWyse. As a healthy home educator, she has given workshops at Whole Foods and Williams Sonoma. She has been featured in Modern Luxury Magazine – which referred to her as a “smart mover and shaker”, as well as a “mom entrepreneur” by Hawaiist Magazine and a “mom on a mission” by Pacific Business News. Her book on cooking and baking with Hawaiian Taro Powder, Native Flour, Ancient Starch – Gluten-Free Recipes Using Ancestral Hawaiian Taro Powder is available for pre-sale.