Plant To Powder Initiative
Voyaging Foods Plant to Powder Initiative
Transparency is key for consumers and one of the reasons we started Voyaging Foods.
We believe food should be healthy, as natural as possible and nutrient-dense.
We take a local food advocacy approach to our small business. We only source native Hawaiian varieties of taro, grown in Hawaii and aim to assist food-growing lands in the islands.
The more we talk about taro, the more we eat taro.
Here is our process from plant to powder:
1) We plant taro huli (or seed) utilizing a dryland method without flooding the fields.
There are two types of cultivation: dryland and wetland. Voyaging Food’s™ utilizes dryland taro (kalo malo’o) cultivation. Wetland cultivation relies on standing water or flooding the fields for irrigation. Dryland includes mulching to keep weeds at a minimum
Dryland uses less water than wetland
2) Taro matures anywhere between 6-14 months depending on the variety and growing method
3) The corm (or root) is cut from the huli
The collection of varieties Voyaging Foods cultivates
The entire taro plant may be consumed. The leaves, stalk and roots are filled with vitamins and minerals.
The corm or root is where our powder comes from
The starch-filled root of the stem grows underground and is called the corm.
The most valued part of the taro plant is the corm which grows underground or in the old style of planting in large mounds called pu’epu’e. The corm matures between 6 and 14 months, depending upon the variety and location it is grown.
The different parts of the taro plant
The corms prior to steaming
All parts of the taro plant must be cooked prior to consumption to inhibit the acrid raphide crystals. These calcium oxalate crystals are considered a natural defense against insects or predators and more prevalent in some varieties than others. The composition of taro is affected by the conditions and location of where it is grown. To further inhibit these oxalates, preparation, processing and synergistic food pairing such as with calcium is key.
Cooking with taro was traditionally done in earth ovens although today boiling or steaming is preferred. The skin is removed after cooking by scraping with a peeler or in the ancient way using a shell. If the cooked taro was not to be consumed immediately, it was dried and tightly wrapped in ti leaves for storage.
5) Water Removed
Historically, drying food was used as a way of preserving food and grinding would allow for easy transport or convenient storage. The ancient ways of preserving foods were an inspiration for commerce in the Hawaiian Kingdom in the late 1880’s.
Voyaging Foods owns and operates all of our own machinery for making taro powder. We do not outsource any of our process to keep the integrity and quality of our product at the absolute best.
6) Mill into Taro Powder
Historically, taro flour was a subsidy and export touted for its digestive and other health benefits.
We process by hand and in small batches. The machines used to make Ancestral Taro Powder are commercial grade. Our kitchen operation is located in a certified facility, both HACCP compliant and certified gluten-free by the Celiac Sprue Association.
We take pride in our process, culture and island home.