How we are unique
Voyaging Foods develops gluten-free baked goods and dry mixes from Hawaiian-grown heritage canoe plants such as Kalo (Taro), 'Uala (Sweet Potato) and 'Ulu (Breadfruit).
After the birth of her son, our founder, 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 snack foods on the market.
"Our Native Hawaiian ancestors fed poi (cooked & pureed taro root) to their babies as the first food. Continuing that connection to this healthy root, I started preserving it in the form of a flour for our allergy-free meals."
"I couldn't find a healthy teething biscuit for my toddler so I decided to make my own. When my mom started sneaking my toddler's snacks, I knew I had to create healthier snack options and access for everyone, not just family."
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 cookie that my great-grandmother gave me. I believe my great-grandmother planted a "seed" through that purple-colored treat and connected me to my culture that is now the basis for all I do."
How are we different than any other gluten-free company? Voyaging Food produces Ancestral Taro Powder from Hawaiian Taro, as a beneficial fiber, natural gum and thickener for use in soups, stews, smoothies, or oatmeal. We also use it in all our baked goods and dry mixes.
Why Taro? Taro, a Tuber, contains fiber, iron and vitamin B's (most commonly missing in gluten-free diets) and is one of the most digestible food staples in the world. As a local food advocate, we only source Hawaiian Taro to increase food growing lands in Hawaii. With your support, we donate a portion of our proceeds back to Hawaii's community.
Here is a way to learn more about these organizations that Voyaging Foods holds dear:
Hokulea & Polynesian Voyaging Society : The Polynesian Voyaging Society is a non-profit research and educational corporation based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. PVS was established to research and perpetuate traditional Polynesian voyaging methods
Malama Learning Center : is a non-profit organization that brings art, science, conservation, and culture together to promote sustainable living throughout Hawai'i.
Kapolei High School Culinary Program & FCCLA : Family, Career & Community Leaders of America is a leadership and career development organization with a focus on family and community. It is a large national organization with chapters in public high schools and middle schools that offer Family & Consumer Science courses
Kako'o'oiwi: The mission of Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi is a Heʻeia, Oʻahu based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to perpetuate the cultural and spiritual practices of Native Hawaiians.
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 canoe-plant 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 parallels 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.
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Founder of Voyaging Foods
Taro painting for Voyaging Foods by Mike Carroll