Let's Talk Story - Down to Earth Blog

Night Market at Down to Earth Kapolei - Tues. July 15th

Our Kapolei store is having a Night Market and you're invited!  Join us for an entertaining evening Tuesday July 15th 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm.  It'll be in the parking lot and will feature 20 vendors and a great sale inside the store, where you will receive at least 35% off on ten great-selling items. All to the tune of live Hawaiian music by the Keanu Boom Kanani Band. Our Love Life! Community Outreach Team will be sampling yummy goodies from recipes we make in our free cooking classes.

Local Chefs Teach Cooking Classes at Down to Earth

We are pleased to announce an exciting new series of paid cooking classes that will be taught by local chefs in our beautiful Kapolei Community Kitchen. Each month we will invite a guest chef to share delicious plant-based recipes. This month, we are delighted to welcome chef Fortuna Arai to our Kapolei Community Kitchen on June 30th from 6:30pm-8pm.

MA‘O Farms Builds Community

A few weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to visit MA‘O Organic Farms, which is a 25-acre organic certified farm in Lualualei Valley on the western coast of O‘ahu, near the town of Wai‘anae.  The trip was just one of the many events I had planned as part of a three-day meeting that Down to Earth hosted for members of the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, who were visiting Hawaii from the mainland. 

Make a Difference this Earth Day!

Although Earth Day is officially April 22nd, Down to Earth will be celebrating it on Sunday April 27th with a special day of fun and music. Proceeds from tickets sold will go towards supporting an awesome new sustainability charter school in Kaimuki, the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS). Here's a great opportunity to support a worthwhile cause and have fun doing it!  For details click here.

Ili’ili Farms Turns Water Into Food

Tucked into the beautiful Lualualei Valley on the leeward coast of Oahu, are dozens of family farms growing a range of produce for the island. One of the newest in the valley is Ili’ili Farms, a certified organic aquaponics farm which we recently had the pleasure of visiting. Aquaponic farmers typically grow vegetables in water, instead of soil, where they place fish to nurture the plants.

Life Foods: Our Favorite New Brand!

I'm very excited to introduce Life Foods, Inc., one of our favorite new brands in the store. Life Foods is a Maui-based company that makes wonderfully delicious superfood products including veggie burgers, condiments, hot sauces, salad dressings and vegetable ferments. Life Foods was founded on Maui in 2013 and continues to expand throughout the islands (and soon mainland distribution!).

Sustainable Farming Trumps Industrial Methods

The need to produce more food in some regions of Asia during the past fifty years was—for a time—achieved by increasing the yields of grain crops by as much as 2.5 percent per year using industrial farming methods.  These methods relied on high-yielding hybrid seeds and more recently seeds of genetically modified (GM) crops, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and intense irrigation.  But by 2004 annual growth rates of crop yields began declining, e.g. the annual growth in yield for rice crops dropped to as low as .5 percent.

Soil is More Precious than Gold

As concern over diminishing soil quality grows in the Asia-Pacific region, natural farming methods may hold the cure.  The prime cause of soil erosion and nutrient depletion during the past thirty years is over-application of chemical fertilizer.  

This is the finding of a study by the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Science, which notes that farmers have become too dependent on artificial fertilizers.  They haven't been building up their soil with organic matter that nurtures the soil naturally and binds it together to help resist erosion due to wind and rain. 

The Diet Wars: Starch is Good

Mark Fergusson, Chief Organic Officer (CEO/CFO) Down to Earth Organic & Natural

In many Asian and South Asian cultures, the health benefits of rice and other staple starches are well established. Lacking this cultural knowledge, many people in Western countries have bought into fad diets that encourage the consumption of high-fat protein from meat and dairy products. These diets discourage people from eating starches and carbohydrates (grains).

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