Farmer’s Market, Kona Style

When in Kona, eat Hawaiian Style!

In other words, go local!  

And what better way to do that than to visit the Wednesday morning Farmer’s Market on Ali’i Drive?

The Kona Farmer’s Market has abundantly fresh, local fruits and vegetables used in Hawaii Regional Cuisine featuring exotic varieties that are as intriguing as they are tasty. White pineapples, rainbow papayas, dragon fruit, breadfruit, apple bananas and so much more.1

On an island with such abundance, it always makes me feel a bit sad to ponder just how many of the athletes, friends and family in tow who are here for ironman are making a beeline straight to Costco or Walmart to stock up on packaged, boxed or canned items to see them through the week leading up to the race, rather than taking advantage of all the natural fare the island has to offer.

Sadly, it’s not just visitors to the islands who are stocking up on highly refined foods; nearly three-quarters of Native Hawaiians are overweight or obese, compared with approximately half of whites, Filipinos and Japanese, according to Health Department surveys. More alarming is that 43 percent of Native Hawaiians are obese, compared with 22 percent of the overall adult population2.

Is it strictly down to cost?

Actually, it’s not.

According to a study3, comparisons of conventionally raised produce on average are priced the same at supermarkets and farmers markets alike.

As for organic products, it turns out that farmers’ markets are actually cheaper on average than at the grocery store4.

And the stereotype that farmers’ markets are only supported by affluent neighborhoods?

60 percent of farmers’ market shoppers in low-income areas of the country feel that their local markets offered better prices than supermarkets, and only 17 percent of shoppers cited ‘high prices’ as a deterrent to shopping locally.

So if pricing isn’t the issue one might think it is, and if eating fresh, locally grown produce not only helps nourish your own body (and mind), but the economy in your area (or the area you’re visiting), why not make a quick stop there when you’re in town?

Chances are, you would have bought at least some of the very same items elsewhere anyway.

If there’s any doubt in your mind, pop into the local KTA store and see their cold, unripe bananas, the green, hard papayas picked too soon and the produce imported from other parts of the world (why we need blueberries from Chile here, or apples from New York is a question I cannot even begin to address) and then compare it to what you’d get at the farmer’s market or even a roadside coconut or banana stand.

Hands down, it’s an absolute no-brainer.

Go local and go there today!




[2] “Hawaiians Dying Young | The Honolulu Advertiser | Hawaii’s Newspaper.” Hawaiians Dying Young | The Honolulu Advertiser | Hawaii’s Newspaper. The Honolulu Advertiser, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2015

[3] “NOFA-VT Pricing Study.” NOFA-VT Pricing Study. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2015

[4] Pritchard, Forrest. “First Time Shopping at a Farmers’ Market? 5 Things You Need to Know.” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2015