By Dagny Brand
Producing 100% locally sourced and processed baby food, Punahele Provisions supports the local community through their dedication to Hawaiian agriculture and their all-natural food options for “everyone from hungry babies to adventurous adults.” “I was looking for ways to decrease Hawaii’s dependence on imported foods and help bolster our local food system to encourage future generations and to take care of the land,” explained owner Ethan West, who noticed a need for safer and healthier baby food after his niece and nephew were born and he noticed the toxic chemicals in traditional baby food. “Our mission is to create the best baby food in the world and to bring it to the world by sourcing sustainably, processing minimally, and presenting transparently.”
Punahele Provisions embraces local and cultural ingredients to make three different flavors of their baby food puree. “The first 1000 days of life are incredibly important for building the essential building blocks for the rest of your life,” said West, emphasizing the importance of healthy baby food. The Okinawan Sweet Potato, Banana, and Taro flavor is a favorite of West and the happy baby consensus. The company also makes a Kabocha, Pineapple, and Breadfruit flavor and a Spinach, Green Beans, Banana, and Pineapple flavor. Punahele Provisions is planning to create 6 to 9 new flavors of puree in addition to developing snacks, like taro crackers and juices, to accompany the purees. To increase local production in response to COVID-19, Punahele Provisions brought in the equipment and expertise necessary to process their products in Hawaii. “It’s important to not only grow the ingredients for Punahele Provisions 100% in Hawaii but also to process and make the products 100% in Hawaii.”
Using only whole fruits and vegetables, Punahele Provisions is proud to source 100% of their ingredients from Hawaii-based farmers and producers, including Kahumana Organic Farms, Hawaii Ulu Cooperative, and Oko’a Farms. “All of our partners have an incredible story and create opportunities not only for economic viability for the community but also for healthy food options,” said West, who understands that sourcing and buying locally supports both the farmers and the local economy as a whole. To support the community in other ways, Punahele Provisions partners with Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii and Pacific Gateway Center, helping familial health and those affected by human trafficking. “Our ethos has always been about our farming partners and about the people that are taking care of the land.”
Aimed to support the Hawaiian community in every aspect, Punahele Provisions accomplishes their goal of increasing Hawaii’s self-sustainability while providing all-natural foods to Hawaii’s growing babies. Their products are available online and can be shipped across the islands and mainland for free. Punahele Provisions can also be found at Kualoa Market and through CSAs including Oahu Fresh. As of last week, they launched with Down to Earth, so their products can be found there now as well!
For more information on Punahele Provisions, their healthy and natural baby food, and their community outreach, click here.