Did This: Lei Fresh Launch Party

It’s hard to believe that despite the trend of farm-to-table and a bounty of locally grown fruits and vegetables, Hawaii is far from being sustainable when it comes to food.

We produce only 15 percent of what we consume. The rest is imported from elsewhere. Meaning, should something happen — natural disaster, war, dock strikes — we don’t produce enough food for our population to last a week.

That’s scary.

Enter Lei Fresh, a geo-location mobile app that connects consumers with the farmers and retailers offering fresh, local products. It will be available on iTunes starting Aug. 15.

You’ll know, in real time, where the freshest fruits and vegetables are being sold — and for how much!

Watch this PSA

Yesterday, one of the app’s creators, Melanie Kosaka (@shareyourtable), invited me to the launch party at the new Cafe Julia at the YWCA on Richards Street. (The executive chef here is Kosaka’s brother, Lance.)

Of course, there was awesome food — from downtown favorites like Mix Cafe and Umeke Market.

Here’s what the event looked like:

Lei Fresh

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A new food app means one thing: a launch event with great food. And that's exactly what we attended last night at Cafe Julia.

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4 Responses to “Did This: Lei Fresh Launch Party”

  1. Misty July 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Wow! That’s awesome. I like to see local apps… and I did not know that about ginger. But mmm the gingercooler looks so yummeh and refreshing. :)

  2. David Jackson July 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    That Lemon, Ginger syrup drinks looks pretty good! I have to try that sometime. After I make my first batch of homemade ginger ale that is…

    15% grown in the islands is not a lot of food. Actually that is pretty frightening on a lot of levels. Sure makes sense to grow a lot of your own stuff, learn how to can your own foods, and have a super large pantry. Makes sense to keep at least a year worth of food on hand in case a big time disaster happens.

  3. matt July 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    the problem with sustainability (sustAINAbility…not mine, but I saw it on a shirt in Hilo and liked it) is that we don’t have enough land to grow the staples profitably. can you imagine how much land and water Hawaii would require to just meet the rice demands? add on land for wheat for the whole state and you start to see the issues.

  4. Mahealani79 July 27, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Cat, mahalo for your piece on last night’s event. I’m in full supporter of the local food movement and food security. However, I am a little troubled about the provenance of the support/funding for this app. The ‘nonprofit’ Hawaii Agricultural Foundation was formed in partnership with the global genetically modified technology giant Monsanto. While it seems like a very useful service and a public service, the GMO-Monsanto connection makes me uneasy. Is it pure goodwill? I find it ironic… Terminator seed meets fresh + local?I really wish investigative journalism would shed light on this issue. The lines seem to be blurring. http://honoluluweekly.com/cover/2012/01/boss-gmo/

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