HONOLULU (KHON2) — We love to eat in Hawaii, but the vast majority of our food comes from thousands of miles away. How can we reduce the climate impact of what we eat, eat healthier, and support local? On this episode of Empowered, we’ll visit three organizations that are demonstrating the answers to these questions. We’ll also see how some local ingenuity is helping Maui produce both food and fuel.

MA‘O organic farms is the largest provider of organic produce in the state. But fruits and veggies are actually a byproduct of their larger mission—growing a social enterprise that empowers youth. Young folks learn real-life skills and can receive scholarships while working on the Waianae-based farm. The fresh, organic produce that they grow is sold in restaurants and stores across Oahu.

Pacific Biodiesel has been turning waste oils and greases from restaurants into high quality biodiesel fuel for nearly 30 years. Now they are expanding their operations by growing an oil crop in central Maui: sunflower. The fresh oil are used for cooking and dressings in local restaurants, and some of those restaurants then give their used oil back to Pacific Biodiesel to make fuel.

Mama’s Fish House is an iconic restaurant located in Paia, Maui. Chef Perry Bateman puts his abundant skills to work creating award-winning dishes that feature local seafood and fresh local produce. He also uses the fresh, local culinary oils produced by Pacific Biodiesel. The restaurant participates in the circular economy by recycling their used oil into biodiesel.

Join us as we journey from the farm to the table and dive into solutions about Hawaii’s food security.