Biodiversity You Can Crunch Into.




A delicious crispy snack that supports biodiversity (it’s one of the Rediscovered 25) and is highly nutritious with a good dose of dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. A staple root, native to SE Asia & India, but popular in Hawaii, this hairy and rough looking cousin of the potato is a great alternative to highly processed potato chips.

Kalo is Hawaiian for Taro, and to Hawaiian culture it’s so much more than just a humble crop. Hawaiian legend depicts how Kalo was born from the first-born son of Papa, the Earth Mother, and Wākea, the Sky Father. After their first born entered the world stillborn then buried, the Kalo plant emerged from his body. Papa eventually had another son, Hāloa, who is considered the first Hawaiian person. In fact, Hawaiians all trace their lineage back to Hāloa and his brother, the Kalo plant.

Over the last century the amount Taro produced has fallen considerably. There were once around 200-300 cultivars and today there are only about 80-90. But today, every Taro chip you snack helps support the extensive community of farmers and processors in Hawaii who work tirelessly to cultivate this important crop.


Concept Inspired By...

Kalo was inspired by the following movements, technologies, and trends in food today.

  • Agrobiodiversity: A measure of the diversity of organisms in an ecosystem. In nature, where biodiversity exists, the system is typically more resilient to threats such as disease and pests. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines Agrobiodiversity as, “The variety and variability of animals, plants and microorganisms that are used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries. It comprises the diversity of genetic resources (varieties, breeds) and species used for food, fodder, fibre, fuel and pharmaceuticals. It also includes the diversity of non-harvested species that support production (soil microorganisms, predators, pollinators), and those in the wider environment that support agro-ecosystems (agricultural, pastoral, forest and aquatic) as well as the diversity of the agro-ecosystems."

  • Regional Flavor: Locally made packaged food products have been in existence since the the dawn of the packaged food industry. However, with the Green Revolution, we lost that sense of place behind a lot of packaged food. Food was simply manufactured and the origins of the ingredients were obfuscated behind opaque ingredient labels. But the movement to bring back food that tastes like a region is back. More and more food producers are creating products that tout a certain crop or animal’s geography as a key component to the story and taste.

    • Sample Organizations: Anson Mills, Washington State University Bread Lab

    • Read More: Modern Farmer (http://bit.ly/2r4IznD)