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So women play a central role in the health of family and the nutritional balance lies in the garden.

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This central role needs to be highlighted and promoted so that women also know it's a powerful job they are doing. Last year we did the filming. We went to the central province in Papua New Guinea, met the community, and they took us to their garden and showed us their food and how they prepare the delicacies. We also documented their traditional fishing methods.

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We filmed in five countries in Melanesia. We went to Solomon Islands, where we filmed in the markets and shot different local foods that they identify with their culture. In Fiji, we interviewed farmers, what they produce culturally, what are the traditional cooking methods, whether it is with hot stones and burying food wrapped in banana leaves. There are medicinal properties of leaves cooked on hot stones.

Healthy Food for the Islands

In New Caledonia we met many communities along the coast and up in the mountains. We saw cooking in the mangroves and in an Earth oven.

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Cafe Melanesia film series will promote Melanesian culture and food culture to audiences in these islands. We are now working on creating the educational kits and dissemination of information.

The kit will also have DVD sets that the trainer or community leader can play in communities, go through resource kit on what's agroecology, agro-biodiversity and food sovereignty to educate communities. The goal is to protect and preserve their agrobiodiversity, which is also linked to dietary diversity throughout Melanesian countries. Our National airline, Air New Guinea, also showed our films in flight entertainment. The people love it. They love watching different food cultures and learning more about Papua New Guinea.

Children love the programs, as well as adults. They love seeing their own food and culture on TV. We had rain for three weeks straight with brief moments of sunlight. We have also had periods of drought. We need to find a wet region to save Taro seeds. We have a special dish that we make with ripe banana and coconut called ganamjub, a sweet porridge.

These foods are key to our culture. This is happening throughout the Pacific--foods that have a big cultural value are being destroyed. Agrobiodiversity is really important for our survival. If taro is not productive because of dry season, you have sweet potato that is drought resistant or tapioca planted in your garden. You have to make sure your garden is diverse.

Agrobiodiversity and climate change are linked together. People have to diversify not just what they are planting but where they are planting as well; they need more than one garden place, one close to the riverside during drought and away from the river during rains. I am thankful for funds available for these projects and people out there who see the importance of it. What the Agroecology Fund is focusing on is really important to indigenous farmers worldwide.

Often communities that we are working with in Papua New Guinea are overlooked by larger funders.

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Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Very informative book that gives a quick in depth look at Pacific Island cuisine in different regions, at times gives really nice background info on the history of the regions. At times, certain chapters go into further detail explaining some socio-economic patterns, class systems and cultural traditions as well.

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Food Culture in the Pacific Islands

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