Kauai News

Wilcox Goes Meatless on Mondays

Posted May 20, 2022, 3:56 PM HST

In an effort to create a healthier Hawai‘i and increase use of local produce, the Wilcox Health Café will institute “Meatless Mondays” starting May 23.

Meals will feature locally grown produce sourced from across the state. Wilcox Health has partnered with Mālama Kaua‘i to connect with farmers located in Moloa‘a on the North Shore of the island as well as those in the Līhu‘e area. The medical center also works with Sugarland Growers in Kunia and Aloun Farms in Kapolei on O‘ahu for tomatoes, zucchini, green bell peppers and cabbage.

“The quality of fresh Hawai‘i produce far surpasses imported produce,” said Robin Lotu, director of food and nutrition at Wilcox Medical Center. “Local produce gets to your plate quicker than imported vegetables, which means it contains a higher nutrient value.”

Hot entrées and the salad bar will be meatless every Monday. Beef, pork, chicken and fish will be absent from the menu. In their place will be vegetarian options such as taro burgers, zucchini patties, vegetable pancit and Chinese chicken salad made with meatless “chicken” strips.

While the café won’t be serving meat or meat-containing products, foods produced by animals, such as milk, eggs, cheese and honey, will be available.

The café also will have assorted grab-and-go items from local vendors who use locally sourced vegetables. Some examples include kimchi wraps, quinoa and kale bowls, tofu and vegetable onigrazu (musubi), and chickpea sandwiches.

“Fresh produce is sweet, crisp, crunchy and aromatic – you feel like you’re eating the rainbow,” Lotu said.

The initiative kicks off Monday, May 23, in conjunction with the weeklong Healthier Happens Together Wilcox Health Employee Wellness Fair.

“We are excited and hope our staff and community will embrace and enjoy our Meatless Monday meal service,” Lotu said.

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