As COVID-19 devastates tourism, Vanuatu aims to build a disaster-resilient, sustainable future by promoting the use of local indigenous foods.

For Vanuatu-based nutritionist, entrepreneur, and local food advocate Votausi Lucyann Mackenzie-Reur, economic migration, the rise of the tourist economy, and the growing availability of cheap imported foods have had a major impact on food security in the island nation. She said many of her fellow Ni-Vanuatu have forgotten how to grow, cook, preserve, and consume local, Indigenous foods over the last 50 years.

“Food security, climate change, and biodiversity can all be tackled by promoting and advocating the use of local traditional foods,” Mackenzie-Reur said. “We don’t need science to tell us that the foods and diets that sustained us for centuries are better.”