Some forty years ago our supermarkets looked very different. Smaller, other products, limited product choice and more produce from the island and locations nearby.
Today we buy tamarind from Thailand, aloe vera from Korea, goat meat from New Zealand and thousands of processed products from abroad, which makes Curacao dangerously dependent on other countries to feed us.
Can we still turn our focus back to the island?
Supermarkets, restaurants, cafes and truk’i pan all form a complex but reliable food chain, feeding the hungry citizens of the island and over 400 thousand tourists a year.
Partly fueled by the islands cosmopolitan tastes, and by its impressively capacious trading port, over 90 percent of Curacaos total food supply is imported. The nations that feed this country include the United States, Brazil, the Netherlands and several countries in the far East.
It’s a situation that makes some uneasy. Lack of education and awareness, combined with a belief that agricultural work is ‘dirty’ and ‘too tough to handle’, have created a country disengaged with the origins of its food.
Several local start-ups question the willingness to rely on other countries for food and have taken initiatives to challenge cultural and social roadblocks and produce food in a sustainable way.