The Ministry of Health and Medical Services cookbook ‘Khana Kakana’ has placed healthy Fijian food in the global spotlight after winning second place for best health and nutrition cookbook in the world at the 2015 Gourmand Cookbook Awards.
The International Gourmand Cookbook Awards are the food world’s version of the Oscar Awards, and Khana Kakana competed against the best cookbooks in the world from 205 countries. 92 countries made it to the shortlist along with Khana Kakana. Seven top health and nutrition cookbooks were shortlisted from Canada, the UK, Malaysia, Oman, the Netherlands and Sweden.These cookbooks covered a wealth of healthy topics from foods from obesity prevention to brain and eye health.
Despite this tough competition, Khana Kakana placed second thanks to its focus on healthy eating using local Fijian produce. First place went to a creative cookbook from Sweden which contains beautiful photography and specialized recipes for people with stomas.
Khana Kakana encourages Fijians to eat simple, healthy and affordable meals that use locally grown seasonal produce.
The Hon. Minister for Health and Medical Services, Mr Jone Usamate said “The cookbook has a uniquely healthy Fijian flavor, made up of recipes by both renowned chefs and local Fijians from around the country using fresh, local and affordable ingredients. With nutrition advice snippets and gardening tips, the cookbook provides a total diet solution and inspiration for all Fijians”.
“These efforts are not only improving the health of Fijians and building pride in our foods, but also changing the agricultural and tourism sector as demand for Fijian grown produce increases”.
The Ministry hopes that these efforts will instill a sense of pride in Fijian food and encourage more people to choose healthy local foods to prevent from developing non-communicable diseases.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services would like to thank all Fijians and organisations involved in the making of Khana Kakana, including the Australian Government, the Australian and Fijian Red Cross, Fiji Health Sector Support Program and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
Meanwhile the cookbook is being distributed throughout Fiji free of charge by Ministry dieticians, doctors and nurses. It can also be found on the Ministry’s website at www.health.gov.fj and Facebook page.