Kai Piro, Oranga Tangata: Māori Fermented Food and Derived Health Benefits to Māori
Kai piro was traditionally a staple component of the Māori diet. However, over time and due to post-european contact, the practice of sourcing, processing, and consumption of kai piro has lessened to the degree in which it is no longer part of the common Māori diet today. The practice of kai piro is maintained today by remnants of an ageing Māori population.
The research questions asks what are the traditional Māori practices involved in the procurement and processing of kai piro for consumption, and the importance of collecting this data for future generations. The objectives of this project are to record the practices, lived experiences and narratives of the few practioners and knowledge-holders, and their belief in the health benefits derived from kai piro. The aim is to retain this mātauranga for future generations, with the intention to revitalise these traditional practices, in the hope that kai piro will once again become a staple component in the Māori diet of future generations.
This will be achieved through interviews, and documenting the procurement of the required foodstuffs (plants, trees, kaimoana, shellfish, fish and birds) suitable for processing kai piro for fermentation, and ultimately for consumption. This will form the background knowledge for future scientific collaborations into the health benefits.