This past August, our research staff and volunteers visited St. Mark Lutheran School in Kaneohe, HI. The 4th grade class compared the nutritional content of traditional Hawaiian foods to that of their modern diet. (IAS Modules Food chemistry and Hawaiian Traditional Knowledge)
Students took samples from their lunch and mashed it up with water using a mortar and pestle. Then they prepared several test tubes with a small amount of their liquid food sample. They used several chemical tests that produced a color change to detect if their food contained starch, sugar, protein and fat. For example fats will stain bright red, if there is no sugar it will turn blue, it there is sugar it will turn orange.
Traditional Hawaiian food items were also tested in the same way. The students made comparisons and determined the traditional food items were a lot healthier.