Hawaiian Farmer Harvests 50-Pound Taro Root, Potential World Record

by Matthew Memrick

A 50-pound Taro Root dug up by a Hawaiian farmer could be a potential world record and also feed 180 people in the process.

Clarence and Nellie Medeiros pulled the corm from their farm on the Big Island. The couple owns the Aina’ Ahiu Farm in Hawaii Island’s South Kona district.

West Hawaii Today reported Medeiros plans to submit the taro root to the Guinness Book of World Records. While the current record is a 7-pound root from China in 2009, this one will easily surpass that mark.

The couple said the corm, likened to a potato, could feed nearly 200 people.

Taro Plants Average 2 Pounds, Never 50 Pounds 

While the couple’s corm came out of the ground weighing 50 pounds, the whole thing (corm, stalk, and leaves) measured in close to 100 pounds.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says taro plants usually grow between 1 and 2 pounds. 

The whole plant is edible, and there are several Hawaiian recipes for it.

While most know the staple poi, others make lau lau (fatty pork and salted butterfish), and squid luau with taro leaves out of the plant.

There are many ways to prepare the root. I’m not going to get all Bubba Gump here, but you can boil, roast, stir-fry, braise, fry, or bake the root. 

Taro Root Comes With Positives, Negatives To Eating

Like celery, the plant’s bottom (the huli) can be replanted and harvested again. 

“We are doing it with a purpose and to keep it going for generations,” Clarence Medeiros told the newspaper. “Our grandsons are putting the Huli back. It comes full circle. Different generations feeding the next generations.”

According to WebMD, the plant is an excellent source of fiber with good carbs. The root is swimming in high levels of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. Researchers say it can benefit a healthy immune system and may eliminate free radicals. It’s got a sweet, nutty taste, and some swear by its digestive system advantages and weight loss properties.

Beware, however, that the root does come with some hazards if eaten raw. The plant has a good bit of calcium oxalate. If it’s not heated property, that crystal-like poison can produce kidney stones in some people. Other hazards include mouth irritation in the form of numbing, burning, or an inching sensation

Can You Grow Taro Root In 48 States?

Well, the corm tends to grow well in tropical to subtropical climates. Many, however, produce the stuff in greenhouses.

However, the plant is considered invasive in several southeastern United States. For example, officials want you to report the plant if you spot it in Alabama.

Florida researchers claim the “aggressive weed” became an alternative to potatoes in 1910. Officials there want you to dig the plant up and throw it away.