Long Reads

Cooking on Guam: When a Tropical Paradise is a Food Desert

Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a beautiful tropical island in the middle of the Pacific. Palm trees bend and sway with the weight of fresh coconuts, colorful reef fish swim in water so blue you strain to distinguish between sea and sky. It's every image of paradise Hollywood has ever sold, and you're there, toes deep in satiny sand.

Now wake up, buttercup, because it's time to make dinner.

When my husband accepted a job on the U.S. territory of Guam, it was easy to picture the positives. Yes, it's gorgeous, and yes, the locals are warm and welcoming. But grocery shopping? That’s a whole different kettle of (probably flash-frozen) fish. In this era of "locavore" everything, I’ve quickly learned what it's like to live on a food desert island, a place where well over 90% of the food we can buy has been shipped at great cost halfway around the world—and where there are plenty of fairly common ingredients we simply can’t find.

Take my favorite recipe for meatballs with pappardelle, which starts off with a blend of ground beef, pork, and veal. Veal is unavailable, so I use half beef, half pork instead. Next, I need fresh breadcrumbs, milk, and eggs, to bind the meat together. I can’t buy a crusty baguette (my usual preference), so the breadcrumbs I use end up coming from my kids’ sandwich bread.

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Milk is easy to find, though expensive: I spend about 20% of my weekly grocery bill on three gallons . Shipping any kind of food around the world isn’t cheap. When fresh berries appear (and aren’t moldy) a pint can run over $8. There were a few weeks at the end of 2015 when bagged lettuce cost $11, which temporarily made salads a non-starter for my family of five. I’m lucky, though, because I have access to military commissaries—if I shopped at local stores, prices would run up to 40% higher for “core items.”

And the eggs I’m looking for? Those often reach the shelves months after they’re laid. After searching for the freshest carton, I bought a dozen in mid-February that had been packed in November.

So, I’ve got my meat and my binder, but now I need seasoning. Onions and garlic are often moldy by the time they reach us, and shallots are old and dried out. I’d like to throw a handful of freshly grated authentic Parmesan in there, too, but I can only buy “parmesan” cheese on the island, and honestly, I’d rather skip it.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say I do find good onions and that there’s still some cheese left over from my last trip to the U.S. or Asia. (Yes, I load my suitcase up with cheese. When I travel, I find myself leaving most of my suitcase empty for the groceries I’m planning to bring back. Sometimes that translates into “nice to haves,” like Trader Joe’s aioli mustard (I’m addicted) and gummy tummies for the kids. Sometimes it’s cheese, country ham, aged balsamic vinegar, double zero flour, and stone-ground grits.)

Even if I make all of those adjustments to the meatballs themselves, the fresh egg pasta I love is unavailable, and by now I’m too discouraged and fed up to make my own. Because at this point, I’m not really making my favorite meatballs with pappardelle anymore.

And a vegetable for the side? When I make a grocery list, I don’t even include produce. It’s too frustrating; better to show up and buy whatever looks best, even if that means I can’t make the thing I’m craving until the next ship pulls in.

The compromises I must make in terms of availability, price, freshness, and quality in order to source almost every ingredient of a not-very-complicated recipe render what used to be a simple comfort food neither simple nor comforting. Some of my favorite dishes (fresh guacamole or redeye gravy for Sunday biscuits) aren’t possible here, and can’t be faked.

Is Guam truly a food desert? Not technically. We always have access to food—even produce, if you’re willing to buy frozen when the fresh options run out or go bad. Happily, the island got its first CSA (through a co-op of local farmers) about six months ago and the farmers' market seems to be slowly but surely expanding. There are a limited number of local items sporadically available—mostly lettuces, gourds, bananas, long beans, eggplant, and a citrus called calamansi—and I’m hopeful that demand will push local farmers to expand their efforts. I read recently that the commissaries here purchase only about 1% of the food they sell from local sources, but we are hungry for better, fresher options.

Still, it’s hard to reconcile the tropical beauty around me—the abundance of sunlight and jungle and ocean—with moments like the one today, when I heard a local KFC ad promoting “the biggest variety of seafood on Guam.”

40 Comments

Elizabeth B. April 12, 2016
2015 article on guam.stripes.com literally begins: "On any given day on Guam, you don’t have to drive far to find yourself face to face with the island’s freshest produce." - See more at: http://guam.stripes.com/travel/fresh-factor-week-market-shopping-guam#sthash.wxut485z.dpuf<br />
 
Folha April 6, 2016
Welcome to immigrant life! Those feelings of homesickness, amplified by the inability to produce the flavors that you're familiar with, are symptoms that every first generation immigrant has experienced on arrival to their new home. It takes time - months, years - to adjust. But it's also not anything new. Do what other first generation immigrants have done - find the best ingredients that you can, don't be afraid to experiment, and riff on the dishes you love to make. Don't expect them to be just like what you'd make at home; instead, consider them new, and cherished, dishes in your repertoire that reflect your unique experiences abroad, and understand that you'll feel a similar longing for them once you return to the mainland and lose access to those ingredients. <br /><br />Consider yourself fortunate that you have the option to return to the mainland one day. Many immigrants, or at least those from my parents' generation, left their home countries with no expectation that they'd ever return. You are an expat. Your loneliness is temporary.<br /><br />In short, stop complaining and start living. No one likes to hear whining :)
 
Jessica P. March 31, 2016
Hi everyone,<br /><br />I don't usually weigh in on controversies via the comments section, but I can see both sides of this issue.<br /><br />I moved to Guam 7 years ago. The problem we Mainlanders have is unrealistic expectations. This is a U.S. territory, sure, but primarily it is an island 6,000 miles from the Mainland with a different culture, landscape, and agriculture. Treat Guam as an exotic foreign country and you'll be less disappointed.<br /><br />That being said, even locals are frustrated at the supermarket. Blame that on U.S. shipping regulations that don't benefit the residents of this island. It's a long and sordid history, but one worth understanding so you can put the blame where it belongs. Google "The Jones Act."<br /><br />I'm not military, so I can't/don't shop on base. Yes, I pay 40% more for "basics" and sometimes they are rotten. However, there ARE options for eating local and most of the local fusion restaurants are stellar. Ask the chefs what's in season and where to get it. <br /><br />Guam avocados are simply divine. They are huge and creamy and falling off the trees during avocado season. Make friends with locals and you'll find them giving you bags of fresh mango and avocado during the season.<br /><br />The reason Guamanians get so upset by these negative editorials is that they don't have much of a voice in the mainstream media. Guam is nearly always filtered through the lens of an outsider, painting an incomplete and inaccurate representation. There's so much more to Guam than brown tree snakes and military bases. As outsiders, we should think twice about representing an entire island or culture negatively in the mainstream media, especially when we are new here.<br /><br />I wanted Mainlanders to know and appreciate the beauty of Guam and its food and culture, so I started TheGuamGuide.com. A military dependent started writing a column on my site called "The Fresh Factor" about her search for local food. To her, sourcing local produce was like a treasure hunt. She visited all the local markets and produce stands and sourced and invented recipes. Read more: http://theguamguide.com//?s=the+fresh+factor<br /><br />As you've already discovered, there is an entire organization dedicated to supporting Guam farmers and helping the community source local produce. FarmToTableGuam.org sells a weekly box of ALL LOCAL produce in their CSA Subscription Program. They also supply recipes cards, but you can source authentic Chamorro recipes by the gazillions online.<br /><br />Guamanians are fierce defenders of their island, but don't take these negative or nasty comments the wrong way. Learn and adapt to life here and you'll be happier. I know from experience!
 
Ahtoy March 26, 2016
The problem with this article lies in your title, a reflection of your attitude towards Guam. Clearly, you see Guam as some Hollywood product that you can buy, a tropical paradise, and you have been ripped off. You have the privilege of not having to know or care about what the true reasons why fresh food is not readily available on Guam - centuries of colonization and oppression that still act on Guam's people to this day. You don't experience individual and structural discrimination that robs you of every kind of decision you should be able to make as a human being, from political decisions about your economy all the way down to what kinds of groceries you would like to buy. Instead, you chose to exercise your privilege by writing a negative article about Guam, on a highly regarded website, to an audience that may never again hear of Guam, in a world where people from Guam rarely have a chance to be considered in their entirety, for who they are as people. All because you can't make meatballs. To you, Guam is just a place where you can't buy what you want. And now to Food52, Guam is just a "food desert", thanks to you. <br /><br />My advice: try the kelaguen.
 
Kelley T. March 22, 2016
The issue most people are having with this seems tied to the use of the term "food desert." Since that's defined as a place where it's difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food, and given the price of milk (the opposite of affordable) and the age of the eggs (the opposite of fresh), I'd say it's warranted on those two examples alone. Besides, my sense of the piece was more about the play on words that even a lush tropical paradise of an island can have an element of the desert about it. <br /><br />I guess I hate watching comments that gang up an author. It's nice that so many people love the food in Guam, but that doesn't mean you have to negate Kimberly's opinions. I could just as easily write an opinion piece about how grateful I am to live on the west coast, where veggies actually play a central role in every meal...vs. someplace else I've lived and visited, like the midwestern US, and I'd get plenty of negative responses to that, too! Thanks to everyone who kept their comments kind, considerate, and civil.
 
Leslie March 24, 2016
I do take issue with the use of the term "food desert" in regards to Guam. Guam is a tiny tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We don't have land to raise cattle commercially for locally-produced beef or milk, and it's not a native product anyway. Neither are chickens, incidentally, though, as noted below, local eggs are available. Neither is wheat or corn. Staples of a tropical diet -- seafood, fruit and local vegetables, ARE available and plentiful. So classifying Guam as a food desert due to unavailability of staples of a different diet is inaccurate. <br /><br />As far as people ganging up on the author, personally, I don't think she means to slam Guam or its food. But articles online about food on Guam are so few and far between, that when one appears, along with a pretty severe headline, itself describing Guam as a food desert, I think it's completely fair that people will express their disagreement.
 
Elizabeth B. March 29, 2016
Soooo it's okay to gang up on Guam and an entire population by painting us as a food desert and it's not okay to criticize the author and editors of this piece? Ah I see how it works.
 
Author Comment
Kimberly H. March 21, 2016
In a relatively short piece, it wasn't possible to say everything I wanted to say about food shopping here. I'm happy that so many people have had positive experiences with some of the great local products (as have I, in fact), but the fact remains that most of our food IS shipped onto the island--I took a tour of the Center for Sustainability at UOG and we were told it's around 95%. Purely by the numbers, it translates that most of what most people eat is not local, even if that doesn't hold true for everyone. I love and shop at the Fisherman's Co-op and am aware of (and eat at) a rising number of restaurants that are making it a point to use local products. That doesn't mean that it isn't challenging to food shop here. I didn't cast any aspersions on local products other than to say that I wish there were more of them so we were less reliant on shipped in products that are both costly and suffer in quality.
 
Melissa March 21, 2016
Håfa adai Kimberly!<br /><br />It's true; most of the food you would normally find in a grocery store is shipped to Guam and fresh produce just isn't as fresh. I know, as many locals do, that grocery shopping simply isn't done in one place and I've learned to make a day of it. <br /><br />If you want fresh vegetables, don't go to a store; visit one of the local night markets or one of the farmers' stands on the side of the road. Local produce is delicious and it's always fun to meet new people. Looking for fresh fruit, start a family project and plant some! Tropical fruit is so tasty and if you don't want to wait that long, farmers sell them at village markets, as well! <br /><br />Need fresher meat? Luckily, we have some of the freshest seafood around and it's caught, can be cleaned, and prepared for you all day, every day at the boat basin. <br /><br />Shopping can get expensive if the only place you're going are supermarkets. Venture off base, meet new people, and get lost in the culture of Guam. If you haven't learned yet, food is the center of the culture and locals would be proud and happy to open share their homes and home cooking secrets with you.<br /><br />Guam is tiny but her people's love for local food is not. I hope you make your way beyond the gate and get lost in the culture. You'll find that the island life is truly an abundant one, very unlike the food desert that you may see it. <br /><br />Have fun exploring!
 
Karin M. March 20, 2016
I grew up on Guam. I was born in 1979 and left in 1997 to come to the mainland for college. I stayed on the mainland after college and was able to visit only once since leaving, in 2000. I have many friends and family still on Guam. You know what I miss most about Guam that I cannot replicate here on the mainland? The food! Guam has some of the best foods! My mouth waters just thinking about it! I envy you and your access to such foods. The last thing I would call Guam is a food desert. I know, my first hand knowledge is not recent. But I do know that growing up there we found the food we needed for local, American, German, and other international dishes. I also know that food variety and availability has only gotten better over the years. Your writing leaves me wondering if you have ever ventured off the base. I read the comments and you say you have, but I wonder how far you have gone. Perhaps you could take a Saturday to explore the island and local food sources. I know Guam isn't the states. I would never expect to go to a vastly different place and be able to find everything the same as the place I left. Get to know to awesome local cuisine, go to local restaurants, go to local shops, and immerse yourself in a different culture.
 
billbord2 March 20, 2016
your article was the topic of the morning discussion on 99.5...too bad you missed it as it had an abundance of information you did not cover on your shopping experiences...being that this appears to be your first article, i will refrain from considering it anything but an opinion piece albeit misinformed as you can clearly see with the abundance of information supplied below you did not come across during your "research." a few suggestions...fisherman's co-op, night markets mentioned below w/ local cucumbers and misc. vegetables, including local avocado (guacamole is not impossible here). Finally, to close your article with an ad you heard during Lent season from a fast food restaurant promoting its seafood menu as having "the biggest variety of seafood on island" was a crass attempt to support the article you just posted. It is very unfortunate you would share something so misleading without any effort to prove the opposite (ad you heard that day) and which clearly displays your preference in using facts vs. opinion...
 
Aurora M. March 20, 2016
Wow. I couldn't disagree with you more. I have in my freezer fresh tuna and fresh wahoo, both caught by my brother in law. I eat fish for lunch daily, along with fresh produce that I purchase locally at the local supermarkets. the moment, we are waiting to harvest our first crop of fruit and vegetables. We started our garden a few months ago. And yes, I'm local. My dad was a Veteran, so I have lived on base. I can think of at least 10 local restaurants that serve fresh, local fish and produce, and I know there are many more restaurants. <br />I'm extremely offended at your blog. Coming from a fellow military family, I'm embarrassed by your assumptions. Please do some more research.
 
Teena March 20, 2016
Venture outside the base commissary. Local farmers at various markets offer such an amazing array of fresh produce. Once you have, I would love to find out what you have discovered. Another suggestion...please take the time to do more research about the island's history as many here disagree with your assumptions about beautiful Guam.
 
Fiona B. March 20, 2016
I live on an Outer Hebridean Island (Scotland). In bad weather the ferries are often cancelled and then, the shelves in the Island supermarket are bare. We do however have excellent local fish, shellfish and venison. I shop and then decide what we will eat for supper i.e. what is available. In many ways too much choice is distracting. I have a real problem choosing between cleaning products, when I get to a mainland shop nowadays. Less can become more - I now cook with seaweed (which I didn't do when I lived on the Scottish mainland). There is still much to learn but I've written a book, it's called Seaweed in the Kitchen. Island life has its benefits http://www.amazon.com/Seaweed-Kitchen-English-Fiona-Bird/dp/1909248398
 
Author Comment
Kimberly H. March 19, 2016
The first thing I did when I arrived on island was survey every off-base grocery store and market I could find. If anyone has specific suggestions that I have perhaps missed, I would love to hear about them! I love cooking with Asian/tropical ingredients. but I wrote about meatballs because they are a pretty basic food with very basic ingredients (milk, eggs, bread, onions) that I struggle with for the various reasons mentioned above. Thanks to Leslie for pointing me in the direction of a store that sells local eggs, that will make a big difference!
 
Caoilte K. March 21, 2016
Hey Kim! Like you, I'm a temporary island-girl here on Guam. I had the good fortune of finding a job off base and am constantly grilling my co-workers about food and restaurants (luckily they are amused, not annoyed). So let me pass on these gems: For fresh fish: the Pay-Less Supermarket and the Guam Fishermen's Co-op in Hagatna (the other Pay-Less locations might also have fish, but I'm less sure about that), and the Agat Night Market. For "European-style" bread, checkout the Crown Bakery chain (I go to the one in Barrigada, but there's also one Yigo) or Cup & Saucer in Hagatna. You might be out of luck on the veal, but I'd give the Pay-Less locations a call. I know they stock lamb. Happy cooking! :)
 
Author Comment
Kimberly H. March 22, 2016
Thanks, Caoilte. I've visited all except for the Night Market, but would love to check that out as well!
 
Elizabeth B. March 19, 2016
It sounds like your base is the food desert, not Guam itself. We have tons of gorgeous exotic fruits and vegetables and local seafood.
 
toni March 18, 2016
"Get off the military base and make friends with the locals, see what they are growing and eating and truely experience Locavore eating for your location, not the continental US." <br /><br />I could not agree more. As someone who has shopped at SEVERAL commissaries all over the globe, I can assure you: the Guam commissaries have similar fare to every commissary on this planet. They only provide basics which can be bought at cost. <br /><br />Whenever I'm on Guam, I eat like a king. Then again, I don't go to the chain restaurants and most of the food I eat is fresh from the sea or grown locally. I also shop at some of the smaller, niche grocery stores. If you can't find good food on Guam, that's a user error IMHO.
 
Jackie March 18, 2016
I can sympathize with your frustration of not being able to cook the things you used to the way you used to with the ease that you used to, because I moved to Japan where unlike you, I couldn't and can't even read the labels on the products I'm buying and when I laid eyes on some of the fresh produce, I literally had no clue what I was looking at. I've cried in a soy sauce aisle because I was overwhelmed with the 25 brands of soy sauce being unable to read what differentiated one brand from another. Culture shock is real, and it hits you hard when you're homesick and can't instantly indulge yourself in the familiar comforts of the taste of home. But it's really, really harsh to call Guam a food desert. It's not. It's home to a lot of really good food and aside from the local cuisine, really a wonderful place to expose yourself cuisine from surrounding communities. I know the pain and frustration of just wanting the food you want to eat, when you want to eat it, believe me, but at the end of the day, you just have to tell yourself that it's pointless moving to a different place if all you want to do is eat and experience the same food you have all your life. Accepting that certain things, like meatballs and papardelle, will just be stuck in pages of nostalgia until you return home is part and parcel of a decision people make when leaving their home. Your time there is short, so get your fill of things you wouldn't see anywhere else. Meatballs will still be waiting for you later, I guarantee it.
 
Leslie March 18, 2016
I don't think it's accurate to refer to the entire island of Guam as a food desert, which is an area with little to no access to grocery stores that sell vegetables or fruit. It's true that when I travel, I stock up on things that I would predictably not be able to get here-- Mimi actually just handed me a jar of duck fat the other day (thanks Mimi!). And sometimes, when I am making a few different kinds of pizzas, I do have to drive to a few different grocery stores to assemble the variety of cheeses I want, but how surprised should I be that not every store carries Fontina? Veal is certainly not something I've ever seen here, but that's not a local protein, and there isn't enough demand for it to be shipped here. I run a food tour business, and a Japanese guest of mine was just commenting to me how exciting it was for him to have tuna sashimi here that just came out of the water this morning. I'm a mahimahi girl myself, and the years I spent in California and New York doesn't give me the constant access I have here. Strawberries? Also obviously not something that grows here. But how about papaya, mango, soursop, guava, atis, and starapple (not to be confused with starfruit), that I am thrilled to report is in season now, as evidenced by the literal hundreds of star apples waiting to be picked from my dad's tree. It sounds like you're having trouble adjusting to the items available locally, and that is a tough adjustment for all of us who eventually move back home. But the unavailability of produce and proteins that don't naturally grow in a tropical climate does not render the island a food desert. It does force you to be creative if you want more variety. I'm experimenting with breadfruit gnocchi myself for our upcoming supper club. So I don't really know what else to say. Your frustrations echo a lot of my own, but I imagine it would be difficult for you to find some of our local ingredients here in the states.
 
Leslie March 18, 2016
And Chef Lisa, I've lived on Guam for 23 years. I've seen a brown tree snake all of 4 times, out in overgrown areas. People who live here know that while people joke a lot about snakes on Guam, it's really a worn-out misconception of every day life here. I don't know how long your short visit was here, or where you lived/worked, but unless you lived out in the jungle, I suspect you probably didn't see many of them either. People don't make it out here much, but it's a shame that that's what people know about us, and it's only perpetuated by unqualified comments like that.
 
cv March 19, 2016
Snakes prefer to eat rodents, not humans. That's generally a good thing.<br /><br />Would you rather have no snakes and a bunch of mice and rats running around all over the place or would you be okay with the occasional snake sighting and fewer rodents?<br /><br />Generally speaking, reptiles are very wary of tall, heavy, noisy, smelly humans and would rather have nothing to do with our species.
 
Chef L. March 18, 2016
I spent some time on Guam as part of my work life, a very short time, but quite long enough. Find something to do with snakes, as those are plentiful!
 
Author Comment
Kimberly H. March 18, 2016
I worked hard to discover local ingredients and recipes when we arrived here, just as I've done other places we have lived around the world. Unfortunately we simply aren't able to grow a large scale garden where we live, and the local produce is only bountiful enough to supplement what we can buy at the grocery store or commissary, not replace it. But I definitely stop at any roadside stand with local fruits and vegetables for sale!<br /><br /> I didn't talk much about seafood, but that has been one of the biggest disappointments of moving here--I pictured locals eating tons of fresh fish all the time, but that just isn't the case. I can think of only two dedicated seafood restaurants, one of which serves only shrimp (not local) and the other a variety of fish, only a few of which can be locally sourced. As I said, there is a push for all of these things to change--a few popular restaurants are now insisting on local produce, which has had a great impact--and I would happily embrace more local options. Thanks, all, for your suggestions!
 
foofaraw March 18, 2016
I am curious, what do people usually eat in Guam? Is there any traditional market there? I have been to several place in Asia and US but haven't been to Guam so I can't picture the place.<br /><br />Sorry the seafood is not that great. I am surprised that an island doesn't seem to have fisheries going on there *should remember next time that not all island living==seafood*. Hope you have a great time staying there and the food situation improves.
 
cv March 18, 2016
I'm curious as to what Guam residents ate 50-100 years ago when food shipments weren't commonplace, either by sea or air. <br /><br />The island has been inhabited for four thousand years and for 99% of that time, they have been eating was they could find within a day's boat trip.
 
Author Comment
Kimberly H. March 18, 2016
Prior to colonization, the Chamorro people ate a very traditional Pacific island diet (seafood, rice, taro, yam, breadfruit, etc.). Successive introduction to Spanish, American, and then Japanese food cultures expanded that list, but Guam was heavily bombed during WW2. My guess is that that damage, combined with a sudden influx of modern convenience foods and a huge spike in population (25k in 1941, 165k today) has led to the reliance on shipping.<br /><br />There are, of course, local specialties. The two that immediately come to the mind of a non-native are red rice (rice flavored with achiote oil) and kelaguen (http://www.guampedia.com/kelaguen-meat-chicken-or-seafood-with-lemon/). Chicken and spam are popular proteins. There are lovely examples of local produce, as Mimi points out, but I would posit that they aren't consistently and/or conveniently available for most residents. I hope that this and other conversations will encourage local farmers and let them know that we are ready and enthusiastic to support them and their efforts!
 
Leslie March 18, 2016
Have you tried the night markets? Mangilao on Thursdays, Agat on Tuesdays. Flea market Saturday and Sunday mornings have the best selection of local and regional seafood and produce. Also, if you need restaurant recommendations, message me! <br /><br />BTW, I'm not a big fan of that shrimp restaurant either.
 
cv March 18, 2016
@Kimberly Hunter Soltero:<br /><br />Well, thank you for your last post, now we are getting a better understanding of what the legacy island cuisine was like. As I correctly guessed earlier, seafood and rice were major staples. The taro root is unsurprising as well, it grows well in the Pacific like the Hawaiian archipelago where it is frequently made into poi.<br /><br />Also, my guess that chicken was a well cultivated animal for food was correct. The Hawaiians have a history of enjoying Spam, so again this is unsurprising that it made it to Guam, another US territory.<br /><br />What wasn't evident in your original post, but now visible in your replies to followup inquiries is the fact that you have actually put in some effort and time into understanding the local cuisine. This discussion about local cuisine is far more interesting to me than your difficulty in making meatballs with pappardelle.<br /><br />Anyhow, best of luck to you during your sojourn on Guam.
 
Rin March 20, 2016
The reason Guam may have what seems to be 2 restaurants that cater to seafood (this is actually false, there are a few more) is first, most restaurants that serve all kinds of meals have several seafood options. And second, fresh seafood is plentiful and easy to find for home preparation. I'm not sure why you can't find it but considering your difficulty in finding many other things you've mentioned, I don't think you've looked enough. Might I suggest getting to know more locals and talking to them about food items. You might meet some of the thousands of people on Guam who have avocado trees to procure much larger, much tastier avocados than those found most other places. In just a few weeks, I expect to harvest a bounty of very large ones from my tree. Keep in mind that when we locals go to the states, it is near impossible to find what we can easily get here. When I have to cross state lines or drive an hour away or simply cut my losses, I dare not compare the states to a food desert. <br />
 
Elizabeth B. March 29, 2016
CSA
 
Elizabeth B. March 29, 2016
Very ironic to hear a US military wife complain about Spam being on island. You do realize that?