Tell us about yourself and what led you to opening The Cut.
Food is a great way to get to know a person so why don't we start off with that. In regards to my diet, people often ask me, “what are you?” I'm not a Vegan or a Vegetarian and I'm definitely not an ambassador of health. I'm not above anyone's personal tastes nor am I below any perpetuated habitual myths. I'm interested in the story of our Food and I find myself searching for my community of like minds, cultivating my heart and others I meet on my journey.
I'm no chef. However, I do like to eat! I'm not a farmer (at least not to the capacity that I can sustain myself year round). Ain't that a pickle? A guy that doesn't grow his own food, but likes to eat everyday. Yet somehow I still manage to eat everyday- can you believe that?
I think majority of the population is in the same predicament. I read on HI-CAN.org something to the tune of 88% of our food we eat in Hawaii is imported. We are disconnected from the very substance which gives us life. We depend on others to feed us.
Food is either giving us life or taking it away. The less involved in the process of my food I am, the more I'm being force fed (not just food but policy as well). I ask myself three questions- what am I eating? Where/how was it grown? How was it prepared? These simple questions govern more than we may think. In them, lies the answer to World Peace. Majority of the external conflict we experience in the World is a direct reflection of the internal conflict we are experiencing within, but that's another essay.
The most rewarding experience in life, for me, is growing my own food, eating it and sharing it! It makes me feel alive like when I'm walking down the street and I share a smile with a pretty girl. Growing and eating our own food stays with us. It resonates in us. It elevates us. It changes us. We can only change ourselves, but the right food changes a person from the inside out.
In our busy lives, we often feel we don't have time to prepare our own food, let alone grow it. There lies the problem. The experience, the relationship, our senses, the land, the touch and smell and taste. It's these little connections that are necessary in bridging the gap between ourselves and food. Do we only eat to satisfy our hunger? Or is there a more sacred, communal, grounding pleasure that we are failing to experience?
Is there a more profound ritual that directly affects our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being? Yet it's something we do multiple times a day with little to no thought.
When I'm off my game, I use food to heal myself. I prefer raw fruits and vegetables, medicinal roots that take little prep time. Minimal ingredients too – mono meals.
So I opened a smoothie shop so I could be around nourishing food all the time and live a more meaningful purposeful life! It was a no brainer. Come to find out, I'm getting an education in Hawaii’s Food System. Believe me when I say, there's more to food than what meets the eye.
What is The Cut all about?
All I hear is "eat local, eat local, eat local" but where can I find a local meal in Kakaako? A simple, satisfying meal that I can enjoy quickly and without guilt. I saw a local pineapple for sale yesterday for $25! I'm down to support local, but sometimes I don't feel local is down to support me.
The Cut is about access, opportunity, education, community and connection.
Making locally grown meals accessible to the general public.
Providing Opportunities for the Community to make educated decisions.
Educating the Community to know what their decisions are supporting.
Cultivating a Community unified in Consciousness.
Connecting the Community back to the Source.
My vision is a self-sustained community that is connected to the land. Big dreams huh? It's a work in progress. I don't have all the answers. Ultimately, the status of the community is determined by their level of participation, commitment and current needs.