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MONDAY, SEPT. 20, 2010

Money can’t buy pa‘i‘ai - yet C HRIS M IKESELL Senior Staff Writer

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The fi rst time Amy Brinker had pa‘i‘ai straight off the board, she only needed two words: “Man… ‘ono.” The young, unfermented pa‘i‘ai Brinker tasted that day – smashed taro at its thickest point – was a totally different product than the poi she knew. It was sweet. It was thick. It was gummy like mochi. It also could not be legally sold anywhere in Hawai‘i. “You can make it all day long, and eat it all day long, but if you want to sell it to the public, then you’ve got a different issue,” said Brinker. Brinker explained that pa‘i‘ai, young poi prepared in the traditional way using wood and a lava rock, cannot be legally sold in Hawai‘i because the State Department of Health ruled that there was no way to ensure that the porous stone used to prepare it is completely sanitized. This bothered Brinker to the point where she decided to take the issue up past the scholarly paper she wrote in her second year of law school. Using her own money, Brinker bought a couple of domain names and printed a thousand bumper stickers. Now, as the founder of and, Brinker says that the State Department of Health needs to give consumers more options. “If you look at the health code as it reads right now, there’s a ton of rules on cooking food to a certain temperature, keeping it at a certain temperature,” said Brinker. “Then you get to one part of the code where it says that if a customer requests or has the knowledge, they can order and eat – and you can serve – raw fish and raw meat. That’s how we get to eat sushi. That’s how we get to eat poke.” Proposing this kind of regulatory change is a complex affair for Brinker. Any new rule, she said, would have to take into account its effects on existing taro mills. “The only legal process right now is to have a mill, so if you have something that impacts the mills too negatively, or you have something that impacts the kalo community negatively, that’s not something that I want to move forward with,” Brinker said. “At the end of the day, some of these poi mills are making sure that kupuna still have poi to eat.” But Brinker thinks that this kind of consumer release clause would be the best way to indigenize a code of law that, as of now, remains an obstacle to the commercial viability of this traditional cultural practice. “In between the growing of kalo and the pounding of poi, you have a barrier that is called a commercial kitchen, and that’s what’s required by the Department of Health,” Brinker said. “If you remove that barrier and say that if a customer requests a food product that doesn’t need all of the things writ-


Pa‘i‘ai, poi prepared traditionally using wood and a lava rock, is currently illegal to sell. Amy Brinker, founder of and, hopes to change that. ten into the commercial kitchen aspect, you can make poi with one stone and one piece of wood. “ You’re talking about a sustainable food practice, and a sustainable way of life for a farmer, and thus a sustainable way of life for all of us.”

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MONDAY, OCT. 4, 2010

For one prodigy, bananas have broader appeal C HRIS M IKESELL Senior Staff Writer

At 21 years old, junior and Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences major Gabriel Sachter-Smith is already known as a banana expert. He’s been called banana man, banana guy, even a banana prodigy by those who know him in the College of Tropical Agriculture. But professionally, SachterSmith says he’s more of an aspiring amateur. “When I got into banana plants, it wasn’t because I liked eating the fruit, it wasn’t because I wanted to try to grow my own fruit,” said Sachter-Smith. “It wasn’t because of anything other than the fact that I was interested in banana plants.” And they are indeed plants, not trees, as Sachter-Smith is quick to point out - that’s what got him into this whole banana business in the fi rst place.

Spurred on by a childhood bet, Gabriel Sachter-Smith now grows more than 50 varieties of banana plants on the UH student farm in Waimanalo. Here, he displays a Native Hawaiian varietal - its most dramatic characteristic is its orangefleshed interior when ripe.

BA N A N A B E G I N S When he was 14, his fellow classmates at his Colorado middle school didn’t believe him when he told them that bananas did not, in fact, grow on trees, though he had seen them for himself firsthand on a trip to his aunt’s house in Maryland. “All the other kids were like ‘oh, you’re an idiot Gabe, of course bananas grow on trees,’” he said. “I got back (home) and I looked it up in a dictionary and an encyclopedia and online and got all my sources, and proved them wrong.” Sachter-Smith took his investigation beyond that initial bet, however. In July of 2002, he planted his fi rst banana plant in the sunroom of his parents’ Colorado home - a rose banana cutting from Florida that promptly died without the benefit of roots or leaves. Undaunted and armed with more knowledge, Sachter-Smith tried a second plant, a hardier dwarf cavendish cutting, and it survived. Soon his single healthy


cavendish turned into a small collection of different varieties from a wide range of sources - some local, some online, but all adding bit by bit to his banana knowledge. “When I had four, five, six, (my parents) started trying to regulate it,” said Sachter-Smith. “They didn’t want me to go nuts and just blow all my money on banana plants. “But there was a point – I don’t know at what point it was – where they said ‘hey, you know what you’re doing more than us,’ where they asked more questions and wanted to know what I was growing.”

MOV I N G T O H AWA IʻI Eventually, his parents’ 100-square foot, two-story sunroom spent the Colorado summers fi lled with 40 varieties of banana plants, along with some of CTAHR’s papaya.

Though he was studying everything and asking everyone he could about bananas from his 8,300 foot high home in Colorado before he left for Hawai‘i in 2007, Sachter-Smith said that back then he often felt like he lacked practical field knowledge. But three years of growing banana plants in at UH Mānoa as one of the founding members of the UHM student farm has certainly helped, along with some more specialized banana training. Yes, banana training. “I worked for a year and a half at the tissue culture lab on campus,” said Sachter-Smith. He said that growing banana plants in a lab gave him an opportunity to see healthy examples of a lot of varieties that would normally succumb to diseases like the bunchy top banana virus, hundreds at a

time sometimes. “You can grow them in test tubes and basically clone them. It sounds really intense, but anybody can do it.” Add to that the fact that Sachter-Smith was invited to attend the 2009 International Banana Symposium last September in Guangzhou, China, as well as the fact that he spent his most recent summer studying banana agriculture fi rsthand in Uganda, and you can understand why he garners the recognition he does. But perhaps the most important thing Sachter-Smith learned from those experiences was something that he couldn’t learn from a textbook or a horticultural hobbyist. He says that outside of developed nations like ours, bananas are more than just something sweet to slice up over your

cereal - often times they are the single staple starch of a culture. “There are places in the world where the word for banana is the word for food,” explained Sachter-Smith. “Often times the question isn’t ‘what are you going to eat today’ because it’s literally bananas or nothing.” That realization gave SachterSmith the drive to study bananas beyond being a mere hobbyist. It shows every time someone asks, yet again, what one would expect people to ask a banana prodigy: what is his favorite kind of banana? He gets that question a lot. “I tell them what I’m going to tell you right now: I’m a terrible judge of banana taste because I really like the whole picture of bananas. Eating and fruit quality, and how you like eating it, to me it’s like one piece of the bigger picture.”



Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009


Sustainable sushi difficult to discern T YPES OF TUNA SERVED AT LOC A L VEN UES IRIFUNE RES TAURANT Kapahulu Avenue

Bigeye YOHEI SUSHI RES TAURANT Dillingham Boulevar d

Bigeye YOSHIT SUNE RES TAURANT Kalāka u a Ave n u e

Bigeye KOZO SUSHI Kapahulu Avenue



Kaki, or oysters, are one of the sustainable choices offered at Kochi Restaurant and Lounge. Chris Mikesell


Features Editor

B i s h o p St r e e t

For – and in large part because of – sushi lovers, the prospect of an ‘ahi-less future is a frightening but ever-closer reality. “We are not potentially overfishing species; we have been overfishing for years,” said Dr. Clyde Tamaru, aquaculture extension specialist for the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program. “By all accounts, the Atlantic bluefin tuna, and particularly the Western Atlantic stocks, have already been labeled overfished species.” Dr. Tamaru explained that bluefin populations are so depleted that efforts are underway to add the bluefin tuna to the federal endangered species list. While bigeye and yellowfin tuna, the two species of tuna grouped together as ‘ahi in Hawai‘i, are not as threatened as stocks of Atlantic bluefin tuna, which have fallen to about 10 percent of their 1970 levels due to severe overfishing, once the lucrative bluefin reach critical levels, ‘ahi are sure to be next on the list as consumers adapt to changing market conditions.

Bluefin YAN A G I S U S H I Kapiʻ olani Boulevar d

Bluefin C ALIFORNIA BEAC H ROC K Nʼ SUSHI Wa r d Ave n u e

Bluefin and bigeye SUSHI IZAKAYA GAKU S o u t h K i n g St r e e t

Bluefin and bigeye SUSHI SASABUNE S o u t h K i n g St r e e t

Bluefin and bigeye BANZAI SUSHI BAR Kamehameha Highwa y in H a leʻiwa


But in the current economic downturn, convincing consumers to choose more sustainable options is proving to be an uphill battle.


Sophomore Donna Gonzales, a civil engineering major, worked at Genki Sushi for a little more than a year until she left in July 2009. She said she wasn’t aware of the whole sustainability movement, and neither, apparently, were her customers. “Nobody ever asked about it (when I worked there),” Gonzales explained. “They complimented us on the way we cut the fish, but they never asked me where it’s from.” Yet even Gonzales saw the effects of increased demand for tuna while she worked as a server – at one point Genki Sushi had to increase their prices on ‘ahi nigiri. “They raised the prices on ‘ahi by a dollar, and people would usually still order it, but if they knew it wasn’t in their price range they wouldn’t,” Gonzales said. Gonzales noted that the price increase was a result of the shop passing the price increases on to

the consumer. This doesn’t surprise Tamaru. “Yes, overfishing results in a decrease in availability of product but not a decrease in demand,” he said. Market economics and seasonal fluctuations dictate the availability and price of all commodities, and tuna is no exception. Like Gonzales, Keane Santos, a junior majoring in business, is also a server at a sushi restaurant. He works at Kochi, a slightly higher-end sushi bar with a more comprehensive menu, but he explained that even there he’s never actually been asked about sustainable options. “We have the hardcore sushi people that come in and they know everything they want, so they’ll pretty much go straight off the menu,” Santos said. “Then there’s the people who just like simple things like California rolls.” Neither category of customer has ever asked him about sustainable options, Santos said. If customers were to ever ask him, however, they would find that Kochi – and sushi bars like it – have both ideal and not-so-ideal options. “We serve bluefin ... but that’s

kind of seasonal,” Santos said. “We’re going to run out of it pretty soon. Mirugai is kind of hit-or-miss. Same thing with uni. Those are the more high-end stuff.” While bluefin is one of the least sustainable options consumers could choose, wild mirugai (geoduck) and Canadian-farmed uni (sea urchin gonads) are ideal, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Guide. The guide lists more than 50 sushi selections and sorts them by sustainability, taking into account not only factors like harvesting methods but also origin and whether the seafood is farmed or wild-caught. Tamaru, however, doesn’t believe the Monterey standards are the best way to determine the sustainability of a particular fish. That, he says, is best left to consumers to decide. “Consumers (should educate themselves) about the various species, challenges and opportunities and come to their own conclusions,” Tamaru said. “The responsibility is yours to become better informed to make a decision that you can live with and support.”



Sustainablity, however, means different things to different people. “There is an ongoing debate that aquaculture of carnivorous species are unsustainable as one is simply taking other fish to produce a certain kind of fish,” Tamaru said. He explained that it often takes anywhere from two to four pounds of fishmeal to farm a single pound of carnivorous fish, a proportion Tamaru refers to as a food conversion ratio, or FCR. “What is not often brought to the attention of consumers is that current FCRs have been dropping

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009

over the last decade, indicating that fish farmers and feed manufacturers have responded to this concern,” Tamaru said. Tamaru noted that fish farming has actually become more efficient than land-based meat production. This dependence on fishmealbased aquaculture is not one that is easy for farmers to address, though the technology to replace fishmeal as an aquaculture feed has been in place since the 1990s. Simply put, it is a question of economy. “The analogy is the current situation with gasoline,” Tamaru

explained. “I chose to purchase an automobile that uses gasoline as the main source of fuel. I chose not to purchase the new Honda hybrid models because at the time it cost too much over the conventional models. However, it is also clear that gasoline as we know it today will decrease in availability and as prices increase this will cause us to use alternative means of fuel or other transportation options.” To Tamaru, sustainability is not something that is a strict blackand-white concept but rather a large gray area, and the closer we get to sustainable practices in production

the sooner we can save fish stocks. But all the sustainable practices in the world won’t do any good if consumers aren’t aware of their options when making buying decisions.


Guy Tamashiro’s name should be familiar to anyone buying or selling seafood in Hawai‘i; he is the vice president of Tamashiro Market in Kalihi, which now at 62 years in business is one of the state’s oldest local seafood markets in one of the



Aku/Tuna, Skipjack (Imported Longline) Ankimo/Monkfish Liver Ankoh/Monkfish Ebi/Shrimp (Imported Farmed) Ebi/Shrimp (Imported Wild-caught) Hamachi/Yellowtail (Australia Farmed) Hamachi/Yellowtail (Japan Farmed) Hirame/Flounder (Atlantic) Hirame/Halibut, Atlantic Hirame/Sole (Atlantic) Hon Maguro/Toro/Tuna, Bluefin (Ranched) Hon Maguro/Toro/Tuna, Bluefin Izumidai/Tilapia (China, Taiwan Farmed) Kani/Crab, King (Imported) Maguro/Toro/Tuna, Bigeye (Worldwide, Except U.S. Atlantic Longline) Maguro/Toro/Tuna, Yellowfin (Longline, Purse Seine) Sake/Salmon (Farmed) Shiro Maguro/Tuna, Albacore (Worldwide, Except Hawai‘i Longline) Tai/Snapper, Red Tako/Octopus, Common Unagi/Eel, Freshwater Uni/Sea Urchin Roe (Maine)

Amaebi/Spot Prawn (British Columbia) Awabi/Abalone (U.S. Farmed) Gindara/Sablefish/Black Cod (Alaska, British Columbia) Ikura/Salmon Roe (Alaska Wild-Caught) Iwana/Arctic Char (Farmed) Iwashi/Sardines (U.S. Pacific) Izumidai/Tilapia (U.S. Farmed) Kaki/Oysters (Farmed) Kanikama/Surimi/Imitation Crab (Alaska) Katsuo/Bonito/Tuna, Skipjack (Troll, Pole-and-Line) Masago/Smelt Roe/Capelin (Iceland) Mirugai/Giant Clam/Geo duck (Wild-Caught) Muurugai/Mussels (Farmed) Sake/Salmon (Alaska Wild-caught) Sawara/Mackerel, Spanish (U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico) Shiro Maguro/Tuna, Albacore (U.S. Pacific, British Columbia, Hawai‘i Troll, Pole-and-Line) Suzuki/Striped Bass (Farmed or Wild-Caught) Uni/Sea Urchin Gonads (Canada)



Kochi Restaurant and Lounge serves such sustainable dishes as amaebi (spot prawn), ikura (salmon roe), sake (salmon), katsuo (skipjack tuna), masago (smelt roe), and uni (sea urchin).



state’s oldest communities. His customers are not the type to worry about sustainability, at least for now. His main concern when it comes to his customers is the value he’s able to provide them. “The question of sustainability never comes up,” Tamashiro said. “(My customers) just wanna know what’s fresh, what’s a good deal, if their favorite fish is in.” Tamashiro is aware of sustainability concerns, but he says that his purchasing decisions as far as harvesting methods go all stem from a concern about quality. By chance, his preferred catch method – longline – is not only a better option for the environment than trawl-caught tuna, but also results in better quality loins. “You can get a tail cut and see what grade a longline-caught ‘ahi is, but there’s a chance that a trawl line-caught fish would be burnt-out, grill-grade stuff,” Tamashiro said. This “burnt” flesh occurs when tuna struggle too much before they are drawn onto fishing boats. “Lactic acid builds up in the muscle and literally cooks the meat from the inside,” Tamashiro said. Tamashiro admits he sees less burnt-out tuna from trawlers as time goes on, but it happens more often with trawlers than with longline vessels, he explained. Trawlers dragging their gear across the ocean floor give tuna more of an opportunity to struggle while they damage coral and other ocean floor life. For conservationists, it’s a sustainability issue, but for Tamashiro, the problem is quality. Tamashiro, however, says that he is not opposed to the idea of educating consumers about their options if they start to express interest. “If we have more customers asking about it, we might talk about it more, but people right now want a good value for their money,” Tamashiro said. “We pretty much sell the same fish they do (at other markets.) “If even 10 percent of our customers started asking about it, though, we might even start posting up some signs.”





Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Peanut, pistachio pulls differ drastically Chris Mikesell Opinions Editor

Consumers just don’t know what to make of the safety of our food supply anymore, and they are blaming food manufacturers for their newfound insecurity. First it was peanuts being yanked off store shelves over salmonella fears. Then another recall was issued for pistachios; salmonella, again, was the main culprit, though the strain responsible for the peanut recall was not found in the pistachio investigation. With these back-to-back nut recalls, consumers are being left wondering if any efforts are being made to keep our food supply safe at all, and that sentiment can cost affected crop industries millions of dollars. These two recalls, however, while both symptomatic of lax food safety practices, were enacted under dramatically different circumstances. PEANUTS PUSHED OUT THE DOOR

The peanut recall, covering about 3,500 products containing peanuts and peanut pastes produced in facilities owned by Peanut Corporation of America in Texas and Georgia, can be characterized as a reactive recall, meaning it was issued after an outbreak had occurred and an investigation led to evidence of plant contamination. The now-bankrupt Peanut Corp.’s willful shipment of peanut products that had, through both internal and third-party testing, been previously shown to have been contaminated with salmonella is believed to have resulted in the deaths of at least nine people. Evidence shows that cost-cutting measures were a higher priority to Peanut Corp. than consumer safety. Internal e-mails indicated that there was pressure from management to get product out the door regardless of the risk to the consumer. Food and Drug Administration inspectors later found widespread contamination of the Peanut Corp. facilities, including roof leaks and evidence of birds living in air ducts. Whistleblowers brought these items to the attention of management but were unable to prompt those in charge to act. When grilled under oath by the United States House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee about the circumstances that

allowed the contaminated product to reach consumers, Peanut Corp. CEO Stewart Parnell repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. PISTACHIO PREVENTION

Compare that to the most recent pistachio recall, traced back to Setton Farms in Terra Bella, Calif., the second-largest supplier of pistachios in the country, operating in a state that supplies 96 percent of the country’s pistachio crop. The recall was initiated not reactively but proactively – Kraft Foods was informed by one of its suppliers that Setton had been identified as the source of a recurring salmonella contamination that had prompted the giant food manufacturer to either stop shipment of or destroy prior to shipment several lines of trail mix. Once the contaminated pistachios were identified by Kraft, however, the company did someMCT thing that was not at all required of it or of Setton under federal law: Kraft notified the FDA and prompted Setton to issue a voluntary recall of an entire year’s worth of its pistachio products. Estimates indicate that close to a million pounds of pistachios were affected by this recall, with Setton completely shutting down its pistachio processing plant. The FDA, in turn, issued a blanket warning against the consumption of

pistachios until the recalled product list can be fully compiled, effectively choking this year’s pistachio industry. No deaths, however, have come as a result of the pistachio contamination. One could argue that this is at least partly due to Kraft’s proactive stance and standards in excess of federal requirements. You can say what you will about the sophistication of Kraft’s product line, but you can hardly fault them for putting consumers first. REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AND WEAKNESSES

Granted, the contamination and recall of Setton pistachios is an obvious signal that something went wrong during the processing of their product. David Acheson, the FDA’s assistant commissioner for food protection, recently stated in a Washington Post interview that the pistachio contamination was found to have been linked to raw and roasted nuts being handled on the same equipment lines at the Setton facility, resulting in cross-contamination. Cross-contamination is one of the most preventable food safety sins a processor can commit because countermeasures against cross-contamination are supposedly considered at food processing facilities in the United States and elsewhere by means of documented good manufacturing practices, and should be accounted for in any food processor’s hazard analysis and

critical control points food safety plan. Federal and state FDA inspectors check these practices and plans whenever they conduct inspections and audits. Large food manufacturers and distributors like Kraft often demand from suppliers even stricter requirements than those imposed upon them by the federal government simply because they have the purchasing power to demand the very best from suppliers in the system. One of the weaknesses in the hazard analysis and critical control points system, however, is that it is designed to document and record only those critical control points in manufacturing processes that pose a high risk for specific, FDA-identified “significant hazards” in a company’s hazard analysis. If a company determines that its manufacturing policies eliminate enough of the risk a “significant hazard” poses to consumers, then it is not required to document that step of the process as a critical control point, though many often document and test anyway as additional insurance. Employee training is another important factor in insuring food safety. You can have all the documentation in the world, but if a plant’s workers don’t know or care about why it is important to keep ready-toeat food separate from raw food, then no amount of documentation is going to save the company. FEDERAL RESPONSE

The key for food producers going forward is that companies should now expect to be judged by this new proactive standard. Any sort of lax attitude about food safety will simply not be tolerated, at least not while Pres. Barack Obama has to worry about his daughters’ peanut butter sandwiches. Acheson is alerting food processors that the FDA will be moving a lot more swiftly in protecting consumers from possible contamination, and not a moment too soon. “Obviously, the goal here is get out ahead of this,” the senior FDA official explained at a March 30 news conference. “We’re encouraging (the food industry) to be proactive and we’re looking to work with them very closely in terms of the response to this.”





Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010 F E AT U R E S @k

‘Ono 101: Easy-on-your-wallet pizza Pies don’t have to cost a lot of dough

E A S Y- O N -YO U R - WA L L E T P I Z Z A Makes two thin-crust pizzas or four mini pizzas INGREDIENTS: All dry ingredients are measured by weight 10 ounces bread flour 6 ounces water (filtered or bottled) 2 ounces (1 tablespoon) sugar ½ packet instant dry yeast 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 6 tablespoons tomato sauce 5 ounces shredded mozzarella or pizza cheese 8 slices pepperoni


1) Warm the water in a microwave-safe bowl to 110 F (this should take about 45 seconds, but all microwaves vary, so check with a thermometer). Dissolve sugar and add the yeast, stir

to combine and let it sit for five minutes. (If the yeast doesn’t foam that means it’s probably dead and you’ll have to start over.) 2) In a large work bowl or a stand mixer, combine the yeast mixture with 4 ounces of the bread flour and stir until smooth. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temperature (between 60 and 80 F) for at least one hour (though you can make this in the morning before you go to work and come back to it eight or 10 hours later and it will be even better). 3) Mix in the other 6 ounces of bread flour

along with the oil and salt until it comes together into a slightly sticky ball. If it’s a humid day you may need to add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it comes together. 4) Turn out onto a floured counter and knead for 30 minutes by hand (or 10 minutes on low speed if you’re using a stand mixer with a bread hook attachment.) Cover with foil or plastic wrap again and let it sit again for at least an hour (two would be even better). 5) Portion your dough into two portions of equal weight (if you

are doing mini pizzas, cut into four portions instead). You may roll out each ball of dough and put toppings now, or you may store any unused dough balls in ziptop baggies in the fridge. They are great after about a week in the chill, though they are still quite tasty after as little as a day. 6) For a chewy crust, form by hand to about a 6-inch to 8-inch diameter, top, and bake in the middle rack of a 350 F oven for 14 to 15 minutes, but for a thin and crispy crust, roll out to fit a 12-inch round pan and bake on the bottom rack of a 400 F oven for 11 to 12 minutes.

Homemade pizza can be a great money-saving alternative to expensive delivery pizza if you’re willing to invest a bit of time into the process. C HRIS M IKESELL Features Editor Note: This is Part One of a series this month where we talk about eating on a budget. One of the best ways to fulfi ll that New Year’s resolution to eat better is to take control of what you’re eating. Cook meals at home, and you’ll have a better idea of what goes into your food than you would eating out. The most obvious advantage of making your own food at home is that it will save you a lot of money. Take pizza, for instance. A pizza meal for two, even before delivery charges, can come out to

more than $15. Buying a prefabricated pizza from the frozen food section of a supermarket can cost, on average, $6 to $7. That can add up fast, especially when you’re a college student on a tight budget. But if you put a pizza together yourself – sure, you might have to make an initial investment for the ingredients – most of the savings is actually the labor cost it would take to pay somebody else to make your pizza for you. When you get down to the math, you can actually make a whole batch (enough for two thincrust 12-inch pizzas or four mini thick-crust pizzas) for $3.20. Calculating how much a recipe costs to make is something chefs call

costing analysis, only they do it on a much greater and more precise scale. Don’t be intimidated by it, though; costing is an easy way to see what you’re spending on your own home-cooked food. You can do this with any recipe – this pizza recipe is just an example. If you can get any of the basic ingredients on sale, the price will

be even better, but in this calculation we used nonsale prices. To do a costing analysis, you need to do only two things: pay attention to labels and receipts, and weigh your ingredients, especially for dry ingredients like flour that can pack easily; a loosely packed cup of flour might weigh half as much as a cup of

firmly packed flour. W hile using a food scale is important to understanding how much of an ingredient you’re using, dividing the cost of a package by its volume or weight will be key to translating your ingredients to the amount of money you’re really spending to make your meal.




Wednesday, June 24, 2009 F E AT U R E S


Bike fixer spreads joy of cycling Chris Mikesell Features Editor

You could say Michael Kimmitt is a bicycle evangelist. “I still remember the utter revelation I had when I realized you can put a rear rack and baskets on a bike and turn it into something that can get groceries and run errands in general,” Kimmitt explained. “The city got much friendlier, very quickly.” To Kimmitt, bicycles aren’t just a means of transportation – they are eye-opening mobility machines, and he wants to spread the good word. He is the vice president of Cycle Mānoa, the group behind today’s bike sale at Campus Center. Cycle Mānoa’s bike sale – their third so far – begins at 2 p.m., and ends around the time they run out of bikes. If their last bike sale is any indication, that won’t take very long; during their last event in January, Cycle Mānoa was able to sell 27 bikes in 35 minutes. “Our original plan was to do

them every semester,” Kimmitt said, “but we’ve got too many bikes in our warehouse!” Kimmitt and his crew buy used bikes during the semester for $20, and are sometimes supplied with abandoned bikes from property managers cleaning out their bike racks. The bikes are then refurbished and sold back to students, but none of this would be possible without these bike purchases and the donations of bikes and parts from the UH Mānoa community. “This is a good problem to have,” Kimmitt added. Cycle Mānoa, a registered independent organization that maintains an on-campus bike repair shop just off Maile Way behind the St. John’s building, opens up shop from 4 to 8 p.m. every Sunday during the summer for bikers who need to pick up spare parts or tools. They even offer repair clinics and advice for riders who want to learn more about how to maintain their machines. Kimmitt, a 32-year-old econom-

ics grad student, admits that the learning curve can be daunting for new riders, but he wants Cycle Mānoa to benefit both the veterans and those new to the biking lifestyle. “Bike shops tend to be aimed at customers who are already knowledgeable, so they can be a bit intimidating,” Kimmitt points out. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm around, but people tend to feel a bit isolated and unknowledgeable, so our focus has been as much on bringing people together and getting good information out as JONAH OKANO/KA LEO O HAWAIʻI it has been on generally supporting cycling on campus.” Cycle Mānoa, located behind the St. Johnʼs building on the UH Mānoa campus, is a haven for This bicycle evangelist can only bicycle enthusiasts, in which hundreds of used bicycles are housed, refurbished and sold every spread the good word, however, if a person comes away from his event year. with not only a good bike, but also CYCLE M Ā N OA with confidence and the knowledge that they’ve got a support system, should they need it. Cycle Mānoa Bike Sale “Bicycles are freedom,” Wednesday, June 24 at 2 p.m. Kimmitt said. “They’re fantastically Bikes: Free to $150 cheap compared to cars, and riding $15 City and County Bike Permit required to them is good for you. But they work purchase a bike; available on site. better when you know how to make them work for you.”

What’s all the hype on the North Shore? Kelly Pao Associate Features Editor

If you are reading this article, then your summer vacation hasn’t really been long days at the beach and late night club-hopping with friends. Instead you have been trying to keep up with accelerated summer classes by cramming in study sessions and completing projects. If you feel like you need to escape, drive an hour away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, and say hello to the North Shore. The North Shore of Hawai‘i is best known for its world-famous surf spots and tropical weather. Winters on the North Shore attract all walks of life because it offers seven miles of the best surfing locations in the world. The beaches are littered with tourists, the waters are packed with pro surfers and the roads turn into one big traffic jam. When the winter season comes to

an end, the seven-mile stretch transforms back into the quiet town it is for most of the year. In the heart of the North Shore lies Hale‘iwa, one of the island’s most historic neighborhoods. Hale‘iwa is a slow-paced surf town, where the most important part of the day is waking up to check the swells. During the summer months, however, you’re lucky if you can locate even a one-foot swell. The North Shore has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so tourists and locals alike love to enjoy the beaches by snorkeling, diving, fishing, kayaking, boating and the latest craze stand-up paddling. Stand-up paddling has become a new favorite pastime for many. It is an ancient form of surfing that has recently reentered the waterman lifestyle. So what’s all the hype about stand-up paddling? Whether you call it SUP surfing or paddle surfing, people of all ages


can enjoy this new hobby. Stand-up paddling offers an intense core and lower body workout while you alternate paddling strokes and engage the leg muscles as you try to balance on the unstable surface. A popular paddling route is along the Anahulu River located in Hale‘iwa town. The journey begins while paddling under the white arches of the noted Hale‘iwa Bridge, where the water leads you through old plantation homes and crops of taro fields. Once you have mastered the calm waters of the river, you can test your skills on the open ocean. Experienced surfers have learned the new sport due to its versatility. Surfers on a stand-up paddleboard can catch more waves in a set because they can stand farther out in the line-up, as well as have a better view of incoming See The North Shore , page 4


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Thursday, March 12, 2009 F E AT U R E S



Beefy busts out nerdcore beats Chris Mikesell Opinions Editor

Most nerds would never get the chance to autograph a woman’s breasts, but when you’re rocketing into the nerdcore rap scene like Beefy, some stereotypes are bound to be shattered. “At a show I was opening for in Portland, a buxom lady grabbed a sharpie from my girlfriend, who was working the merch booth, and asked if I’d sign her chest. I kinda looked at her wide-eyed, then slowly turned to my girlfriend and asked if that was OK and she just laughed and said sure,” said Beefy. Beefy – or Keith Moore as he is known offstage in his hometown of Richland, Washington – is in the business of shattering nerd stereotypes. For one thing, Beefy is proof that nerds can rap. His music is part of a growing nerdcore rap genre that celebrates all things nerdy in hip-hop form, from GURPS to Nintendo and everything in between. “Nerdcore is hip-hop, usually pointed towards the kind of people who kick it in a basement on Friday night, drinking Mountain Dew, playing Smash Bros and talking about what happened at last week’s D&D game,” the rap-

per said. “It’s music that encourages people to say, ‘Yeah, I’m a geek. I like math and Battlestar Galactica and Street Fighter. What of it?’” Before Beefy made it big in nerdcore, though, he was in the business of working two parttime jobs – one as a pizza maker and another as a video game store clerk. He started rapping in the eighth grade with the standard gangsta style that saturated hip-hop, but he stopped when he realized that trying to be a thug didn’t reflect who he really was. “I couldn’t pull off rapping my lies with a straight face. … I like to be very personal with my audience and if I start talking bullshit I feel like they can sense it and will call me out as a liar. So, I started making songs that I could perform honestly, that were true,” Beefy said. For Beefy, truth meant not only embracing his inner nerd but also running with it. He released his first two EPs, “Whitesican” and “nerd.” in 2005. By 2006, he had his first studio album, “Tube Technology,” up for download on his Web site, Since then, Beefy’s been gaining momentum with his second LP, “Rolling Doubles.” Released in late 2008, Beefy’s first retail album has


Rolling Doubles, Beefyʼs first retail LP, is available for download on Amazon and iTunes.


Beefy, a nerdcore rapper whoʼs made it his business to speak the truth about nerd life, gives us the scoop on his second LP, “Rolling Doubles.”

come a long way since his days of free download premieres and is now featured as a digital download on both and iTunes. Beefy drew a lot of inspiration from his own nerd life for the album, with tracks like “Dork Date” and “Play With Me,” exploring the possibilities that arise when geek guys meet geek girls, whether the guy ends up sweeping the girl off her feet, playing Street Fighter into the night or stammers and stutters when she walks up to him at a LAN party, asking for a CD key. “I’ve been in both situations. Never with quite the swagger that I pretend to have in ‘Dork Date,’ but ‘Play With Me’ is way accurate,” he said. But for Beefy, “Story Time” is one of his most personal tracks on the album. “I was feeling bad about being a failure at school, chasing a girl and losing friends, so I wrote a song about it,” said Beefy. His lyrics on the track can cut close to home for some nerds, rapping about how a bad work ethic can result from being just smart enough to get by with minimal effort in high school, or


$7.99 Digital Download @ $10 + $2 S+H for the autographed CD @ about disrespecting yourself by settling for the wrong girl. Even as a nerdcore rapper, Beefy’s goal has always been to just be as real as he can. “I like to get personal on some tracks to remind people I’m not just some character and that my whole life isn’t about comics and video games,” Beefy said. Ever since he stopped trying to be like every other hip-hop thug in the genre, Beefy has maintained


his own brand of authenticity, something he thinks that other modern rappers have forgotten. “At some point I think hip-hop stopped caring about being enlightened and started worrying about being catchy. Auto-tune is killing hiphop. Screaming ‘What!’ as a legit lyric is killing hip-hop,” said the nerdcore artist. “They need to just get back to doing something meaningful and not just trying to get a catchy hook stuck in everyone’s head.” Last week, Beefy returned to Washington from his European debut at the Glitched concert in Amsterdam, the first-ever Dutch venue for the nerdcore genre. But a Hawai‘i performance might not be that far off. “Believe me, I’d love to,” said Beefy. “The second someone says ‘Hey Beefy, we’ll fly you over if you rock the stage for us!’ I’ll be there in a heartbeat!”

“Rap isnʼt exclusively about shooting people or being a gangster. Itʼs about rhythm and flow, beats and itʼs about good stuff. Weʼre not trying to be or make fun of mainstream hip-hop. Weʼre not a parody.” Beefy, Nerdcore rapper, Nerdcore For Life Documentary





Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009 F E AT U R E S



Drifter slides into apparel business Chris Mikesell

SO DESU APPAREL Toys n’ Joys ‘Aiea, HI 96701 Westridge Shopping Center (808) 487-8697 98-150 Kaonohi St. #108 Shirts cost around $15.

Features Editor

Zarex Domingo never envisioned himself getting into clothing design. Until last August, his only goals were to get a job and drift through life – and across O‘ahu’s roadways – in his custom car. “I was just wandering,” explained Domingo, a Waipahu High graduate, “driving around day and night, going up Tantalus and trying to drift, doing illegal stuff. “ ... Well, not illegal stuff,” Domingo added with a wry laugh. “If you get caught, it’s illegal, I guess.” Domingo didn’t get caught on his drifting trips, but he did get caught in limbo, finding himself living one day to the next. “I wasn’t planning for a future,” said Domingo. “I was just living day by day.” But one day, something he was doodling caught the attention of one of his coworkers over at the Pearl City Toys n’ Joys. “I was going nowhere in life,” Domingo explained. “I was just drawing and drawing, and my coworker said I should make some shirts and stuff, make some money.” Domingo knew the task was not going to be easy. He didn’t know much about making shirts at first, and, like many other small business owners, he knew that he needed money to make money. In his search for capital, however, Domingo realized that he had the answer all along. “I wasted a lot of money on my car parts, and I figured I should just do something with it,” Domingo said. “I figured I’d give something back, do something with my life instead of spending money on my car and drinking beer. ... I was wasting money there, so I figured if I give that up and just do some shirt stuff, I could make money with it and do something for people.” But even with the designs and financing down, Domingo still had to face the technical hurdle of getting the shirts printed.

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Zarex Domingo (front row, second from right) has put his artistic talents to good use, creating So Desu, a clothing line targeted to young adults and anime fans.

“Each time I’d bring a design to the printer, they’d charge anywhere from $100 to $300 to vector the image,” Domingo explained. “I was thinking, damn, that’s gonna cost me a lot just to make shirts. “But the (printer) was nice enough to tell me what program to get, and what to learn,” Domingo continued. “I thought you just had to draw a design and give it to the printer, and they would put it on the screen, but I learned that it takes a lot of steps to make a shirt.” Driven by his designs, Domingo scoured the Internet and taught himself what he needed to learn by watching YouTube tutorials. “The main thing is vectoring – if you can vector any image you’re halfway there,” Domingo explained. “Once I figured out how to vector on YouTube, I got Adobe CS3, and it got really simple. I just took my drawings, and vectored them, and gave them to the printer and that was it.” A year later, Domingo’s So Desu line of apparel has grown to eight different designs, with sizes ranging from small to 4XL for men’s tees and up to 3XL for

women’s tees, selling at around $15 at the Pearl City Toys n’ Joys he works at. Domingo is also looking to expand his line of auto decals and create a line of children’s clothing. Four of his T-shirt designs are already out of stock, but Domingo is always creating more for his market of college students and anime fans. “I’m kind of working on an island-style tokidoki line, cute robot stuff, trying to mix anime into it,” Domingo said. “A lot of kids like anime and tokidoki right now, but they don’t make it any more.” Like any other small businessman, Domingo recognized when he began that he was taking a gamble, but it is one that, for this designer, is beginning to pay off. “It was a risk. ... For the first couple prints I lost money because of the printing,” Domingo said. “I sold stuff at cost. Right now, I think, since I’ve sold a lot more shirts, I think, I’ve made a profit. “A small profit,” Domingo added. “Not huge, but enough to print more shirts.”

Meet Sell Design Call

Learn Lead

Be Heard

BOP’s Advertising Department is looking to fill the following positions for the upcoming Fall and Spring semesters:

Advertising Representatives Ad reps make regular sales calls and presentations to potential advertisers to sell advertising space in Ka Leo.

Graphic Designer Graphic designers create advertisements for Ka Leo, as well as flyers, promotional materials, forms, and documents.



For more information, or to apply, email us at, or stop by the BOP Business Office to pick up an application.





Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010 O P I N I O N S @k

O P I N I O N S @k

Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010

Gays win this round C HRIS M IKESELL Opinions Editor

Late in the morning of Aug. 4, Zach Tepper’s phone brought him the news he had been waiting for: California’s Proposition 8 was deemed unconstitutional. Tepper, along with his colleagues at the LGBT Student Ser vices Center – found themselves one Tweet closer to full equality. “I felt really moved because I knew that when Prop 8 was passed, it really hurt,” said the 20 -year-old women’s studies major. Tepper had mixed feelings that night in Nov. 2008 when he found out that Propositon 8 had passed, because he was hopeful that the advent of President Obama would change things. “It was hard to understand how you could be so hopeful for these promises of change and then the same day have something so seemingly prehistoric,” said Tepper. “It seemed like an ancient decision.” Tepper noted that he has a lot of LGBT friends in California that were personally affected by Proposition 8, and he’s hopeful that the federal judge’s decision will be upheld. “We shouldn’t even have to decide if everyone should have civil rights,” said Tepper. “It’s a right for a reason. It’s not a privilege. It’s a fundamental human right to be able to love and let your love be validated and recognized within the state or government that you live in.”

O N T H E F RO N T L I N E S James Kendall, a 29-year-old web designer, and Bill Stivers, a 35-yearold systems administrator at the University of California Santa Cruz, make up two halves of one of the couples af-

California Federal Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional has reverberated across the gay community. But what does this partial victory really mean for the LGBT community in Hawaiʻi and California when it seems equality is still so far away? “I’m prepared to have my marriage annulled again,” Stivers said. “I’m prepared to have to go back and get married again. I believe that rationality will prevail. It could take fi ve or 50 years, but we’ll get there in time.” Part of getting married, Stivers explained, is wanting the same values that straight people want when they get married. “The kind of gay person who wants to get married is making an investment in society,” said Stivers. “Why would anyone want to discourage that?” And to Kendall, like many other gay men and women who want to get married, there is a palpable difference between being married and not being married. ”Before marriage, it was just the two of us. We kept each other afloat and above the water,” explained Kendall. “After marriage, the seas still storm, but we stand together. We’re safe. We’re stable. We hold each other because we want to, not because we need to to survive.”

EQUALITY BASED ON EVIDENCE Forty-six-year-old civil rights atBill Stivers (left) and James Kendall (right), being married in San Lorenzo Park behind Santa Cruz City Hall by Third District Supervitorney and UH Mānoa lecturer Hansor Mardi Wormhoudt, volunteering her services that day for all couples who wanted on-site ceremonies. COURTESY ROBIN TOWSE

fected by the fight over gay marriage rights in California. They fi rst married in 2004 when San Francisco’s mayor issued marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples that February, but that marriage was invalidated by the California Supreme Court in August of that year. “We’d honestly expected the courts to put a stop to it the very next day,” said Kendall. “When they

didn’t, we got that glimmer of hope that maybe they’d actually rule in our favor. It wasn’t a big one, but it was still there. It was a blow to have that taken away after having that piece of paper for a few months.” When they found out about Judge Walker’s ruling, it was yet another twist in the rollercoaster track to civil rights. “We had it just long enough to know what we were fighting for,”

Kendall explained. Kendall and Stivers remarried in 2008 the day it was legalized, but there was always that fear – realized when Proposition 8 was passed – that their marriage could be annulled again at any time. Stivers found out about the ruling through a text from his husband. He’s hopeful as well, but he knows there could be more twists ahead In the fi ght for equality.

nah Miyamoto couldn’t react to that morning’s Tweets right away – she was busy teaching her 300-level Sociology of Gender class. But Miyamoto found that what she learned from the ruling would be eye-opening for her students. “Overall, ( Judge Walker’s) ruling is very much based on facts as opposed to conclusions of law,” she explained. That dependence on findings of fact as opposed to law, she said, means

that the Ninth Circuit Appellate Court will have a difficult time overturning the ruling. “Appellate courts can overturn fi ndings of law that they don’t agree with,” she

With substantive due process, even if they’re not equal, there isn’t an impact on the general public that would justify discrimination.” The backbone of this ruling, Miyamoto explained, is that these

Marriage does not mean acceptance fastest scenario, if the Ninth Circuit affirms the decision and the Supreme Court refuses to grant it a hearing, she expects the process to take at least another year. A lot can happen in a year, especially with a new governor. “Based on our history of civil rights, I actually do expect a period of resistance to judicially-declared equality,” said Miyamoto. “Our governor could, in fact, be promoting a resistance to it. It’s the moral equivalent of standing in

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.” - Judge Vaughn Walker, Proposition 8 Ruling said. “But fi ndings of fact can only be overturned if they are found to be clearly erroneous. They have to be supported by the evidence on the record.” Miyamoto noted that the legal arguments of the case are based on two clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment – equal protection and due process – but that the latter is significantly easier to defend. “With equal protection, you have to prove that two people are substantially equal,” said Miyamoto. “But substantive due process says, ‘You know what, person A is, in fact, different from person B, but there’s no reason to discriminate against person A in favor of person B or vice versa.” Miyamoto points out that while segregation cases have traditionally focused on the equal protection clause, LGBT civil rights have a different focus. “In the case of equal protection, you’d have to prove that gays and straights are fundamentally equal.

are factual fi ndings supported by extensive testimony, in which both sides had the opportunity to call witnesses and question them openly. In the 138-page ruling, Judge Walker indicated that the plaintiff’s witnesses established factually that there was no substantive impact, which is what needed to be proven under the substantive due process clause.

H AWA IʻI I M PAC T But what may give people in the LGBT community in Hawaiʻi more hope is the possibility that the Proposition 8 decision could have a far-reaching impact - as far as Hawaiʻi or any other state in the Ninth Circuit. “For Hawaiʻi’s sake, if this decision is affirmed by the Ninth Circuit, it doesn’t have to be taken up by the Supreme Court,” she said. “In some ways, it would be better if it didn’t, because it would be faster.” Miyamoto says that under the


a schoolhouse door like Governor Faubus did in Little Rock, Ark., or (former Alabama) Governor Wallace grandstanding, saying ‘segregation now, segregation forever.’” But she also noted that if a governor sympathetic to civil unions were elected this year, the state could also file an amicus brief on behalf of gay marriage supporters, bringing up additional arguments to counteract Proposition 8’s defenders. That means that even with this victory, it’s still important to keep pushing even here in Hawaiʻi for civil rights for gays and lesbians. “We pushed for civil unions but we gave up our fight for the term ‘civil marriage,’” said Miyamoto. “But if we call it marriage, we know that’s it’s going to be marriage, and there will be no basis for discrimination.” “Don’t compromise. We’ve got a very strong hand. There’s just no reason to, as far as I’m concerned.”


L INDSY OGAWA Associate Opinions Editor Despite Federal Judge Vaughn Walker’s overturning of California’s Proposition 8, same-sex couples in other states and countries continue to struggle with human rights issues both from the government and its citizens. In 2010, Portugal, Iceland and Argentina legalized same-sex marriage. In 2009, Norway and Sweden did the same. And other countries, such as Netherlands, Canada and Spain have had legalized same-sex marriage for over fi ve years. However, every time a country approves or discusses same sex marriages, fundamentalists scream in pain as if attacked by one of Cupid’s jagged, poisonous arrows. This can be seen even in Hawaiʻi, where civil unions were vetoed in July. Ironically, the idea of marriage and love in this country bring notions of diamond rings and lovebirds. Yet in Senegal, 24 men were arrested at a party after officers found makeup, jewelry, and safe-sex materials in the house. In Madrid, two lesbians were violated in a restaurant, despite Spain having legalized same sex marriages in 2005. These incidents of violence then go further than talk of marriage. They enter a realm where it is okay to question humanity and allow hateful messages to continue to suppress, or even kill, those who stray from what is today considered the norm. While the possible overturn of Proposition 8 should be applauded, do not forget that there are a multitude of LGBT movements with varying agendas that go far beyond marriage. Do not forget about discrimination in employment, the abuse and killings of LGBTs, and lack of gay rights in the U.S. and internationally. Spain has showed that its legalization of same sex marriages did not end discrimination, but California’s bold move is a step towards acceptance and respect for all people.

Chris Mikesell's Clips - 101008  

Clips of Chris Mikesell's writing between April 8, 2009 and October 8, 2010.

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