RYAN’S TABLE BY Ryan Tatsumoto

Since remodeling its private dining area a year or so ago, 12th Ave Grill in Kaimukï has been hosting monthly dinners featuring four- or five-course meals paired with vino specially selected by wine director Rick Lilley. Sometimes the dinners highlight a specific winemaker as the guest of honor. On other occasions, certain wines are highlighted, such as the release of 12th Ave Grill’s own private wine label.

The event I attended highlighted Hawaii Ranchers and the sustainable beef, lamb, venison and eland they raise on our neighbor islands.

Why Sustainable?

For starters, there is a limited supply of all natural resources — even our sun will extinguish its flames someday in the very distant future. But our fuel and food supplies have a much shorter “shelf” life. For instance, wild bluefin tuna, or maguro, probably will not be around for another generation due to overfishing. Wild king salmon is also getting scarcer each fishing season. To make matters worse, Hawai‘i is a small island state in the middle of the Pacific and must import most of its food (and dry goods) from Mainland sources. Something like a work stoppage can magnify the effects of unsustainable practices. Ask an older relative about the ILWU dock strike of 1949, or the 1971 West Coast dock strike. So, while it’s highly unlikely that Charmin will start manufacturing toilet paper locally, we can still try to grow our own food.

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