Hawai‘i Herald Columnist
For the past several years, I have been making a concerted effort to purchase my food ingredients from local purveyors so that more of my hard-earned dollars remain in the 50th. I realize that some of my money stays in Hawai‘i even if the produce I purchased was grown on the continent. That purchase still supports the local employee who works in that produce section or the local cashier who processed my purchase. But if you purchase local products, everyone local benefits — the employees working for that company; the grower or farmer who produced the product; and even the company managers, executives and owners return some of the dollars to the local economy by spending locally for their own personal needs.
I had this epiphany recently following a totally unrelated experience. If you recall, I enjoy a nice glass of vino. In fact, after the Hawai‘i Legislature approved direct wine shipments to the 50th, I created my fair share of accounts at various wineries in California and Washington. If you’re lucky, you are immediately offered wine directly from the winery — if not, the winery places you on a wait list. While I’m always happy to receive a wine shipment, I began noticing in the past year or so that the shipping costs have risen to the point where I am reassessing whether to continue purchasing my annual allocation of wine. Although the 50th does have its own local winery — Maui Wine Co., on the slopes of Haleakalä — I still want to sample wine from more than just one winery.
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Ryan Tatsumoto is a clinical pharmacist by day. In his off-hours, however, he and his wife enjoy seeking out perfect marriages of food and wine. Ryan is a certified sommelier and a certified specialist of wine. The Windward O‘ahu resident also writes a column for San Francisco’s Nichi Bei Weekly called “The Gochiso Gourmet.”