Daniel Anthony

Raised on the coasts of Waianae, a surfers’ paradise on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Daniel Anthony is a food sovereignty activist who has made promoting and preserving ancestral Hawaiian culture his raison d’être. Wearing nothing but a malo – a traditional Hawaiian loincloth – Daniel gives workshops and public demonstrations on poi, a sacred Polynesian staple food made from the taro plant, or kalo as it’s known in Hawaiian. His passion is teaching people about the history of poi, the health benefits of this starchy superfood, and taro pounding techniques. In 2011, this inspirational 36-year-old set up Mana Ai, a small business that produces and distributes poi and paiai –the thick and sticky undiluted form of poi – worldwide. Determined to put the “Hawaiian” back into Hawaiian cuisine, he also played a prominent role in the legalization of the public sale of hand-pounded poi. Through his work, Daniel supports local farmers, organizes and funds community and educational clubs and provides consumers with healthy, freshly-pounded, GMO-free paiai while upholding ancestral traditions. In the fight to reclaim paradise, Daniel advocates sustainability and traditional practices as the keys to a healthier community and economy. While filming for, Daniel shared his thoughts on taro farming: “All of the fighting is to use this water in this soil to grow this plant to feed this community. That’s what we fight for. That’s why we take all these risks. That may seem silly to some people but our culture’s sustenance should never be looked at as something trivial.”
Apr 1, 2015
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