W H E R E T H E I D E A W A S B O R N .... I R O N I C A L L Y F R O M E A T I N G A L O T O F F I S H
Anna here, founder of Happy Maki and former devourer of fish. I wanted to quickly share with you my life changing experience of staying at Kamoka pearl farm on a 2 month working holiday (wwoofing)
Kamoka is an organic black Tahitian pearl farm which is situated on a small atoll in the Tuamotos of French Polynesia. Drinking water used is collected from rainfall, electricity from solar panels and food is largely hunted from the sea in which the farm sits. All the employees live near or on the farm and walk to work, I used to swim, shark infested commute to work ... tick ! A typical day was 6.30am -3pm which included diving, cleaning oysters, cooking and general farming tasks, plus a long and large lunch at 11. During my time here I learnt how to farm pearls, free dive, spear fish and how to prepare and cook new types of food. Most importantly I learnt how delicate the oceans ecosystems are and how important it is for us to respect the water and everything that lives in it. And just incase the place doesn't sounds magical enough to you yet, at the end of my stay I was paid in pearls for my time and efforts.
As a vegan its weird to think back to my time there and the amount of fish that I did eat. As far as quality goes It was as local and as hand selected as you could EVER get. I sometimes ate fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner and occasionally there were catches that produced what felt like an unlimited supply of tuna sashimi. When I returned home from this version of paradise I returned to university to study Nutrition. Turns out I had definitely lost interest in the scientific side of food and I had developed my own strong opinions of what was not only correct factually but what was relevant to best help fight the nutritional issues faced in the UK today.
After being inspired by a particular documentary "End of the Line" the idea for Happy Maki was born. Happy Maki combines my passion for cooking, public health and marine conservation/ veganism into a complex and interlinking triad. Fish stocks and the marine environment have taken and are continuing to take a sever bashing due to our demands to have fish as a main protein source in our diet. It is our aim to raise awareness of ongoing marine issues and improve the appeal of veganism, giving people an option to eat truly sustainable sushi which is good for their bodies, good for the oceans and great for the taste buds.