Do you eat? Well then, welcome to the food movement! Oahu’s food systems are currently broken. For example, Hawaii imports 85-90 percent of its food and 40 percent of the food we buy ends up in the landfill or incinerated. In other words, we spend our food dollars abroad then send 40 percent of the food, along with the plastic and cardboard packaging, to our incinerators and landfills. Meanwhile, over 14 percent of Hawaii’s population receives emergency food assistance. It’s creepy but people are seeking opportunity in repairing this system.
The Hawaii Food Policy Council is leading the way. They are an independent grassroots organization dedicated to building a healthy food system in the Islands by empowering communities through education, analysis, and strategic networking. You can read all about them and see what projects they are currently working on here. Because of how inefficient the American food system has become, Food Policy Councils are sprouting up all over the nation to connect consumers’ concerns with policy makers and other key players to improve the food system.
How to free yourself from this warped system:
1. Eat Local – you will taste the difference, support local farmers, and reduce your carbon foot print. Support restaurants that use local ingredients.
4. Volunteer or support organizations that are revolutionizing our food systems like the Hawaiian Food Policy Council, Ma’o Farms, Give it Fresh Today, The Green House, Permablitz, and Greenwheel Food Hub. Lend a hand at your local school garden or community garden.
5. Contact and support our local government – let them know you are interested in a change in the food system and restoring our unused agricultural lands.