Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘food sovereignty’

On Tuesday night, at Church of the Crossroads, organizers held a first organizational meeting towards forming a islands-wide Food Policy Council.

What is a Food Policy Council?
Food Policy Councils (FPCs) bring together individuals and community members from diverse food-related sectors to examine how the food system is operating and to develop recommendations on how to improve it. FPCs may take many forms, but are typically either commissioned by state or local government, or predominately a grassroots effort. Food policy councils have been successful at educating officials and the public, shaping public policy, improving coordination between existing programs, and starting new programs. Examples include mapping and publicizing local food resources; creating new transit routes to connect underserved areas with full-service grocery stores; persuading government agencies to purchase from local farmers; and organizing community gardens and farmers’ markets.

While FPC’s are not a new concept, their structures, practices, and policies are still evolving. Although the first Food Policy Council started 30 years ago in the city of Tennessee, only in the last decade have Food Policy Councils really gained momentum, and today there are over 100 councils in the United States (see a full list).

From Denise on O`ahu:
If you are concerned about Hawai’i food security, local decision-making and control, school lunches, farming, farm land, nutrition, or land use get involved with  FPC.

The first meeting was very well attended.  George Kent and Stuart Novick are the main organizers.  Very inclusive, consensus style, this is just the beginning.

The suggested purpose is to ‘ensure good nutrition for all, under all conditions.’  Important to include everyone that wants to participate and publicize what is already going on and co-ordinate everyone’s efforts.  Local/area FPCs in Hawai’i will/are already being developed.

If you want to stay informed and/or participate in a Working Group contact:  fpchawaii@yahoo.com. There are several opportunities (you can join more than one group):

POSSIBLE FOOD POLICY COUNCIL WORKING GROUPS:

ORGANIZATION WORKING GROUP. The OWG will develop an FPC charter and rules, including membership procedures, decision making, organizational structure, financial structure, and leadership.

COMMUNICATIONS WORKING GROUP.  The CWG is responsible for internal FPC communications and also external communications to and from others. It will establish an Internet-based communications system to support the work of the FPC, and provide technical assistance to those who need it.

HEALTH AND NUTRITION WORKING GROUP. The HNWG will focus on ways in which Hawaii’s food system affects the health of its people, including those who are most vulnerable to malnutrition.  Special attention will be given to infants, preschoolers, school children, prisoners, the homeless, people with disabilities, people with low income, and the elderly.  It would also give attention to specific nutrition related concerns such as overweight and obesity and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

FOOD SYSTEM WORKING GROUP.  The FSWG will describe, assess, and propose improvement in the food system in Hawaii, including the potential for strengthening local farming and gardening. They will promote contingency planning to ensure Hawaii’s resilience in the face of uncertainties regarding rapid onset crises such as tsunamis, electrical power failures, and failure of the water supply system, and slower-onset crises such as failures in the global, national, and local economy; climate change; and energy shortfalls.

COMMUNITY FPC WORKING GROUP.  The CFPC-WG will assist and support community FPCs in all islands with research, data, communications and planning.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS WORKING GROUP The GRWG will determine what agencies are involved with FPC related concerns, what they are doing and plan to do, what legislation is being proposed, and whether new legislation is necessary to achieve the FPC’s aims.

The Communications Working Group is your link for support.  If you have questions, ideas, or problems to discuss, email :  fpchawaii@yahoo.com

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

From our friends and ‘ohana at Sierra Club Hawai’i Chapter:

In a 7-1 vote last week, the State of Hawaii Land Use Commission approved Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii, Inc.’s proposed reclassification 767 acres of farmland to the urban district. Castle & Cooke proposes to build thousands of new homes and a medical complex at Koa Ridge between Mililiani and Waipio.

The Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter, as a party to the case, asked the Commission to deny the reclassification because the project would adversely impact an already congested highway and prime agricultural lands.

“Castle & Cooke’s plan for Koa Ridge is the epitome of urban sprawl,” said Robert D. Harris, Director of the Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club. “When we’re importing 85 to 90% of our state’s food, it’s absurd to pave over land that has been consistently and profitably providing food for O`ahu.

The Sierra Club brought expert witnesses before the Commission earlier in the year that testified about the detrimental impacts of losing nearly 800 acres of some of the best farmland in the state. Even Castle & Cooke’s own expert noted that the Koa Ridge proposal would develop approximately 5% of O`ahu’s remaining prime farmland (soil rated “A” and “B” under the ALISH system). The State Department of Agriculture testified that fifty percent of O`ahu’s prime farmland had been paved over in the past fifty years.

“Diversified agriculture increased 475% between 1990 and 2004,” said Harris. “There has been a resurgence of interest in eating in a local and sustainable manner. But if we want further growth in agriculture, we need to have the farmland.”

There are other anticipated demands on farmland, like growing bioenergy, which will require thousands of acres of farmlands with a ready supply of irrigable water. “It’s a slippery slope,” Harris continued.  “As we develop more agricultural land, it drives up the cost for the remaining parcels and makes it more difficult for other farmers to grow local.”

One knowledgeable scientist testified that University of Hawaii faculty researchers are concerned O`ahu will lose its capability to feed itself unless large farmlands like Koa Ridge were preserved. “We’re just one hurricane away from starving,” said Harris.  “We’re dangerously reliant on food from being shipped into O`ahu. Preserving and growing agriculture in the State is a matter of basic food security.”

Other witnesses testified about the surplus of land already proposed for development in Central O`ahu and the negative impact of increased traffic on folks traveling along the H-1 corridor. The state’s traffic expert testified that the peak “rush hour” traffic could extend bottlenecks on the H-1 freeway potentially from as early as 5:00 am in the morning and similar hours in the evening.  The H-1 already has a grade “F” designation, the worst service traffic level.

The Sierra Club believes that the housing demand can be met without sprawling on more agricultural lands in Central O`ahu. Existing urban areas in Central O`ahu, such as Wahiawa and Waipahu, should be redeveloped. Further, over 13,000 units of housing have already been approved on over 1500 acres of agricultural land for new growth in Central O`ahu. Although the developer claims that new land must be developed to meet growing demand, population in some surrounding Central O`ahu communities actually decreased between 1990 and 2000.

O`ahu is hitting some real limits to growth. We need to start redeveloping built areas instead of paving our finite and precious farmlands,” said Harris. “Particularly with plans for over 13,000 new housing units already on the books for Central O`ahu, it’s outrageous that the Commission would authorize new development of the best agricultural lands in the state.”

For more information, you can check out Sierra Club on the web at http://www.sierraclubhawaii.com/media.php

And here’s coverage from back in May of part of the LUC hearing on Koa Ridge: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2010/May/21/bz/hawaii5210320.html

Read Full Post »

Mahalo to all who took action in the last few months, asking the Army Corps of Engineers to hold a public hearing on a permit to allow Hawai’i Ocean Technology, Inc. (HOTI) to build a proposed 247-acre ahi tuna feed lot off the Kohala Coast. 100% of the feed for this project would be imported from fisheries in places like Peru, and 90% of the tuna they feedlot will be exported to Japan and the continental U.S. (Does this sound like local food sovereignty to you? Not so much.)

Last week, we got news that HOTI has withdrawn their permit application. They may still be looking to do a smaller one-cage “experimental” operation. We’ll keep you updated. But for now, count this is a victory for the ocean.  Mahalo for your action! Thanks to you, we’re a little closer today to a collective vision of food sovereignty and a functioning food system for Hawai’i. To learn more or to join the hui in support of pono aquaculture, you can go to www.ponoaqua.org

Read Full Post »

From Shelley:

Two weeks ago I attended a Food Sovereignty Conference in Waimanalo.  I was a little bummed because I was on the planning committee, working on behind the scenes stuff, but in retrospect I can’t complain!  Went to some awesome workshops and met some incredible people.

The first day was devoted to the Youth Delegation to learn more about the concept of Food Sovereignty and about the leadership qualities it will take to turn Hawai`i’s food dependency around.

The next day was open to the general public and after an opening plenary we embarked on huaka`i (field trips) to various farms and other food systems in the area.  The sites were UH SOFT Garden, Mala Laulima, Olomana Gardens, Aina Aloha o na Limahana and an on-site Aquaponics demonstration.  That was a HOT day, I got burnt.  I went to Mala Laulima, an organic garden behind Waimanalo Elementary School.

The last and final day was full of workshops to attend.  I attended `Ai Pono, Local Pollinators, and Native Limu.  It was awesome.  `Ai Pono was Uncle Herbert Hoe and his daughter Aunty Tammy.  They are working hard to incorporate fresh and traditional foods into school lunches!  This past year they only served at Hakipu’u Learning Center (a charter school run by their family), but next year they are expanding to 7 schools!  Exciting! 🙂 They said the kids get mountain apple in their fruit salad–so lucky! They use `ulu from their yard, and are able to buy produce from nearby farmer’s (they’re from Waiahole).  Aunty’s message: “It CAN be done!” 🙂 So inspiring.

The session on Local Pollinators was so awesome!  They brought different kinds of honey for us to try–so ‘ono, as well as a display bee colony.  Did you know that Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop was the first one to introduce honeybees to Hawai`i?  We learned all about how different kinds of bees pollinate different kinds of plants.  Here’s one of the coolest images they used.  The top is a cucumber that had been “visited” (supposed to be by a bee, but this might have been hand pollinated) only a few times, next to one that was “visited” many times.  Night and day!

the power of pollination!

Bees are so important!  I learned of a new deleterious effect of pesticides and herbicides–they can kill bees!  The presenters were saying that bee folks think that this is a contributing factor to the decline in wild bee populations.  Another reason to go organic! 🙂 The other cool thing I learned was that we have native honeybees!

The bummer thing is that the other day I saw this article about how they are being considered for federal protection because they’ve become extremely rare. They are endemic, not found anywhere else in the world! The article said that they may be getting pushed out by honeybees, but the presenters said that studies in Brazil said that honeybees are not known to be invasive, but instead pollinated enough plants so that native bees continued to have habitat and food.  Not sure which one is the case in Hawai`’i.

The last workshop I went to was on Native Limu–wow, so much knowledge!  Uncle Henry Chang-Wo shared about how he can look at the limu on the shoreline to tell what kind of fish are present in the area–because certain fish only eat certain limu.  Wow!  He also shared about how some kinds of limu can only grow in areas where there is fresh, clean water outflow–if you see that one on the shore you know that the watershed of the area is somewhat still intact. He explained that limu was to Hawaiians what herbs and spices are to other cultures.  I could go on and on, but really, if you ever get a chance to meet Uncle Henry, be ready to learn!

Mahalo to all the presenters, hosts, and participants–see you all next year! 🙂

Read Full Post »

From our friends at the Hawai’i Farmer’s Union:

All FARMERS and FRIENDS of farmers are invited to the next meeting of the Kauai Chapter of HFU, on Monday, May 24, 2010, from 7-9 pm, at the Lihue Neighborhood Center, on Eono Street. We will have a featured speaker on the water issues on Kauai, plus additional topics to be presented:

  • A brief history of NFU/HFU
  • What HFU can do for you
  • What you can do for HFU=Join! Farmers & Friends are welcome!
  • An invitation for agricultural leaders to join the core group of the Kauai Chapter
  • An invitation for one of our farmers to fill the vacant seat on the Board of Directors

For more info call Patti Valentine at 652-0433, or email us: HFUKauai@gmail.com. Additional meetings are planned around the island this summer and winter.

Our mission: Hawaii Farmers Union advances the rights of farmers to create vibrant and prosperous agricultural communities for the benefit of all through cooperation, legislation, and education.

Read Full Post »

Today, Hawai’i is looking at a proposed new offshore ahi tuna farm–the very first ever to be approved for waters under U.S. jurisdiction. Of course, to raise fish that eat fish (carnivorous fish), you need… fish. Fish like anchovies, generally taken from fisheries around the global south, particularly Central and South America.

The fact that a significant amount of the fish caught on this planet goes to make fish meal (for feeding fish and other farmed livestock) is a growing concern for world health and food security (Global and Regional Food Consumption Patterns and Trends, World Health Organization, Section 3.5).

The 247-acre operation proposed for Hawai’i, to be run by Hawaii Ocean Technology, Inc., will require 12,000 tons of fish feed annually, at full operation (according to its own EIS, prepared by Tetratech).

This short movie–“The Greed for Feed”–is testament to some of the impacts that fish feed harvesting has had on coastal Peruvian communities.

When we talk about aquaculture and “food security” in Hawai’i… is this what we mean?

Read Full Post »

This issue of Edible Hawaiian Islands is devoted to fish, fishing, and fisheries. How fish gets from the sea to your plate, and everything in between.

Some interesting ideas on the future for “sustainable” fisheries by Jon Letman, and on raising fish “Loko” style by Rob Parsons.

We’re liking: Rob’s interview with Michael Kumuhauoha Lee, of the ‘Ewa Beach Limu Restoration Project–

Lee believes that modern Western aquaculture systems run into difficulties by trying to maximize dollar output, and by not looking at how true natural resource systems of abundance are created. “It is the Hawaiian belief,” says Lee, “that everything is a living being. The outer fishpond rock walls are like the skin–they are porous and allow zoo-plankton to pass through. Plankton and algae are among the most basic life forms.

“The fresh-water springs are like a circulatory system,” says Lee. “It is essential to set up a diverse biosphere, and to plant and seed the limu to attract the fish into the pond. Don’t disregard the vitality of the elemental systems, the safeguards and the knowledge that is already here.”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »