Food system issues are reaching a more and more mainstream audience. Here is a great opinion piece in the NY Times.
I'm not crazy about the draconian tone or straight line projections, but he makes some good points.... Kioni Dudley's editorial calling for an Ag Revolution
EDITORIAL| ISLAND VOICES
Hawaii food threat is real, so start planning now
By Kioni Dudley
July 10, 2018
What is Hawaii’s very best-kept secret? No one is telling that our million people will be starving by 2050 if we aren’t growing all of our food locally by then.
While our attention is focused on problems of the world today, we really need to focus on the world’s population explosion and the devastating effect it will soon begin having on Hawaii.
The world’s population took 2½ million years to reach 2 billion people in 1940. Forty years later, that had doubled to 4 billion people. Now 40 years later, it has almost doubled again.
As U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue: “Today, we need to feed some 7 billion people (worldwide). By the year 2050, that population will swell to 9.5 billion. To put the demand for food into perspective, we are going to have to double our (worldwide) production between now and 2050.”
That’s a pretty big order. Too big. The United Nations predicts that by 2050, we will have 371 million people with insufficient food. That’s more people than the entire population of the United States.
But mainland America will provide for us, right? Wrong. America is struggling. In the 1990s, it went from a large exporter of food to a net importer today. America also has the world’s seventh-fastest growing population.
Each year, America uses more water to grow more food. All three of America’s largest aquifers are being depleted beyond possible replenishing. The Ogallala Aquifer which runs under our entire central bread basket — from North Dakota to Texas — dropped another foot last year alone. It has lost 60 percent of its water in 60 years. Do the math. In 40 years, it will be dry. America won’t be able to take care of mainlanders, let alone take care of us.
Much of the world is in far worse shape. No one is pointing out that almost every current war in the world is about food for starving people.
Clearly, by mid-century there will be little food anywhere for Hawaii to import, and what is available will be too costly for us to afford. Today Hawaii imports roughly 90 percent of our food.
But our need to produce that 90 percent of our food locally in just 30 years, drastically understates the far greater problem we really face. Our state Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism recently stated that by 2045 our 1.1 million people will grow to 1.65 million. For every two mouths to feed today, there will be three.
Since we grow 10 percent of our food today, we have thought that we need to produce nine times that by 2050. But with the new DBEDT population projection, in just 25 years we must produce 15 times what we grow now — an absolutely gargantuan task.
If we don’t create a true agricultural revolution NOW, by mid-century, hundreds of thousands of us and our descendants will be desperately hungry, and warring among ourselves for food.
We must wake up and start moving, refocusing our society,
I just got an email from the Slow Money Institute in Colorado with a link to their latest blog postings. They have a lovely feature on John Cadman's Maui Breadfruit Company and Pono Pies (a Slow Money Hawai borrower). It's beautifully done - from John's own testimonial for breadfruit, to the photos that show off our tropical beauty here. slowmoney.org/blog/local-groups
(excerpt from March 31, 2018 letter)
Aloha Slow Money Hawai‘i Lenders,
I hope this email finds you well. I am sending you a big mahalo for all your help obtaining freezers in December! Here is an update on our past few months and the co-op's next steps.
Two new (for us) freezers were purchased in December which enabled us to immediately move all our inventory in-house, organize it, and improve the quality and food safety of outgoing orders. Then ... we sold out! The Hawai‘i Department of Education purchased virtually all our remaining mature quartered fruit for public school lunches statewide. Here is a TV clip the ‘ulu dish they served and a newspaper article covering the story.
Unfortunately, the winter season has been exceptionally sparse so we have not been able to restock. As a result we've had to cut back our orders to a handful of core customers, including Kaiser, and are using this "downtime" to strategize for next season and the exponential volume increase we're expecting over the next 5 years.
On a slightly different note, we have continued to do educational work for farmers and the public over the past few months, including ulu pruning demos with certified arborists at 11 of our members farms and hosting a young agronomist from Haiti to train him on our ‘ulu peelers and food safety protocols. Moise also taught us a bit about ulu pruning! You can see a video of him attending one of our pruning demos here.
I invite you to follow us on Instagram and Facebook @hawaiiulucoop - we usually post photos or videos several times a week.
Dana Shapiro HUPC Manager
Slow Money Hawaii has endorsed a loan on Kiva for Mary Willich's Moody's Artisan Bakery. Mary, in business for a year, aims to expand her business to sell her gluten-free bread across the Big Island where she is based. Here's the link: www.kiva.org/lend/1496796
Presented by Harvard Business School - check it out here:
Slow Money founder Woody Tasch's new book is now available! It uses poetry, essays and photography to explore a new vision of food, money and the soil. His first book, Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money, sparked a movement. Now we have the next strong dose of vision to impel us forward. Learn more about the book here: slowmoney.org/soil2017
If anyone has an interest in bringing Woody to Hawaii for a book reading and a talk, please contact me! Aloha, Mary
Woody Tasch's new book: SOIL 2017 Of Earthworms, Billionaires, AHA! Moments, Mythic Implications and the Considerable Virtues of Bringing Our Money Back Down to Earth (Not All of It, of Course, but Enough to Matter) Notes Towards the
Yes, all that is in the title.
I was recently on a Slow Money leaders conference call and "met" Woody for the first time. He explained that the book was being self-published, at least in part, so he could be more creative - like writing his very long title!
The paragraph that follows spoke to me. My tolerance for politicized (and generally not well-informed) opinions has been exhausted in the current climate. My capacity for maintaining hope and optimism under a daily barrage of deeply disturbing news about the state of the world is diminishing rapidly. My answer to this chaos that surrounds me is to hunker down and focus on the things which I can influence and make an impact, however small it may seem in the larger scheme of things. This is why I have committed myself to family, friendship, a yoga practice that renews me, a bit of gardening and my work on Slow Money Hawaii.
Woody says it nicely in the following excerpt reprinted from SOIL: Notes Towards the Theory and Practice of Nurture Capital by Slow Money founder Woody Tasch.
We need to rediscover imagination.
Imagination that enables us to reckon our whereabouts in a world that is heating up and speeding up. Imagination that enables us to find our way past shallow punditry, tribal vitriol, global this and cyber that, past the hyper and the ultra and the mega. Imagination that leads us back to one another, to the places where we live, and to the land—not just the land of “this land is your land, this land is my land,” but also the soil itself, upon which all life depends.
I hope you can spend this Christmas season with the people you treasure most and doing some of things that make you feel whole.
Note about the author: