With Hawai’i importing 90 percent of its food, what ideas do you have to increase food self-sufficiency in the state?

With food waste being such a big issue, especially in the U.S., I think the first problem to tackle should be this.

One idea is to use the land we have wisely. Golf courses, luxury hotels and other large space consuming entities take up a large portion of the island’s limited land.

Sure, many crops may not grow in this kind of environment, but many others do. In addition, the state/federal government should provide subsidies or other incentives for those who grow produce locally.

I also think it should be easier for people to obtain things like starter seeds so they can begin to produce food for their own families.

The government/state should be encouraging household gardens, community gardens and crop sharing. 

I think if the tools/supplies necessary to begin were more easily accessible and less expensive, people would be more inclined to begin producing for themselves and their families

 – Hailey Modzelewska

There are a lot of different ways to grow our own foods without cutting down trees and hurting the wild life. There is a lot of good farming land that’s not being used at all. For instance going towards ‘Ewa, there is a lot of clear unused land that can be used for cattle or farming.

In your own backyards, you can start growing your own vegetables. That way you don’t have to buy from stores.

They could always stop the Dole pineapple fields and grow other things like potatoes, corn or anything. There is plenty of land on this island to grow or raise our own food.

We just need to stop being so lazy and do something. That’s the biggest problem–nowadays everyone is just is just too lazy to do things for themselves.

– Richard Kaluhiwa Shanks

It sounds crazy, but I think we should mass produce taro. The Hawai’i taro farms are cool, but if we farmed it using the old Hawaiian way, on an industrial scale, we could create a taro product that we could export that could generate loads of tourism and sustain Hawai’i in the event of an emergency.

The taro farms are nowhere near finished, and there is so much fertile land here and potential for jobs and revenue. I think if we farmed taro using the old Hawaiian methods, nobody would object to it. Also, I think pigs could become an excellent food source. Boars here are invasive and if we developed wide scale methods to farm them, we could sustain all kinds of people living here. I think these two methods would be culturally acceptable and good for the environment and the product would be ‘ono!

 – Dalton Duffield

To have more farms and places that produce food so that we don’t have to import 90 percent of our food from outside of Hawai’i. Plus growing food here will be healthier in the sense that food from outside sources need to add hormones and other unnatural substances to keep the food from going bad on the way here. Also, I think it would be cheaper if we grew food here because it will be local instead of having to keep buying food from other places. Even if it’s not 100 percent of the food being grown here, at least have a bigger ratio of food to be grown here. Since 90 percent isn’t local–it should be 50 percent or 60 percent.

– Jonah Nichols

I think that Hawai‘i resource of land management needs to push the idea of self sustainability. We have fishponds that cultivated enough fish for our ancestors. If we utilize our fishponds to feed our community, then we would be one step up in being sustainable in our food security.

Lo’i kalo and farming is such a practical but useful idea in helping our island. We have to keep in  mind our geographic location makes it harder to export and import, so why don’t we just stop doing it. Primarily people just love junk, fast, canned foods, and that’s not bad. But if we are looking at a food crisis, the people of Hawai’i are going to need to adapt to a sustainable lifestyle. That is if you want to live in Hawai’i.

– Rayn Kekai Ruperti-Yans