Hawaii's Food Insecurity: 3 Major Aspects of Food Availabilty

By Kent, George | Honolulu Star - Advertiser, September 18, 2016 | Go to article overview

Hawaii's Food Insecurity: 3 Major Aspects of Food Availabilty


Kent, George, Honolulu Star - Advertiser


Gov. David Ige's call for doubling the production of food in Hawaii by 2030 faces severe obstacles, as recognized by columnist Lee Cataluna ("Ige's dreams for the future ignore today's harsh reality," Sept. 7) and the recent editorial ("Worthy food goal faces obstacles," Our View, Sept. 9). The biggest is that the reasons for pursuing this goal and the methods for doing it are not as clear as they should be.

Many make the common error of equating food self-sufficiency -- producing what you consume -- with food security. According to the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, "Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for an active and healthy life."

Three major types of food security should concern us:

>> The need to ensure ample supplies of good food for the general population now and into the future.

>> The need for attention to the special needs of low-income people. Far too many depend on federal government programs and food pantries that offer free or very cheap food.

>> The need to plan for emergencies of various kinds such as interruptions in shipping to Hawaii or failures in local food production caused by agricultural diseases, terrorism, or other factors.

The state government has not given much attention to any of these. It ignores the alarms raised by the Hawaii Foodbank and other private agencies, and there is no serious plan for dealing with the various types of food supply emergencies that can be imagined. …

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