Food and Power in Hawaii

I found this weeks reading very interesting because of all of the different ways it analyzed organic farming. Starting with the chapter on the farmers markets helped to understand what the food industry was like in Hawaii. While looking at all the different types of markets that they have, I couldn’t help but compare it to the different types of markets that I’ve spent time at. It seems like most of the ones I have been to are more like the private markets because they are more of a social activity that brings in more people. But each of the types of markets serve a different demographic. Despite there being multiple different markets in many different locations on the islands, people of native Hawaiian descent especially, are still facing food insecurity. Despite many markets being open most of the week, these people do not have access to grocery stores, much less the farmer’s markets. Chapter seven talked about women in organic farming which was interesting to learn about because I feel as if we hear a lot of Organic farming but not specific struggles within it. Organic farming itself is inherently labor intensive and costly. But especially when examining women’s roles within it, we realize just how difficult it is for these women to succeed. Most of them started these farms to become their own bosses, however they still have to work off the farm to support themselves. There are an abundance of issues that come with being a woman in organic farming, however these women set an example so that more women will want to participate in organic farming. Lastly, chapter eight was also interesting to me especially because WWOOF is a program that I would love to participate in in the future. The introduction of this program in Hawaii simply makes sense. Finding labor that is cost effective for these farms that are already tight on costs, is a difficult thing. By bringing in these volunteers, it helps keep these farms running without having to pay the high cost of labor. There are pro’s and con’s with these types of arrangements, as there are with most. The farms obviously receive volunteer labor from people who want to learn about organic farming, and the volunteers learn and get experience on these organic farms. However, some of the volunteers get stuck with mundane tasks that they feel are not what they came here to do, but the farms also need these types of tasks done to keep the farm running. But in the end if there is proper communication between the hosts and the volunteers, people who volunteer receive an experience that they want and the farms receive labor that they need in order to keep the farm afloat.

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