Food and Power in Hawai’i Blog Post

In chapter four, I made some realizations about farmers markets and how they benefit the community they are centered in. Every individual farmers market is a different experience. Some cater to the lower class, allowing the use of food stamps and having lower prices. Some are produce only, some allow prepared food. Some are attended by locals, others by tourists, and many are mixed. Some of them are places for quick shopping, whereas others are spaces where friends share food and spend time. The occasional farmers market will have booths for political activists, and others will focus on food alone. They each contribute to society in a different way, and each can contribute to problems in a community. Farmers markets that cater to the lower class often do not enforce zero-waste rules and produce-only farmers markets are often too expensive or separated for some people to attend. The movement of self-reliance in Hawaii that has lead to the increasing popularity of farmers markets has also created some social, economic, and political tension, but there seems to be a farmers market for everyone in Hawaii. In chapter seven, the relationship between organic agriculture and feminism was interesting to me. Farming is a stereotypically masculine career, so women who take up farming are marginalized in a way that is very common for women to experience. Women have this in common with organic agriculture, which I imagine is the reason that many women farmers will choose the organic style. organic agriculture goes against many of the more common methods used to produce food for large amounts of people. They have little opportunities to sell to large institutions and therefore face financial issues, but organic farming is far more beneficial to the environment than conventional agriculture. There is also the political aspect, which promotes clean, healthy, delicious food that is produced with care and love in contrast with food produced in factories, supplied by large farms that use pesticides. The relationship between women’s issues and organic agriculture issues are strikingly overlapping, but women farmers who choose the organic style are benefitting Hawaii overall because of how travelled food is treated. In chapter eight, I thought the WWOOF movement/program was interesting and honestly seemed really fun. There are many benefits for workers, such as a unique lifestyle, living in a beautiful place, farm benefits, and more. It works effectively for community building because it unites people under a single cause, this cause being the success of a small organic farm. However, I find it interesting that the growth of the farms decreases the value of the WWOOF workers. A larger farm would be more focused on profit, and will have more need for devoted workers, and lots of them. Considering farm labor in Hawaii in contrast with the United States, it is easy to see how Hawaii would be in need of workers. The isolation of Hawaii from the rest of the States seems to cause many issues for Hawaiian agriculture overall, but it also creates a strong sense of community.

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