Food and Power in Hawaii

It was really interesting to read about Hawaii’s farmers’ markets and farms in general. Chapter 4 talked a lot about the different types of farmers’ markets and what the impact is on communities. It was very interesting to learn about the environmental movements that pushed farmers’ markets into popularity and are seen as essential to Hawaii’s food access and health. However, there were class and elitist expectations associated with farmers’ markets. Markets also support farmers more than the poor who suffer from food insecurities. Markets also serve as public and political spaces. There are four different types of markets that the chapter includes, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation-Sponsored Markets, People’s Open Markets, Private Markets, and “Anything Goes” Markets. Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation-Sponsored Markets serves various different demographics and unites farming families, it also uses social media to promote the market. The People’s Open Markets is a government response sponsored by the city and county of Honolulu to the lack of fresh produce in certain areas and the high cost of living. The market provides older immigrants access to fresh food at low costs, which could be even lower than prices in grocery stores. Private markets are usually for-profit and utilize social media. It also provides grants and non-profit status to farms. Farmers Markets balance between whole foods and prepared foods, and local customers and tourists. 

Chapter 7 discusses women ran farms. It discusses the political economy that surrounds small farms. The chapter also includes the debate between conventional and organic agriculture. Women-run farms tend to produce a greater variety of produce and food. Many of the women had previous sexist employment experiences before starting a farm. Their main concern and reason for starting farms is to care for the health of their family, friends, and themselves.

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