Week 7 Blog Post

This week’s reading: excerpts from Food and Power in Hawai’i edited by Aya Hirata Kimura and Krisnawati Suryanata, discusses the social, economic, and even political dynamics of food through farming and farmers’ markets in Hawai’i. Chapter 4, written by Monique Mironesco, focuses in on Hawaiian farmers’ markets and their importance in Hawaiian food culture. Mironesco lists four different types of farmers’ markets: Hawai’i Farm Bureau Federation sponsored markets (HFBF), People’s Open Markets (POMs), Private markets, and “Anything Goes” markets. She goes through each type of market, describing the varying locations, demographics, and cultural implications. She then lists the main challenges that these farmers’ markets are facing, most notably the selling of prepared foods vs. whole foods and the presence of locals vs. tourists at the markets. In summary, she claims that the growth of farmers’ markets across Hawai’i is on track to lead to greater consumer awareness and also the potential development of more political agendas to change the course of the current Hawaiian food system. Chapters 7 and 8, written by Ava Hirata Kimura and Mary Mostafanezhad et. al respectively, delve deeper into the Hawaiian farming industry itself, specifically the rise of women farmers and organic agriculture. Obviously farming is a heavily male dominated industry across the world, and very much so in the United States with only 14 percent of principal farm operators being women (158). However, a growing number of women are finding opportunities in farming, specifically organic farming. The authors describe the growth of organic agriculture across Hawai’i as extremely important to the agro-food systems of Hawai’i, positively impacting the environment as well as the economy. Overall, this week’s readings regarding agriculture and farmers’ markets in Hawai’i helped me gain a much broader understanding of the farming’s positive impact on the food systems of Hawai’i as well as the various challenges that are being faced.

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