One of the first foods I picture when I think of Hawaii is Spam! Isn’t that crazy? One of the reasons that Spam became so popular in Hawaii, though, is that they rely so heavily on imported food there. When you’re an isolated string of islands, you can only grow so much food, right? And food that’s traveling 2500 miles or more to get to your plate needs to hold up, and Spam certainly fits that bill.
A major reason that Hawaii relies so much on imported food is that much of its farmland is not growing food for the people who live there. According to Scott Cooney at our sister site, Inspired Economist:
Monsanto and other biotech firms have used Hawai’i as a seed laboratory for decades. In fact, a majority of the GMO seed corn sold to farmers in the midwest comes from Hawai’i. As oil prices continue to rise and the cost of importing fresh food from 2500 miles away goes with it, Hawai’i is reconsidering the wisdom of plantation crops that don’t feed its people.
A new documentary is looking at the politics behind Monsanto’s and other biotech firms’ effects on the land and the people in Hawaii. You can read more about the film at Inspired Economist or watch it right here:
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by RodenyRamsey