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October 23, 2018

The United States spends 1 billion to dispose of food ; Sustainability?


 

The pillbox mural at Ho'okipa (on the road from Paia to Haiku) got another paint job. This time, to evict Monsanto, which has a huge presence on Maui and throughout Hawaii with fields of GMO crops. There's a lot of anti GMO- activism on Maui!!!

The pillbox mural at Ho’okipa (on the road from Paia to Haiku) got another paint job. This time, to evict Monsanto, which has a huge presence on Maui and throughout Hawaii with fields of GMO crops. There’s a lot of anti GMO- activism on Maui!!!

Did you know that…?
● 40% of all the food produced in the United States goes uneaten, it goes into the garbage

● Americans throw away an estimated 25% of the food they bring home ­ that is more than 20
pounds of food per person every month. Enough to fill the Rose Bowl, a 90,000 seat stadium, every day.
● The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that a typical American throws out 40 percent of
fresh fish, 23 percent of eggs, and 20 percent of milk.

● Consider these cost estimates of all the food that never gets eaten in the U.S., and imagine just
how much we can save by wasting less food:
● 25 percent of all freshwater used in U.S.

● 4 percent of total U.S. oil consumption

● $165 billion per year (more than $40 billion from households)

● $750 million per year just to dispose of the food

● 33 million tons of landfill waste (leading to greenhouse gas emissions)

So why does Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant, claim the following?

“Hugh Grant, the CEO of agricultural giant Monsanto, often cites the world’s booming population as the core reason global citizens should embrace the genetic engineering of plants to make them resistant to herbicides, pesticides or bestow them with other traits that theoretically permit higher crop yields. Grant, and many others, seem quite certain that without genetic intervention, the world population is destined to starve.” (But we are throwing away 40% of our food, so what’s the problem?)

“Economists believe that without genetic intervention, the world population is destined to starve.”

Monsanto is the world’s largest seed-maker and GE producer whose long term focus has been to “feed the world”. Maybe the question should be “Feed the world ‘what’ Hugh?” GMO’s?

This focus begs yet another important question which is, ‘Does the US really produce more {food} than we consume’, or is this merely just another example of conspicuous consumption? Is the food industry really about supply and demand as it has been for hundreds of years?  The answer is yes!  In the domain of economics, consumerism refers to economic policies placing emphasis on consumption, and in the end it’s about money, waste, and greed. Global consumption promotes global consumerism.  Currently there are laws that even prevent restaurants and grocery stores from donating to food banks, and some states have recently banned the public from feeding the homeless all together.

Fact is, we have become a throwaway society! We throw away, clothing, pets, millions of gallons of  water, paper products, money and yes FOOD.

Monsanto feels that if they create the illusion of a shortage, they can keep demand of food HIGH.

”     If we create the illusion of a food shortage, we can keep production high. “

Big Island of Hawaii  Wendy and Kirsten are part of the sustainable living culture in Hawaii. They grow there own food, along with other small farms in the area of Hilo.\Left to right  Wendy, Roxy , Kirsten

Big Island of Hawaii
Wendy and Kirsten are part of the sustainable living culture in Hawaii. They grow there own food, along with other small farms in the area of Hilo.\Left to right Wendy, Roxy , Kirsten

Organic farmers are struggling, but why?

Kauai, Hawaii  November 2014: written by Les Drent, a 46-year-old Kapaa farmer on the island of Kauai

“My business looks like an industrialized, successful farm with greenhouses, a certified kitchen, a roasting facility, tractors and other implements, but the truth is that I rely very little on my farm to create the final products I sell. And what my farm does produce is subsidized with profits from other parts of my business: I operate a consulting company that provides various farm services to a foreign entity conducting research in Hawai‘i.

I consider myself to be a well-rounded agronomist and businessman; I have followed the USDA National Organics Program for eleven years while also adhering to the strict permitting standards established by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Both require extensive permitting and conduct routine audits that make an IRS audit seem effortless. I play by the rules, even going above and beyond what’s required. 

And I speak from experience when I say that sustainable food-based agriculture is not financially possible on Kaua‘i at this time without huge government subsidies. The costs make it impossible for farmers on this island to earn a modest living let alone to compete with corporations importing food to Hawai‘i.” 

DON'TWASTE FOOD!  PUT MONSANTO OUT OF BUSINESS!

DON’TWASTE FOOD!
PUT MONSANTO OUT OF BUSINESS!

One of Les’s readers disagrees, and really brings up some great points as to solutions:

Manawai said…

“Les Drent – You make such a good argument that you may well convince the many leftists amongst us that the County should follow a socialist model and condemn all privately-owned ag land for redistribution at low rents amongst all the wannabee farmers.

But I disagree with you on the causes of why land prices are so high. It’s far simpler than that. It’s supply & demand where the demand for warm scenic Hawaii property is far greater than the supply of it causing prices to rise to the level where demand equals supply. This edges out the middle class buyer in favor of the world’s myriad of wealthy people who have in past decades discovered Kauai for themselves. Realtors, mortgage companies and the Fed are merely tools in, not the cause of, the transition of land ownership to the wealthy. You could add lawyers, gardeners, restaurants, hospitals and everything else that makes Hawaii an easier/nicer place to live to that list.

You might also consider that our taxing policies also foster high-priced development. Private landowners are subject upon death to a high rate of estate tax currently up to 56% (State & Fed) on the value of their holdings. To me the logic is if I am forced to sell my land to pay taxes then I’m going to make darned sure that I get the highest price for it so I have the most I can make left over. So it is also our taxing policies that encourage land prices to be max’d out. But S&D is the main reason.

But then…..I’ll stick my neck out and say “Who needs food independence here?” Did we all starve during Iniki and Ewa? No. So many less-than-critical thinkers give no credit to the ability of man to overcome and deal with large-scale threats. Have you even heard the term “peak oil” lately? Nope! That’s because it’s no longer a concern. If and when we do run out of oil, there’s all sorts of other sources of energy to power ships to carry our food over from the mainland. But an exemption from the Jones Act would certainly make food more affordable for us. But again, government gets in the way of affordability and thereby is one more reason born & raised folks have to leave their island homes for cheaper cost of living locales.

Kauai is slowly becoming the land of the rich as has happened in many other desirable places to live. S&D”

Anonymous says:

“Within the organic model there is a possibility to focus on large consumption items that are heavy as well as a variety of possible value added products that would really tip the scales in favor of success, which is really what we desire as the end result of sustainability.” 

Les goes on to say that the Hawaiian Islands cannot produce enough food to feed the locals, but there are challenges to his theory, once again. According to Les, sustainability is impossible, I disagree. Sustainability would have to include eating what we grow or purchase, throwing away less. With 1 in 5 children starving in the US, there is absolutely no reason why we could not create a more sustainable way of handling our food from the ground up, literally.

At the end of the day, if we are not focused on the big picture, then at least we can all agree on the global construct of agriculture as a commodity. How can we localize agriculture? How do we become domestically dependent again? How do we focus on community when government is promoting globalism and feeding the world? The answer is we can do both. And it’s going to take a nation of critical thinkers, that being you and me.

One solution: THE TRUTH DENIED will be covering investigations on Faux food shortage and the relationship to recycling food products.(Otherwise known as waste composting, excellent idea for sustainable living in agriculture!)

After a year-long pilot, the South Carolina county received a permit to process food waste at its yard trimmings composting facility. Generators and haulers are stepping up to the plate.

After a year-long pilot, the South Carolina county received a permit to process food waste at its yard trimmings composting facility. Generators and haulers are stepping up to the plate. 

Sources

http://kauaieclectic.blogspot.com/2014/11/musings-obstacles-to-sustainable-ag.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

END HUNGER  and  FOOD WASTE: http://endhunger.org/food_waste.htm

http://foodshift.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/FoodWasteStatisticsandBibliography.pdf

http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/can-we-feed-our-world-without-monsanto

http://www.monsanto.com/gmwheat/pages/default.aspx

http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/can-we-feed-our-world-without-monsanto

http://www.biocycle.net/2013/01/23/charleston-county-fosters-food-waste-composting/ 

 

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One Response “The United States spends 1 billion to dispose of food ; Sustainability?”

  1. June 7, 2016 at 7:22 AM

    I think this is very true! I hope everyone will be aware that its never good to waste food.

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