I have been following Andrea Dean's blog ( http://www.andreadean.com/blog/ ) who is doing a very interesting experiment herself. She is trying to eat food grown locally on a Food Stamp budget for a month. I think it's about day 9 now and she is half way through her monthly budget.
It has brought up some interesting conundrums. Isn't the goal to get folks OFF food stamps and be self-supporting with regards to food? Comments welcome.
Of course it took me years of hard work and dues paying to be able to own land to grow my own food supply. So how do we get people who don't own land to be able to grow their own food? Comments welcome.
Why do people purchase their food supply from Costco (you name the store) verses growing their own or buying locally produced food? I have a few ideas. After growing and preparing our own food for a month my wife will tell you it is a lot more work and takes a lot more time to prepare your own food. So the convenience of store bought food is a big factor. Eating and preparing your own food isn't for the lazy folks, which eliminates most of us.
Price is another big reason. Local farmers cannot make a decent living selling raw agricultural products because they are competing against cheap industrial agriculture subsidized by cheap oil. It is cheaper to grow food in a foreign country using oil based inputs and pay the transportation costs than to grow food in Hawaii. Someone commented on Andrea's blog that foreign mangos are cheaper in the mainland than Hawaii grown mangos are in Hawaii. Think about that. Ask yourself why.
Variety is another factor. Canoe crops grow easily here but people don't eat Taro. When was the last time you at taro/poi? Today, Last Week, Last Month, Last Year, or I can't remember????