Fresh For Everyone
In Sydney Australia one thing that is lacking is local gardens as much of our fresh food is shipped from other parts of the country, due to the rapid growth and urbanization of Sydney. This does not mean we need to outsource our a fresh produce, if we can grow it ourselves. Over the past few weeks i have explored the big island of Hawaii and learned about the environment with 6 other wonderful students, facilitated by Greg, Dr Dave and our lovely mentors Topher and Laura. Together we visited many locations around the island. I was particularly inspired by our visit to Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture (HIP Agriculture) where we met Dash, the founder of HIP Ag, he showed us around his farm and the benefits of organic farming practices.
I’ll be the first to say that organic foods are not often cost effective for consumers. Organic foods often sell for much higher than conventional products, and i experienced this first hand working at a local farmer’s market for several months selling people over priced organic fruits vegetables and breads. An example of for pink lady apples at a sydney supermarket (woolworths) conventional apples likely to have some form of gmo is $2.70 (aud) per kg (2.2lbs) for the same variety of apples at the same supermarket organic pink lady apples cost $6.98 (aud) per kg, almost three times the price. I like many others think we should support organic farms and produce as it is better for us and and (often) supports the local economy.
While visiting Dash at HIP he pushed the idea of home gardening projects to grow your own organic produce a much more cost effective alternative to buying these products in stores. The idea of a “grow your own” is great and has a large number of benefits such as education about fresh foods to children , gets people outside and is far better and healthier for you promoting a healthier alternative to many of today’s foods. I believe that the idea of a school garden or even on a larger scale the idea of a community garden could be beneficial to many people providing education and access to fresh grown foods that people are excited to try and i would love to oversee a project similar to this.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) is a controversial topic throughout the world and especially in Hawaii. GMO’s have been known to help people in countries suffering from drought and famine as the GMO crops can be modified to withstand such climates, but in many developed countries GMO’s are used to create more larger and aesthetically pleasing crops, by customer standards. there are also many downsides to GMO use, it is said that it can be harmful to consume, genetic engineering of plants can have many side effects that may be harmful to humans and/or the surrounding flora&fauna, GMO usage is harmful to the local environments and animals. Organically farmed products often help to support the local economy with local farmers when you buy GMO you support large international cooperations such as Monsanto. When you buy organic you support your local farmer and support your local economy helping the community to grow and prosper.
Organic foods are not available to everyone and can be very over priced, so in my community i would like to see the construction of both school and community gardens to give everyone access to fresh, clean organic food. The construction of these projects would mean people would get fresh healthy organic foods at little to no cost promoting healthier food for less. therefore creating a healthier greener community.
For the past number of years we have taken from the land and destroyed it and GMOs will further aid the destruction of our land as we also will further lack crop diversity making them believe disease failure and other issues. I believe that a community garden would benefit to my community and would promoting stronger, healthier crops this would also help to educate the community about fresh healthy eating.