I'm exploring the ways in which we have attempted to answer the question "Can we feed ourselves?" that arises in discussions about sustainable local agriculture. Here in Hawaii, where we import much of our food (and other household staples such as toilet paper!) from across the ocean, the debate is heating up.
Research has shown that, in Hawaii, we import a high percentage of our food (75-85%?) and that our population would be in trouble within 3 days - 2 weeks after a major disaster (earthquake/tsunami/hurricane) that might disrupt supply lines. Keep in mind that we have had some recent brushes with disasters - and the island of Kauai (pop. ~50-60,000) suffered a pretty devastating hit from Hurricane Iniki as recently as 1992. Scarier still? The original track of that storm - before it veered off at the last moment - was headed directly over Honolulu (pop. now almost 1 million!).
Proponents of "sustainable agriculture" argue that we should be promoting local agriculture through zoning, education and cultural avenues. And yet, a great deal of our former agricultural lands in Hawaii (mostly sugar and pineapple plantation) continue to be converted to residential use.
We are also concerned - in this growing age of technological connectedness - with energy sustainability - how do we keep our homes and industries powered so we remain connected?
Here are some research and descriptive resources on the subject here in Hawaii:
Hawaii’s farm future: Fertile fields?http://hawaii-agriculture.com/hawaii...ertile-fields/
"Seeds of Hope" - documentary trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y6uI...layer_embedded
And here's an interesting review and update of a 1975 book titled "Can Britain Feed Itself?" http://transitionculture.org/wp-cont...CanBritain.pdf
Are these issues being discussed regularly where you live? If so, how are they issues being addressed?