‘Starving in Paradise’ addresses food insecurity crisis

  • Rachel Levy / Contributed

    Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park brought in about 1.2 million visitors in 2021, exemplifying the role tourism plays in the island’s economic stability. Recently, however, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave over $1.1 million to five farms on Hawai‘i Island and one on Maui to support local food production.

  • Rachel Levy / Contributed

    The Napali Coast is one of the many natural wonders that brings so many tourists to Kaua‘i each year. In 2021 alone, more than 810,000 people visited the island, contributing to a major over-tourism problem that results in residents having to pay higher prices for food, water, and gas.

  • Rachel Levy / Contributed

    Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1972 under the Endangered Species Act, promotes traditional kalo farming practices in an effort to protect threatened and endangered waterbird species on Kaua‘i.

  • Rachel Levy / Contributed

    The sun sets over the Napali Coast. The west coast of the continental United States sits nearly 2,600 miles away from this point, yet, because Hawai‘i imports nearly 90% of the food consumed within the state, inhabitants are dependent on food imports making that journey across the Pacific on a regular basis.

  • Rachel Levy / Contributed

    A flute player makes the most of a rainy day on Hanalei Pier, a space that was once used to import and export goods from Hanalei Bay.

  • Rachel Levy / Contributed

    A tourist collects drift wood from along the beach on Kaua‘i. The tourism industry has consistently been prioritized over the agricultural industry throughout Hawaii and the North Shore of Kaua‘i, specifically, has become a major tourist destination and has contributed to rising land prices throughout the island, making it more difficult for people who’ve grown up on Kaua‘i to afford the cost of living.

Hawai‘i imports close to 90% of the food consumed throughout the state, most of it coming from the West Coast of the continental United States.

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