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Undue Outside Influence

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Scoop | 0 comments

Undue Outside Influence

Based on tax returns, it’s clear that mainland-based nonprofit groups and foundations have heavily — and improperly — influenced efforts to adopt anti-GMO legislation in Hawaii.

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Countering Propaganda: A Profile of Dr. Rao

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Ag Tech, People | 0 comments

Countering Propaganda: A Profile of Dr. Rao

Dr. Kameswara Rao counters anti-GMO propaganda in India, discusses the movement’s motivations and talks about the agricultural challenges facing his nation.

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Usings Nature’s Tools

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Ag Tech, People | 0 comments

Usings Nature’s Tools

Bose Institute researcher Dr. Sampa Das is finding that Nature’s own defense mechanisms may hold the key to boosting productivity and reducing pesticide use in India’s important food crops.

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Last Hawaii Anti-GMO Law Invalidated

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Ag Tech | 0 comments

Last Hawaii Anti-GMO Law Invalidated

A federal judge has overturned the last anti-GMO law in Hawaii, firmly establishing state and federal preemption rights throughout the Islands.

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Debating Ag Tech

Posted by on Jun 28, 2015 in Ag Tech | 0 comments

Debating Ag Tech

Though myriad innovations promise to help agriculture, some farmers are slow to adopt new technologies. I moderated an on-line debate that brought together people from around the world to puzzle out why.

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Sandbagged

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Scoop | 0 comments

Sandbagged

A “temporary” sandbag revetment remains in place after two decades, degrading the beautiful beach at Haena, Kauai, as the houses it protects steadily rise in value.

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Food Justice

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Food, Musings | 1 comment

Food Justice

As soon as I got into the cab that was taking me to Incheon airport in Seoul, the driver asked if I was an American. I said yes, a tad tentatively, not sure what sort of reaction I’d receive. “I love Americans,” he enthused, his face breaking into a big smile. “My father was in the [Korean] war, and he told me, ‘son, never forget what the Americans did for us.’ Even now, when I think of how many Americans died to liberate us…” His voice cracked and trailed off, and he dabbed at his eyes. A few minutes later, he told me that he was 60 years old — old enough to remember the desperate, hard scrabble years that followed the war. “I was hungry, so hungry,” he said. “Americans brought us food. I remember they brought food to my school, and the cookies, they were the best cookies I’d ever had, because I was so hungry. I can remember what it’s like to be hungry. But the young people today, they never knew that hunger. They have forgotten what America did for us.” I looked out at the skyscrapers that towered beside us, the cars whizzing by on an eight-lane freeway, the modern apartment buildings, the bridges spanning the Han River — all of it constructed in the post-war years, creating the only life that the under-30 folks had ever known.The driver, whose name was Dan Kim, tuned in a Joan Baez recording on his I-pod before continuing, telling me that he’d driven a Frenchman to the airport one time, and their conversation had turned to America. The Frenchman had said he didn’t much care for America, because it was the world’s policeman. “But the world needs a policeman,” Kim said. “Small countries like ours, we cannot stand up for ourselves with big countries like China and Russia hovering over us, looking to take us over. And I told the Frenchman, have you forgotten how many Americans died to liberate France from the Germans, how much money they spent to rebuild your country after the war? He had no answer. He had forgotten, because he was not old enough to remember. He was not old enough to have been hungry.” I said nothing myself, having had my own reservations about America’s role as the world’s policeman, having never suffered the calamity of war, having never been hungry. But when I got out of the cab, I thanked him for sharing his experiences with me, because it had made me think. And he thanked me, just for being an American. Later, back in Honolulu, checking my phone, I saw an email forwarded by a friend. It was from an organization in Oakland, Calif., advertising an expensive tour to “Join Food First to explore food justice in [sic] O’ahu.” Clicking on the link, I saw this: Explore O’ahu’s beautiful landscapes & vibrant culinary traditions while meeting with the actors cultivating food justice in paradise. Yeah, they’re actors all right. Because while they’ve been busy fighting biotech crops on social media, they’ve forgotten to actually produce food or feed the hungry. Though some 20 percent of the people in Hawaii depend on the food banks to eat, the anti-GMO movement has done nothing to supply the food banks, set up...

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Bring Back the Muckrakers

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Kauai Eclectic | 1 comment

Bring Back the Muckrakers

As journalists, if we can break stories and show what’s really going on, people will respond.

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Soul Food in Seoul

Posted by on Jun 7, 2015 in Musings, Travel | 1 comment

Soul Food in Seoul

While wandering the grounds of the ancient Bongeunsa Buddhist temple, I discover solace and a sign that portends new beginnings.

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India Farmers Face Technology Gap

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in Ag Tech, People | 0 comments

India Farmers Face Technology Gap

Though their yields, and incomes, have risen in recent years, farmers in India question why they can’t access the same technology enjoyed by farmers in the West.

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