Yesterday, I was a guest speaker at the Hui Malama School in Kahului. Using a slide show titled "Healthy People Healthy Planet" I got to show the students how our Earth formed and how we live in this beautiful ecosystem that depends on us to keep it healthy. The students learned how their food choices affect ground water pollution, rain forest destruction, desertification and resource utilization. Whoa, what does all that mean? It means that our collective food choices, have a great deal to do with the state of the declining, depleted and toxic resources that we depend on for healthy air, water and soil. In the Hawaiian Islands, 90% of our food comes from off island. We are dependent on large agribusiness for our food supply.

Slow Food Maui, in unison with Slow Food USA, works to inspire a prosperous relationship between local growers, food producers, and chefs. Slow Food Maui's Mission is to help restore our local cultural food growing processes so that we can become dependent on our local food supply for our nourishment while getting to know where their food comes from. There are many economic opportunities for local food production. It is wonderful to spend time with the youth and inspire them to connect to their community through their food choices. Here is a little more info on Hui Malama Learning Center:

Hui Malama Learning Center, a non-profit, Maui United Way member agency, offers middle school, high school, and GED prep classes, as well as tutoring and educational enrichment programs to youth on Maui.

Our programs are designed to inspire, nurture, and empower students to pursue career opportunities that contribute to Maui’s neighborhoods and bolster our islands’ economy, while preparing our students to be responsible leaders within our community.