The Urban Food Systems Study Tour HORT 795 is a graduate-level course offered in the fall by K-State’s Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources. The study tour provides students with the opportunity to travel outside the region and examine another city’s local food system and its impact on food security. Through in-depth site visits and interviews with organizational leaders, food business entrepreneurs, farmers, and activists, students get a firsthand introduction to the urban food system. In previous years, the tour has visited Chicago and Seattle. This year we decided to coordinate the Study Tour with the 2017 American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) conference, which was located in Hawaii. Faculty and students “begrudgingly” planned the tour on the island of O’ahu, with a focus the local food movement and island food security in the metropolitan area of Honolulu.
Food security is defined by the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) as the state in which “all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Along with students from main campus and others at KSU Olathe, Zac Hoppenstedt, Ashlee Skinner, I had a chance to explore the wide variety of food resiliencies as well as vulnerabilities at play on the island of O’ahu.