Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Nancy Neiman Auerbach

Reader 2

Richard Hazlett

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© 2012 Jade Silver


This thesis focuses on the past, present, and future of food sustainability on Maui. It begins by explaining ancient Hawaiian agriculture and how this complex system of agriculture was deeply rooted in the customs and traditions of the Hawaiian people. The second section explores how this sustainable agricultural system changed after the arrival of Captain Cook in 1778. After western settlement, land that was once a communal resource became privatized. As land ownership shifted, the traditional subsistence agricultural system of Hawai’i began to change. Export crops such as sugar cane and pineapple became more widespread. As these crops shifted the way land was utilized in Hawai’i, the islands reduced the amount of crops grown for local consumption and became increasingly reliant on imported foods. The last section stresses the necessity of increasing the production of locally grown food on Maui. It discusses the locally grown food movement that has developed on Maui, and addresses the obstacles that prevent more food from being grown locally. Lastly, it suggests strategies to increase the amount of food produced for local consumption so that Maui can secure a more sustainable agricultural future.