AINA: That Which Feeds Us

23 mins2015

ʻĀINA means “That Which Feeds Us” in the Hawaiian language. The filmʻĀINA highlights a way to address some of the most pressing environmental and health issues facing the island of Kauaʻi - and of island Earth. That may sound like an outstanding claim, but as ʻĀINA vividly illustrates, such is the power of agriculture and food for people and the planet. "When we look at agriculture globally, it is the largest interface between humans and the environment. Agriculture is either going to make us or break us.”

The global story of ʻĀINA is told from the little Hawaiian island of Kaua'i, where two of the most extreme versions of agriculture on Earth are represented. On one side is a traditional ecological system that has allowed Hawaiians to live in abundance for over a thousand years. On the other side, four of the world's largest agrochemical companies use the island to spray an estimated ten tons of pesticides every year on genetically modified test crops, poisoning the fragile island environment, local community, and ultimately the consumers of products made from this industrial model.

This film production has been about exploring the balance between truth and opinion, and about understanding the balance between sustainable agriculture and the need to feed a growing population. We have seen strong, ancient traditions go face-to-face with the modern societies and we have been made painfully aware that one must never forget where we came from and what we can learn from history. By documenting the power and beliefs of the Kaua’i people, our conviction that change is possible and that it needs to come from within each one of us has grown stronger than ever.

The immense impacts of industrial agriculture have become inescapable. With increasing awareness and demand for healthy and sustainable food entering the mainstream, we are at a tipping point in consumer culture that will significantly and positively change our world. We hope that ʻĀINA is a part of the momentum that will tip the scale and that it will inspire change the same way the people of Kaua’i inspired us and leave you feeling the power of Aloha. If we are inspired with a sense of love for this world we will care for it; from our own well being, to the health of society and the biosphere.