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Living Off the Land in Hawaii | Explorer

people in developed countries often take
it for granted that they can eat
whatever delicacy they want from
anywhere in the world but there are some
who feared that this globalization of
food is putting all of us at risk and
they are now going back to living off
the land
here’s correspondent Jay J Kelly in
Hawaii when I go spearfishing I become
an actual part of the ocean I become a
part of my roots of Hawaii I become a
hunter and more than anything if the
boats were to stop coming I’ve known how
Hawaii is one of the most remote places
on earth to get here it was two flights
12 hours total but it feels like you’re
out there like coastal populations
around the world all right you talked
about early you thought about Puerto
Rico Hawaiians faced threats
unique to their geography and when
disaster strikes they get pushed to the
brink fast here’s some 90% of the food
that’s consumed is imported that means
that Hawaii has about a ten day supply
of food that didn’t always used to be
the case
up until the islands were largely carved
up by US backed pineapple and sugar
plantations in the early 20th century
Hawaiians fed themselves now a growing
number of their descendants is working
to do so again
so it’s 6:00 a.m. right now we’re gonna
go get a meal we’re not going to the
grocery store we’re going to the ocean
this is Makua beach on the island of
Oahu I’m going diving on this overcast
Kimi is a champion spear Fisher and free
diver but she’s not here for sport
our goal how do you teach yourself how
to do something like that I mean I
learned my dad he was a free diver and
spear fisherman and he just used this to
put food on the table
that is what gave me my ability I need
to relax in the water
Kimi’s weapon of choice is a trigger
fired spear gun she says mine is for
emergency use only
just in case a really big aggressive
face like a shark comes in you just have
all right I’m in good hands should we do
we kick out to the sight of a sunken
ship called the mahi there Kimi takes a
deep breath of air and disappears down
into the abyss she just drops drops
drops and I can’t even anyone see any
more like she’s 90 feet underwater with
no scuba laying on the ground and
waiting when I go spearfishing I become
I become a lioness looking for food in
my natural environment
camis cada Paulo a breed of surgeonfish
Hawaiians have been dining on for
centuries but when you put that work in
yourself it makes you appreciate it
I know that I’m responsibly in a place
so removed from the rest of the world
knowing how to catch a fish is a handy
skill to have yet we didn’t see many
other people out fishing and that has
Kimmy worried
if anything were to ever happen where
the boats were to stop coming then
people wouldn’t know how to survive
because we aren’t designed right now to
take care of ourselves that didn’t
always used to be the case here though
no up until the mid-1800s Hawaiians had
a system of giving up land into Mountain
to shore slices what you harvested
depend on what part of the slice you
lived on it was called ahoo
and the way it worked is that if people
from the mountains needed some fish they
would come down and they would trade
where there was fruits or vegetable or
taro and people were able to take care
of themselves in this system that was
in the era of blue apron and Amazon go
many would consider such a system
primitive not kimi if you were to look
at any other species of animal it’s like
the first thing on their list when
they’re born they’re going to be taught
how to get water how to get food and I
just don’t get help having that
knowledge and having those skills makes
us primitive and not having any of them
she has a point
especially when civilization is so
this is the port of Honolulu we’re on an
island right now I live on an island
I remember when Hurricane sandy hit and
my wife and I lost power
we lost heat we didn’t know where we
were gonna get our food and it was scary
and that’s on an island with bridges and
tunnels here this is the Bridge and
Tunnel this is the connection to the
outside world or their food comes in and
if something goes wrong the stakes are
just a lot higher when we come back for
plenty of Hawaiian self-sufficiency
isn’t a fringe fad there’s a right there
I’m JJ Kelly in Hawaii a place so
reliant on imported groceries it’s
estimated the islands have only a ten
day supply of food for some locals the
solution is self-reliance and I’m here
like bow hunter Justin Lee do you
remember a moment in your life where you
decided this is how you want to find
your food my dad passed it down onto me
and you know he was my hero being the
man that brought home dinner via hunting
or gathering was the kind of man that I
wanted to be so what are we hunting for
today we’re gonna be hunting for a wild
boar we got some wild goats as well as
sheep out here none of these species are
native to Hawaii they were introduced to
the islands by the West but with no
natural predators to keep their
populations in check their numbers
ballooned today feral herds threaten
Hawaii’s delicate ecosystem over grazing
and trampling endangered species they’re
a problem they are especially the pigs
they read of everything and they destroy
the land they’re nature’s bulldozer
basically they’re so destructive the
Hawaiian government encourages their
eradication which is why Justin and I
are out here this morning is there any
limit on the amount that you can shoot
if you’re hunting on public land you’re
allowed two pigs per day a day yeah so
there’s plenty of food out here you
could feed your village
sure there’s a page right there big yeah
all that us this way and I won’t come up
on it
as if we needed more proof of Hawaii’s
ample protein supply a flock of feral
sheep appears on the horizon you see
startled boars will charge their
aggressors and slice them with tusks as
sharp as razor blades it’s a dangerous
game but a well-placed shot could
potentially feed a family of four for
this is a good eating boy right here so
how much does he weigh this guy’s
probably 80 pounds he’s not that big but
the younger the better they are bubbles
emerge from the wound a sign that the
arrowhead belong that means that it was
a quick kill so what do you do first we
have to favor our respect to this boar
you know we’re not just killing for fun
for us to survive something has to die
thank you very much since he’ll be
carrying the meat out with him Justin
selective about what he harvests we’re
gonna take off his front shoulder his
hindquarters and then his back strap the
Tenderloin and hold this up like this
and this is me to feed your family it’ll
feed my family a few times yeah my
neighbor’s family as well you know it’s
a community vibe
it might be surprising to think that
self-sufficiency would foster a sense of
yet Kimmie says that’s exactly how
strong resilient systems are born
sometimes I’d have a fish that was so
big I’d have to share it the beautiful
surprise that came from that is that
then a week later I’d have avocados at
my doorstep you know I’d have fruit from
people with trees eggs from their
chickens Kimmie calls it her own modern
day ahupua’a but in a state that lies
2,000 miles away from the mainland
it’s also common sense and this push for
self-sufficiency is gaining ground the
Hawaiian government has launched plans
to double the amount of food grown on
the island by 2020 if tonight’s potluck
is any indication that goal is within
reach what’s on the table here
Westar tea here we have the pool ooh
that we shot maybe stuff with local
citrus and fruit
we have a wild pig that one of my hunter
friends dropped off it’s just a feast
that comes together and it strikes me
you’re one person going out and doing
this but it creates the community right
thank you everybody for being here and
it changes a culture if doomsday happens
you’re gonna have the upper hand right
these folks know that strength and
independence aren’t a reward for
fighting against nature but for learning
man likes to try to conquer nature but
we don’t get to dictate sometimes nature
it’s like uh-uh
not today and so when you live in this
type of lifestyle you’re actually living
off of the land and the ocean you are
living by what nature gives you
[Music] you
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