The Bungled Star Advertiser Opinion

Dear Editorial Board of the Honolulu Star Advertiser,

I have to say that when I read your op-ed on the issue of GMOs and pesticides, I was totally disheartened by your ill informed stance.  I’m not sure if you’ve ever been out to the large farm or even visited a small farm to ask some questions to learn about the issue, but it doesn’t seem like it to me.

One key point that stood out to me was the comment that the, “Anti-GMO have national standing.”  I’m simply floored by that statement.

Who exactly are the anti-GMO activists with national standing?  Let’s take a look.

Zen Honeycutt-mom, professional paid activist, with zero science background, and talks a lot of non-science or nonsense if you ask me.  

Watch her video in the link below and see if you can figure out what’s wrong with what she’s saying.  Note that this woman was recently here in Hawaii on the SHAKA Movement’s dime too.  She’s also moved on from protesting Monsanto and went on the the Dakota Pipeline protests right now.


Vani Hari-Ms. If-You-Can’t-Pronounce-It-Don’t-Eat-It and be afraid of chemicals entrepreneur who gets paid by food companies after she sends her Food Babe Army after them.

This woman is a computer scientist who takes advantage of people’s ignorance and uses it to her own advantage.  Fear is how she operates and she promotes the muddling of science and even attacks scientists who speaks out against her.  It’s a business venture for her and it’s apparently very profitable because she’s always traveling to luxurious locales.


Vandana Shiva-Another big time money maker and highly inflammatory character of the anti-GMO movement.

Every speech she gives, she takes in at least $40K and in Hawaii, on one of her tours, she made some $109,000 from Hawaii Seed! As with other anti-GMO activists, as soon as you question their facts, you’re banned.  There’s no discussion with these folks and if that’s the case, how is one to ever work with their demands?


There are so many other anti-GMO activists backed with lots of money and media power to get to their “national standing.”  From Jeffrey Smith, Gary Null, Stephanie Seneff, Andrew Kimbrell, to UH’s own Hector Valenzuela, it’s a very well coordinated movement that isn’t based on facts and thrives on fear and misinformation.  The Star Advertiser’s editorial board did the papaya farms no favors with what they wrote and nor did they bother to check into the facts around pesticides in our state.  Instead, they continue to give the public a slanted view that only farmers are users and aren’t responsible about it when they state that the State of Hawaii must ensure the public.  The fear mongering message they allude to in their editorial will continue the harassment of the farmers, as Farm Bureau President, Randy Cabral, stated this past weekend.

Let me remind the editorial board what the GMO farmer had to face earlier this year because they, as the main media source in our state, continues to give the facade of legitimacy to the anti-GMO activists.


My dad, a lifetime farmer, and food grower in Hawaii had to face the consequence of fear mongering around GMOs and pesticides.  He got yelled at by a very fearful woman so beleaguered by the likes of the Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice, and Hawaii Seed.  He has grown millions of pounds of papayas and worked tirelessly for over 5 decades had to face a woman who had been taken advantage of by fear profiteers.  Gone are the days where neighbors and come and talk to each other about what they are doing.  Instead, hot tempered emotion clouds people’s thinking and turns them into ugly, mean people.  That’s simply not sustainable in Hawaii, where everyone knows everyone.

So Star Advertiser’s editorial board, I’d really appreciate it if a bit more investigative reporting is done and going to the source of the issue would take place.  Tomorrow, I get to process some 7000 lbs of papaya that so  many people depend upon and that’s hard work enough.  Our family and workers deserve respect and our voices heard above those of well paid activists like Ashley Lukens, attention seeker Nomi Carmona, and the protest everything Walter Ritte’s.  They aren’t the ones in the fields or on the farms growing Hawaii.  We are the ones striving to preserve agriculture in our state and provide locally grown foods that everyone wants but aren’t stepping up to do.

I’d love to see the board really go through and crosscheck their stances and the groups with “national standing.”  We need more critical thinking and well informed stances, not ones based on fake news.  Fake news has too many unintended consequences and we will all pay the price whether we like it or not.


Joni aka The Hawaii Farmer’s Daughter






Eat with Appreciation


Every Monday for the last several months, I do the weekly check in with my folks.  My check in is usually a call or a text asking how many bins were picked.  Consistently, it’s been averaging some 20 plus bins which equates to over 8000 lbs of papayas. Yes, that’s some 4 tons of papayas.

Running after my nearly two year old keeps me plenty busy and working on the farm is my exercise.  If it’s unloading bins or stacking cases, it’s hard work.  From the time I get there at 8 to nearly 4 pm, it’s busy work getting the job done.

Last week, my brother and his main farm help were sick with the flu, leaving us short two people.  Without people power, a farm can’t get its work done. What would normally take us 7 hours to do easily turns into 9 hours or more.  It’s long and arduous getting food grown and to the market.  Consumers get the easy job of pushing a cart and selecting their food.

So on this Thanksgiving week, stop and think about how your food got to your table.  Learn about how you got that turkey and delicious honey ham on your plate.  Think about that wonderful salads and desserts too.  People helped to feed you and they do it everyday.

We are lucky to not have to farm day in and day out.  If you’re not farming someone else is and please send your appreciation their way this Thanksgiving.  The farming families would be happy to hear it from our customers.



Ordinary Treasures

Ordinary Treasures

My day job is not an easy one.  Taking care of people is not an easy or simple task.  There’s times when you have to put a lot of muscle in or help people to the bathroom.  Anyone who is a caregiver knows that caregiving is an under appreciated work.  It may be tough but I really love what I do.

As an occupational therapist, the daily tasks that we do each day like bathing and dressing become affected by an injury.  Most people never give a second thought about our functional abilities until we lose function.  As a person with health, we forget how lucky we are.

I see people at their lowest state many times.  More people are living well into their late 80’s and 90’s fairly independently.  A sudden fall or illness can completely change their life and trying to get to the toilet is extremely difficult.  It’s also frustrating to go from needing no help to being completely dependent for your basic care.

Many of my patients come to me very depressed.  I hear a lot of crying and sadness in their voices. I remember being told a long time ago that health professionals should not get emotionally involved with their patient because it will cloud your thinking when dealing with them.  I can’t stand there and not feel compassion for the person.  I’ll take the time to listen to what they desire and need.  Sometimes I have to a little extra thing for them that isn’t necessarily part of the job but will make them feel better.  Giving a warm cup of coffee with the exact the amount of sugar and can bring comfort to a person who isn’t feeling well.

I also share a hug with my patients when I see that they need one.  We sometimes shed a little bit of tears together at times. Many of my former patients will come back and visit me too and thank me for being  there for them at their lowest point.  It’s a wonderful feeling to know that what I did for them helped restore their function.  I love running into them in the community too.

As I work with the many patients, they each become a thread in my tapestry of memories.  I learn their life stories and it has enriched my life a hundredfold.  I’ve heard amazing stories of bravery and great loss too from seemingly ordinary people.

There are so many amazing seniors alive today who have so many stories to teach the younger generations of we stop and listen.  I’m blessed to have a job that has given me a very rich life.  In a world where we are thrown millions of messages each day, there are some that we need to hold onto forever.  It’s the ordinary people around us who enrich our lives with their stories.

Being able to make people’s lives better with one’s own actions is truly a gift each and everyone of us has.  We can choose to be generous to others or focus on ourselves. I give that gift to each person I take care of because it’s about life, a good quality of life.  My life is so full of good memories shared by others who each taught me something new. Taking care of our fellow human is what we were all meant to do in life in some form.  If we all took time to look at the wealth of the people power around us a bit closer, we’d probably be better off doing that.