Saturday, December 5, 2009

Musings: Constructed Wetlands

If you're interested in the issue of sewage treatment for the restrooms at Kee Beach in Haena State Park, here's a link to a story I wrote for The Hawaii Independent.

While the jury's still out on whether the state will be able to properly manage such a system at Kee, the concept of using a constructed wetlands approach to sewage treatment seems to be a good one. It's been used quite a bit in America for a number of years now, and is currently processing wastes from a slaughterhouse on Oahu.

Learning that made me think it might have applications here on Kauai, where efforts are under way to develop a mobile slaughterhouse facility that could help keep our ranching industry alive. At the moment, much of Kauai's ag land is being used for pastures, so if the cattle business folds, it could lead to increased development pressure.

Plus, if you are a meat-eater, the local grass-fed beef that is "born, raised and slaughtered on Kauai," as Kojima's advertises, is the best way to go. The animals are healthier, their meat has less fat so you'll stay healthier and they're not crowded into the feedlots that create really bad conditions for the animals and various environmental problems. The meat tastes way better, too, because the animals aren't fed all the hormones and antibiotics that are part of the feedlot scene. And there's no risk of mad cow disease because they're eating grass, like cows are supposed to, rather than chicken manure, feathers and other creepy crap that's forced on feedlot cattle.

It's also a way to support your local markets, as they're the only ones that stock the stuff. I always buy liver for Koko at Kojima's, and the other day ran into a guy who was picking up some kidney and bones for his happy dog.


Anonymous said...

"develop a mobile slaughterhouse facility that could help keep our ranching industry alive."

-- seems like a fantastic idea. hope it happens. worth supporting


Dr Freddy said...

Mobile slaughterhouses (a container truck) with a sterilizing system for sanitation is a growing business on the mainland as more and more people raise their own beef, sheep, and cattle. Demand for range free animals is growing due to the health benefits in eating these animals and also they are raised more humanely that factory farmed beef and pigs.

This would be a good investment for someone because meat prices are expected to double in the next 10 years....and if are smart on this island, we would raise more meat to feed the masses.

Anonymous said...

majority of our beef already goes to Canada in lots of 5000 head.

Anonymous said...

There should be an export tarrif or tax on food.
At least until we can figure out how to make it
profitable for local growers.

It makes no sense to do all that ccoming and

Tax for leaving the county, another for leaving
the state

Anonymous said...

""Tax for leaving the county, another for leaving the state"

Last time I checked such does not happen in the USA.

Anonymous said...

"majority of our beef already goes to Canada in lots of 5000 head."

That's because there's no place to process them here. as fuel prices continue to rise it will be too expensive to keep doing that

Anonymous said...

majority of our beef already goes to Canada in lots of 5000 head."
that's because there is no slaughterhouse here. Obviously, the cows wouldn't have to be shipped off island for processing, and we wouldn't have to import meat,

Anonymous said...

"Hawaii cannot compete
in the production of grain-finished beef from the
mainland USA because of the high cost of inputs here.
Currently about three-quarters of all cattle marketed in
Hawaii are exported to be finished and marketed in North
America. Transportation costs and other challenges associated
with shipping live animals may make exporting
a less attractive marketing option in the future."

-2003 report

Anonymous said...

5000 is a state wide number. Not sure how many kauai contributes I would guess lee then 1000.