30X30:Our Hunger for Food Security

The story of food security in Singapore

Month: November 2020


I still love eating – who doesn’t? After 11 weeks of looking at the food production scene in Singapore and beyond, I have come to appreciate many tiny details along the way.

It was interesting to see how this topic of food security touched on what I have learnt this semester – not just in ENV1101. From the SG Fresh Produce logo invoking Geographical Imaginations under the Singapore brand to price elasticity and its effects on our imports. All the research I did for this blog really opened my eyes to certain quirks of food production – from what vegetables were produced to even less conventional ways produce were sold and the considerations of producers.

Your questions and comments also challenged the way I think and write, from exposing certain blindspots or highlighting areas where my choice of words made what I was trying to portray ambiguous. Amidst this COVID pandemic, many of our interactions were online and all our earlier interactions in the comment section in each other’s blogs did help foster a stronger sense of belonging and familiarity within the BES community for our batch. I look forward to meeting everyone “IRL” next sem.

collab on frog legs. A 14-year journey from farm to fork – and meeting new people along the way

Of course, there are many aspects of this blog that could have been done better. The visual attractiveness of this blog being the most noticeable at first glance, as well as how I display information from interviews and the overall structure of my blog. There are still some topics that have not been covered – such as what lessons we can learn from our water security story as well as more on the impact of our 30×30 goal beyond Singapore. Here are some blogs that are presented very differently from mine that may interest you: Sherry’s was highly structured and well thought out from the beginning, Natasha’s was a lot more visually appealing and this post by Kelly really incorporated interesting media. I should probably have experimented with and adopted their best practices earlier, especially after I realised I have the creativity of a peanut…

A word of advice to any juniors reading this in 2021 and beyond: choose a topic you are interested in then think about how that affects the environment. Suprisingly, I managed to include many of my other “random” interests from numismatics to scouting and gardening (either that or I was actually shoehorning unrelated stuff in, you be the judge). If your area of interest seems to already have been covered by the seniors, how have your lived experiences influence how you view the same issues?

Oh, it is also important to think critically when reading other’s posts. For example, my advice in the previous paragraph may actually be a bunch of hogwash.

update on my tomato seedling – transplanted it a bit late but it has grown a lot over this semester too. Draw whatever metaphors you want.

That’s it from me. All the best for finals and good luck (and have fun) on your blogs if you’re reading this in the future. Spare a thought to where your food comes from and how sustainabe they are!


See Toh Ee Kin

Beyond Singapore: reflections on global food security

Hi everyone, welcome back. Last week, I was part of the World Organisation of the Scouting Movement (WOSM) team that took part in the takeover of the UN Youth Envoy’s social media accounts.

WOSM’s takeover of the UN Envoy on Youth, retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/CG4_0JjDrQn

I chose to talk about food security amidst global warming, and this comprised Instagram Stories as well as a written opinion piece.


I was quite apprehensive at the start  – after all, I am just a year one BES student with seemingly no experience. However, I was encouraged to look at personal stories. I soon realised that many small decisions I made many years ago, and all the “random” activities I took part in have shaped my world view now. Some may call this lived experience. Personally, choosing to continue with the “germinating taugeh” experiment in primary school and repotting it blossomed into a love of gardening and nature.


This was probably reinforced by all the hiking in nature parks my family did in Hong Kong when I was a child and my experience as a scout. All these ties in pretty closely to the chart we will see in this week’s notes (slide 60) about building environmentally literacy.


In my op-ed, I espoused community gardens as a means to increase awareness of food security – a more personal touch of sorts. To an extent, gardening may already be quite popular here. All of the plots in older allotment gardens are fully subscribed, so people are willing to pay to garden. In fact, community gardening is the raison d’être of the social enterprise Ground Up Initiative. While I acknowledged that there are people who use these gardens to supplement their diets and increase their food security, I may have missed a much larger impact of urban farming. According to this article, urban farming could also improve relations between stakeholders, increase cities’ livability and even provide job opportunities. While the “Gardening with Edibles” programme proclaims its support for the “30by30” goal, the unrequited love on SFA’s part is puzzling. Surely this is a good opportunity for outreach?


When researching for the op-ed, I also came across measures such as growing on rewetted peatlands that our neighbouring countries could take that may be carbon neutral while ensuring food security. Given the more inward-looking aspect of “30by30”, I wonder if this may translate to reduced support for sustainable solutions overseas. The “diversify imports” strategy also means that breadth is valued over sustainability. When it comes to national security, sustainability may have to take a back seat. Given climate change’s varied effect on global food production, importing food from beyond our region hedges our bets but ironically becomes a positive feedback loop. Environmental justice would also be a greater concern if global food shortages see even more food imported out of already impoverished regions. This is not a new concept and nobody wants a repeat of the 1943 Bengal Famine.

Taking part in this social media outreach highlighted the global nature of some local problems. After all, even if “30by30” is a resounding success we would still need to account for the remaining 70%. Collective action needs to be taken on what is essentially a collective responsibility. Every member of society can do their part.


Ee Kin

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