30X30:Our Hunger for Food Security

The story of food security in Singapore

Tag: intro


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


I love eating – who doesn’t? Growing up in Singapore, we often feel quite removed from food production. I remember having a lot of fun visiting places like the Yakult factory, Oh Chin Huat farm, and Sunshine bakeries during school field trips. Everything felt so foreign and we may even get a free sample to bring home!

Author aged seven at the Jurong frog farm

Aged seven at the Jurong Frog Farm. I wasn’t too interested in the free samples here apparently.

Our supermarkets have always been well-stocked. This all changed when Malaysia announced its Movement Control Order due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Panic buying ensued, and shelves went empty. Of course, public fears did not come to pass – despite the MCO there remained a steady supply of food. However, the very sight of empty shelves opened the eyes of many to the importance of food security. That was the first time I heard of measures like a national stockpile of food and diversification of food source.

The first time I heard about the 30 by 30 plan was when I joined a Facebook group about farming in apartments during the Circuit Breaker period. Someone posted the news of the impending closure of Oh Chin Huat Hydroponic Farm, which drew many comments. Some lamented that it was ironic for such a well-established farm to close despite our increased awareness about food security, while others wondered if we could afford to be so nostalgic in our march towards progress.

So what exactly is this 30 by 30 goal? Well, 30×30 calls for us to grow 30% of our nutritional needs by 2030, with no increase to land allocated to agriculture. While this goal was announced in 2019, disruptions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic highlighted the relevance of food security. However, the long-term threat of climate change to our food security remains. Taking the environment as a whole into account, is the 30 by 30 plan the best way forward?

I don’t have the answers now, but that made me think about how our food production may change in the next decade and beyond. There is more to this than just our immediate food security at all costs after all.

I hope to hear your views as we explore different environmental issues together this semester. We all have our blind spots and different perspectives would help to enrich the conversation.

See you next week. In the meantime, I need to figure out what to do with my tomato seedlings!


See Toh Ee Kin



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