The Pitcairn Islands is the British territory located in the Pacific Ocean, consisted out of four islands altogether: Ducie, Henderson, Oeno and Pitcairn. The total estimated population on the main island, Pitcairn, is around 50 people. As this is the largest island, the population only resides here.
In the text below, top 10 facts about hunger in the Pitcairn Islands, as well as some other related facts about the Islands, are presented.
Top 10 Facts About Hunger in the Pitcairn Islands
- The island’s terrain is rocky with a rugged, volcanic formation. Deforestation for settlements has taken most of the island. Where there used to be trees are now valleys perfect for growing crops for the community and small shipments of exports.
- Climate on the island is hot and humid, with winds blowing from the South East Trade. During the winter season, the temperature is 18 degrees Celsius on average, with rains flowing into the fields helping decompose plants and keep soil healthy. During the summer the average temperature is 25 degrees Celsius, so as long as the winter was not dry, the people can grow all the fruits and vegetables they need to sustain on the island.
- The fruits that thrive on the island are passionfruit, pawpaw, pineapple, watermelon, rockmelon, guavas, mangos, bananas and a variety of citrus fruits. Since these fruits grow in abundance, many islanders can pluck the fruit right from the plant and start eating. Most of the desserts and breakfasts are made with the raw fruit from the island.
- The vegetables that grow on the island accompany all the exotic fruit. Islanders score the gardens for fresh vegetables to put on the dinner tables in the afternoons. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, chilies, tomatoes, beans, onions, ginger and a variety of herbs grow all over the island.
- Adding much-needed protein to the diets of the population is not difficult for the small community of the island. The diversity of fresh seafood awaits to be fished from small pools and rocky shores. Wild mountain goats roam the land, providing a different kind of meat to choose from. People also raise chickens for eggs in the morning.
- The diets are simple, eating what is produced on the island mostly. Fish is the most popular meal. Around the four islands lay reefs teeming with wildlife. Fish like tuna, yellowtail, lobsters, sharks and clams, among others. Fishing is prohibited to visitors due to the great health of the coral reefs surrounding the area and all the species of fish. Only locals can fish because that is part of their main food source.
- Part of understanding hunger in the Pitcairn Islands is acknowledging that these people are a self-sufficient community. They have created their own agricultural system that provides enough food for everyone. With plenty of fruits and vegetables to go around, people just pluck what they need from the main plant. Resources are mostly shared, with bartering here and there for ingredients one might not have. Community dinners happen once or twice a week, people gathering and creating a potluck style dinner.
- Top exports of food are coffee beans, sugar cane, honey and cocoa beans. The most popular food export is the cocoa beans that account for 17.1 percent of the total exports. The vegetables and fruits comprise only 4.3 percent of exports, and they include dried legumes, sweet potatoes, tropical fruits, beans, bananas, mangoes, watermelons, cauliflower and broccoli.
- Imports to the island have decreased by 3.5 percent because of sustainable agriculture on the island, but other food products not produced on the island have gained popularity. Over 4 percent of food received were products like milk, cheddar cheese, roast beef, pork loin lamb, steak, beer and wine. Vegetable imports make up for 5.6 of total imports and main vegetable products that are imported are onions, carrots and potatoes.
- There are no large ports or natural harbors on the island, so a team of men must take a long boat to the ship to bring goods from boat to island. Villagers may accompany the men on the boat so they can sell loaves of bread, pastries and local crops to the shipmates. Electricity is limited on the island, for two to three hours in the morning and four to five hours in the evening for cooking meals and entertainment like small local restaurants or community dinners.
The people of the Pitcairn Islands are not starving or living in poverty. Hunger in the Pitcairn islands is no struggle for the population of the island. Creating sustainable agriculture practices and fishing practices have helped the people thrive on the island. This small community has figured out their own survival system on the island that has worked and still works efficiently to this day.
– Kayla Cammarota