Dear Editor,

Independence. What is it? For me I would say independence is the ability to feed oneself. The ability and capacity to be alive without depending on another country for food.

Today going on 41 years of independence, Vanuatu depends on globalization for food.

For rice, ketchup, onions, garlic, milo, milk, noodles, biscuits, jam, and many more imported food that promotes or rather result in Non Communicable Diseases.

This morning I had bread, butter, jam, Lipton and milk for breakfast.

All imported. Many Ni-Vanuatu living in Port Vila survive on the same diet including sugar every day.

Our taste buds have changed and our brain has accepted this as the normal thing. After 40 years of independence, children who were born during and after independence have got children of their own and have trained them on imported food so much that the taste of local cuisine is foreign to them.

Breaker, sugary fruit juice, sugar this, sugar that is the appeasement of a crying child and when done over and over again the child expects sugar.

Lollies, chocolates, Oreo biscuits the welcomed reward given by parents, uncles aunts and grannies as a demonstration of love for the child. How foolish.

The gradual brainwashing of the child to love imported condiments.

Done long enough enslaves the child’s brain and he or she accepts the poison because too much of a good thing is not good as the saying goes.

We eat rice that we do not see where the harvesting was done.

We have become so dependent on rice so much that it seems to be the end of the world to contemplate a Vanuatu without rice.

Today 1 in 6 has NCD. That is what we have achieved since independence.

Our hospital is no longer a hospital. It has become a place where limbs are amputated after contributing to the government coffers through import duty and vat when we buy canned fish and rice every day.

Our government is killing us by the food they allow to be sold to us and even though they know about the poison in the food we eat, the multiparty West Minister system of government that was given to us by England and France is so expensive that the big businesses use it as the opportunity to fund our Political parties and candidates to keep their mouth shut as they kill us slowly daily.

It used to be said that imported food was necessary for the tourists and yet at this time of covid19, closed borders and no sight of opening borders soon, imports are still coming.

So the assertion that imports are necessary for tourists is not true any more

Can Vanuatu feed itself? Yes, it can and when it does so, its population will be healthier.

The influx of the Chinese to our shores is not in our interest at all. We have seen the influx of the British, the French and others and we know by experience that expatriates coming here is not in our interest.

They come here to take our land to stop us growing our food so that they can sell us food, everything and anything and in the long run make us more dependant in the name of cordial relations.

Oh Vanuatu. Land Eternal. How much longer before you realize and take action to emancipate yourself and become truly independent by feeding yourself.

How long before the civil servants and politicians realize that they will be judge for allowing poison to be sold to you? How much longer before you arrest NCD related deaths.

Thomson Pakoa Matokai Kokona

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