Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, July 24, 2017

Ka`u photographer Peter Anderson captured this Ka`u silversword image through infrared photography.
Photo by Peter Anderson
TWO HURCULEAN FEATS IN HAWAIIAN PLANT CONSERVATION have been announced by Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park. A team of biologists has the successful reintroduction of the endangered Ka'ū silversword (Argyroxiphium kauense) and Pele lobeliad (Clermontia peleana) on Mauna Loa and Kīlauea volcanoes in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
     In an article recently published in the leading science journal, Biological Conservation, the biologists describe their 20-year efforts on Hawai'i Island to rescue the plants from the edge of extinction.
Park ecologist David Benitez and Rob Robichaux collecting pollen 
from a Ka'ū silversword. NPS Photo/Janice Wei
     "It's been two decades of painstaking efforts by devoted individuals from federal, state and private agencies and institutions to save these plants," said Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park botanist Sierra McDaniel. "The team used technical rope systems to produce cuttings from Pele lobeliads in the rainforest canopy, flew by helicopter to remote volcanic slopes to rescue Ka'ū silverswords, and worked long hours in the field and greenhouses to save them. It's impossible to describe the joy we feel to see these plants thrive in the wild again," she said.
     The 11-page article describes the efforts and plants in detail, with color photographs that illustrate the nature of the efforts and convey the exceptional beauty of the plants. The article celebrates the centennial anniversary of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, which was established Aug. 1, 1916 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pele lobeliad flowers with nectar droplet at Volcano Rare Planet
Facility greenhouse.. The abundant nectar serves as a food reward
for native honeycreepers. Photo courtesy of Rob Robichaux
     The Pele lobeliad nearly went extinct. Only five remnant plants are known in the wild, but now, more than 1,000 Pele lobeliads have been reintroduced in protected areas in the national park. The effort with the Ka'ū silversword has been similarly successful, with more than 21,000 plants having been reintroduced in the park. Furthermore, the Ka'ū silversword has now produced offspring of its own – a key factor for long-term recovery.
     An important aspect of the work has been linking the reintroduction efforts to landscape restoration at large scales in the park and in adjacent state and private lands, thereby providing opportunities for future growth and expansion of the silversword and lobeliad populations.
     "The highly collaborative nature of the work has been the key to its success," said Rob Robichaux, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, and coordinator of the silversword and lobeliad recovery efforts. "Daunting challenges remain. Yet the story of the Ka'ū silversword and Pele lobeliad offers hope for a brighter future in which the landscapes of Hawai'i are once again replenished with its many native plant species, which are true marvels of evolution," he said.
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The FDA agrees that eating mac nuts can help reduce coronary heard disease risk.
Photo from Royal Hawaiian Orchards
ROYAL HAWAIIAN ORCHARDS, with thousands of macadamia acres in Ka`u and a large workforce in the community confirmed on Monday that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has approved its parent company's petition to advertise that consuming macadamia nuts can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease under certain circumstances. The company also purports to sell non-GMO products.
     A statement was released by Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut, Inc. referring to its "nutritiously delicious Hawaiian island-harvested macadamia nut foods under the Royal Hawaiian Orchards, brand."
Royal Hawaiian boosts the health benefits
of cooking with macadamia. 
Photo from Royal Hawaiian Orchards
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States, said the statement. While the FDA previously approved a qualified health claim for the consumption of other tree nuts, the announcement is the first time the agency has extended a qualified health claim to macadamia nuts specifically. The following statement may now be applied in connection to the consumption of whole or chopped macadamia nuts, including raw, blanched, roasted, salted or unsalted, and/or lightly coated and/or flavored macadamia nuts:
     “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces per day of macadamia nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and not resulting in increased intake of saturated fat or calories may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
     “This is a truly a historic day for everyone in the macadamia nut industry,” said Scott Wallace of Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut. “Research about the benefits macadamia nuts have for heart health has existed for decades, and we’ve worked tirelessly to secure the legal right to share this with the masses. Many people associate almonds, pistachios and walnuts with better health, but this momentous decision from the FDA now puts macadamia nuts in a similar category. We want consumers to know that there is real, supportive evidence with respect to the benefits of consuming macadamia nuts. Consumers are aware of the benefits of consuming other tree nuts like almonds and walnuts, and we want them to know similar benefits are available from consuming macadamia nuts. Royal Hawaiian Orchards makes a variety of options – from savory roasted nuts, to macadamia milks, confections and more – that are now widely available, so it’s easy to enjoy both the great taste and the benefits of macadamias almost anywhere in the country.”
     Wallace pointed out that macadamia nuts have no cholesterol and are high in monounsaturated fats—the same healthy fats found in olive oil and avocados, which are known to help reduce bad cholesterol levels and can lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Scientists first discovered that
Royal Hawaiian sells non GMO nuts.
Photo from Royal Hawaiian Orchards
adding macadamia nuts to the diet appeared to lower the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood during the 1990s and 2000s. Since then, researchers have been exploring the connection, resulting in a growing body of scientific evidence supporting that a diet including macadamia nuts can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. One ounce of macadamia nuts (about 15 nuts) is also an excellent source of thiamin and manganese, a good source of dietary fiber and copper, and contains protein, magnesium, iron and phytosterols, said Wallace.
    Royal Hawaiian Orchard offers a portfolio of macadamia nut-based snacks, including: Roasted Macadamia Nuts, Macadamia Nut Milk, Dark Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts and Fruit & Macadamia Nut Crunches. "It is the only brand with a range of macadamia nut-based snacks in several high-growth grocery categories," states a press release from Royal Hawaiian Orchards.
     Royal Hawaiian Orchards products are available in grocery, natural food, club and convenience stores throughout the United States, including Safeway/Albertsons, Stop and Shop, Giant, Publix, Meijer, Jewel, Savemart/Lucky, 7-Eleven, select Whole Food Markets and Costco locations and more. To learn more about Royal Hawaiian Orchards and the health benefits of macadamia nuts, see www.royalhawaiianorchards.com.

Denyse Woo-Ockerman plays Queen Emma
Tuesday at Hawai`i Volcanoes
National Park.
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HOVE Road Maintenance board of directors meeting, Tue, July 25, 10 a.m., St. Jude’s Church. 929-9910

Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tue, July 25, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

A ONE-WOMAN SHOW ON QUEEN EMMA'S LIFE comes to Kīlauea Visitor Center, Tuesday, July 25 at 7 p.m. 
     Hānaiakamālama stars UH Hilo Performing Arts graduate Denyse Woo-Ockerman who brings the audience into Queen Emma’s home as she contemplates her eventful life, rich in family history and the weight of unexpected tragedy. Married to Alexander Liholiho, Kamehameha IV, the queen reveals her resilience as they attempted to build, side by side, a better life for all Hawaiians, in a time of great change in the islands.
The event is free; a suggested $2.00 donation helps support park programs - Park entrance fees apply.

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