Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Aug. 7, 2017

Making fresh foods more available to residents through the SNAP program received $1 million
in funding, announced Sen. Mazie Hirono today. Photo from The Food Basket
FUNDING OF $1 MILLION TO BUY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES for Hawai`i Island consumers in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has been approved. Sen. Mazie Hirono made the announcement today about the SNAP funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
     “Affordable, nutritious food is one of the basic building blocks for healthy families and strong communities," she said. “Today’s grant funding will help to expand access to more locally grown products for Hawaii` Island residents.”
     As part of the grant funding, The Food Basket, Inc. will receive $500,000 to help increase the purchase of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables by SNAP recipients. In addition, Heritage Ranch, Inc. in Honaunau will receive $500,000 to improve access to healthy fresh local foods for low-income SNAP households, while increasing awareness and support for local growers and food retailers.This is a multi-year federal grant, not to exceed four years, with 2017 the initial funding award for both projects.
     For more information about the SNAP program, click here.

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THE HEALTHY DIET TUTORIAL, written by Dr. Renee Joy Dufault, of Na`alehu, is online and will be the subject of classes in the Ka`u community. Healthy Diet Tutorial is intended to help improve birth outcomes for pregnant women and overall health of entire families.
     Dufault said that the classes teach people "how food quality determines our health." She said that those who join will learn how to read  food ingredients labels, survey current food supplies in their homes, and identify foods that they may want to stop eating. "They will learn how to choose the right foods for promoting good health," she said.
     'What are the best sweeteners to use? What oils and fats would be relatively harmless rather than other?" are questions that will be answered, she said.
     Dufault said that 16 parents involved with the Tutu & Me Traveling Preschool are already signed up between Pahala and Na`alehu and will be meeting weekly for a book discussion group. She  said all community members are invited to join in.
     One book discussion group, for which the book can be borrowed or purchased, begins on Aug 22 and each Tuesday through Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Parents Inc., in the Na`alehu Shopping Center next to the Will & Grace Store. The Pahala discussion group will be held on Wednesday mornings beginning Aug. 23  from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Pahala Community Center. Meeting will continue through Oct. 25.
     To sign up, contact Dufault at rdufault@foodingredient.info or attend the first meeting. 
     Dufault said that the content in the accompanying tutorial has been used successfully in three clinical trials to help college students and parents switch to a healthy diet while reducing weight, BMI, fasting glucose and/or blood inorganic mercury levels. An article has been posted in a medical journal. Another is in peer review, she said.
       Her new book Unsafe at Any Meal has drawn positive reviews in Publisher's Weekly and other media. A book signing and presentation will be held at Na`alehu Library on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 4:30 p.m. 
     As reported in Publishers Weekly, Unsafe at Any Meal puts forth that "Each year, Americans consume hundreds of food products that contain truly dangerous compounds, including heavy metals, pesticides and other harmful additives ---with the blessing of the FDA. Why is this happening and why haven't you heard about it?" 
     Publishers Weekly states that DeFault, a former food investigator for the Food and Drug Administration, "provides the startling answers. While at the FDA, Dr. Dufault discovered that mercury - a highly toxic metal - was contaminating the plumbing systems of many food manufacturing pants. Upon further examination, she discovered that the same mercury was also evident in a number of processed foods commonly sold in supermarkets. When Dr. Default revealed these disturbing findings to her superiors, she was told to stop her investigation. Her continued efforts to raise the issue always met with a dead end, so she chose to take an early retirement from the FDA. 
     "Dr. Default then devoted her energy to making the public aware of the insidious dangers that contaminate our food. In 2010, she founded an organization of scientists to study the scope of this problem and has published numerous research articles on the topic with little fanfare. To expose what still seems to be a well-kept secret by the FDA, she has written Unsafe at Any Meal to provide consumers with the information they need to know," writes Publishers Weekly.
Dr. Renee Joy Default.
Photo from Food Integrity Campaign
     Dufault became a medical laboratory specialist when she joined the U.S. Army. Following her four-year service, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning at University of California at Davis. She served the Navy for two years as an Industrial Hygiene Officer, before transferring to the Public Health Service where she served as an Environmental Health Officer. During 14 years at PHS, she worked at the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration, in toxicology,
environmental health, and industrial hygiene. 
     After retirement, Dufault earned a doctorate in Health Education. In addition, she is the founding Executive Director of the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute. She collaborates with scientists worldwide to conduct studies and publish papers focused on toxic substances in the food supply. 

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THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU HAWAI`I CHAPTER, this morning, issued a list of five scams that target vacationers.
      Group Photo: Group photo scams tend to be more common in touristy areas or near landmarks. Strangers will offer to take a photo of you and your group, but while you arrange yourself for the photo, the stranger will steal the camera. Travelers should make sure that they are approaching someone to take the photo, not the other way around.
     Hotel Wakeup Call: Scam artists will call you in the middle of the night claiming to be the front desk and inform you there was a problem with your credit card. They will ask for a new card number or for you to give them the details again. Never give account information details away over the phone. If you receive this call, hang up and head down to the front desk in person.
  Fake Take-Out: Although many hotels provide guests with on-site restaurant menus, be aware that scammers are known for sliding menus under doors or placing them within rooms by other means. These menus may be for fake restaurants or list fake contact details. When an order is placed, scammers will phish for credit card information. Avoid this scam by always verifying that a restaurant is legitimate. Check with the front desk or conduct a quick google search. Also, verify that a number is accurate before placing the call.
     Disappearing Vacation Rentals: Scam artists may post fake vacation rentals and ask customers to wire a deposit or provide full payment. They will take the money and leave travelers with no place to stay. Avoid this scam by booking rentals through legitimate sources and never wire money. Be sure to always pay with a credit card.
     Fake Booking Websites: In one version of this scam, scammers will create a website modeled after well-known services like Airbnb or Expedia, and trick users into booking a rental. A second form involves fake companies who will take your money upon “booking” but provide no accommodations in return. Travelers can avoid this scam by booking directly with a hotel. Make sure third-party booking services are trustworthy and verify the authenticity of their website.

     Use a Rental Service: Rental services such as Airbnb, although not scam proof, have security measures in place to protect travelers. Travelers can read user reviews of properties and owners they may be interested in. By interacting with the owner through designated communication channels, travelers will have a verified record of interactions between parties. Most of these sites have satisfaction guarantees and/or processes in place to protect consumers.
    Interact Face to Face: When arranging travel plans, face-to-face interaction may not be possible but video services like Skype provide a useful alternative. Travelers should ask owners to contact them via their video chat platform of choice to ask questions and to view the property live.
Google the Property: Get the address of a property and verify it existence through an online search. Make sure it is documented in photos and explore the surrounding area using Google Maps.
Pick up the August edition of The Ka`u Calendar delivered
free to 5,500 mailboxes throughout Ka`u, from Miloli`i 
through Volcano. Also available on stands throughout
the district. See it online at www.kaucalendar.com
      Check the Record: Verify the owner’s authentic ownership of the house or property. Scammers often list properties they don’t actually own. Check public property records (tax records) online to find out who owns a property.
     Pay with Credit: Never pay in cash or wire money. Instead, book rentals using a credit card that will provide protections against scams. You will be able to dispute the charges should a scam arise.
     Additional travel tips can be found on the Hawai‘i BBB website. Consumers who encounter any sort of scam are asked to report it using the BBB Scam Tracker to alert other unsuspecting victims of potential fraud.

Haku Hulu, Wed, Aug 9, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Local practitioner Pilialoha Johnson introduces the ancient Hawaiian skill of featherwork. Free; park entrance fees apply.

Backpack Name Tags
, Wed, Aug 9, 3:30 – 5 p.m., Pāhala Community Center. Grades K – 8 register Aug 1 – 8. 928-0312To read comments, add your own, and like this story, seeFacebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

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