One Pair, One Kalo: OluKai Giving Tuesday 2023

A Life-Giving Plant


Some plants and food sources are so emblematic and interconnected to a culture that to separate one from the other is simply impossible. For Hawaiians, that plant is kalo (taro).


Indeed, long ago, in pre-contact Hawai‘i, cultivating food was an integral part of their society. For centuries, all food was grown in the Islands through a complex ahupua’a (land management system) — a testament to indigenous agricultural ingenuity. In comparison, today, about 85-90% of Hawai‘i's food is imported. But at the crux of Hawai‘i’s traditional farming culture — as it remains today — was kalo. A food source with profound historical importance to Hawaiian people, the kalo plant also provides stunning dietary value and sustenance. In a sense, planting kalo means planting life.


One Pair, One Kalo: OluKai Giving Tuesday 2023


It’s precisely why, for this year’s Giving Tuesday — through our Ama OluKai Foundation, which supports organizations that are preserving the cultural heritage and Aloha Spirit of Hawai'i — we’ve pledged that OluKai will plant one huli of kalo for every pair of OluKai sold. This year, Ama OluKai beneficiary, Kipuka Olowalu — an organization seeking to preserve the Native Hawaiian cultural site of Olowalu valley, located on the island of Maui — is the recipient for our 1:1 huli donation.


As The Mo’olelo (Story) Goes…


The life-giving kalo plant maintains historical importance to Hawaiian people beyond the dietary value. According to mo’olelo in Hawaiian mythology, Wākea (Sky Father) and Hoʻohokukalani, the first couple in the creation chant, gave birth to Hāloa-naka, a stillborn baby. Wākea buried his lifeless child near their house. Shortly thereafter, the kalo plant sprouted out of his body. The first couple’s second son was named Hāloa after their firstborn. Through Hāloa, the human race and Hawaiian people descended. Having descended from the second son, many native Hawaiians viewed kalo as being genealogically superior to themselves.


One Pair, One Kalo: OluKai Giving Tuesday 2023


Kalo is Also Very Nutritious…


Kalo itself is a good source of potassium, manganese, and B-complex vitamins, with higher quantities per serving than that of whole milk [8]. Kalo is also high in copper, and additionally, kalo contains 5.1g of dietary fiber per 100g serving when cooked and unsalted.


A Pair Means a Plant


This Giving Tuesday, join OluKai in honoring Hawai‘i's traditions. Although most of Hawai‘i's food is imported, the kalo plant remains a beloved local staple. It’s precisely why the ‘Ama OluKai Foundation will plant a huli of kalo for each pair of OluKai sold on Giving Tuesday. Your purchase helps us give back to the land that sustains us, just like this year’s recipient Kipuka Olowalu. Buy a pair, plant kalo, and help us nurture Hawai‘i's roots.


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