If you’re eco-conscious, you’re probably aware of the environmental impact of nuts. You may have heard that some popular tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, and pistachios, are very water-intensive. But how sustainable is the macadamia nut tree? Let’s take a look at a few reasons why macadamia orchards are generally good for our environment.
The Macadamia Tree’s Ability To Optimize Water Usage
The macadamia tree is an incredibly resilient plant that can adapt very well to changing climate conditions, including drought. The feature that lets the macadamia tree do so is due to its internal water regulation system. The macadamia tree is able to optimize water use, which limits the need for irrigation and water wastage.
That’s why at Island Harvest, we’re able to completely rely on rainfall, meaning we don’t have to extract any groundwater. The ability of the macadamia tree to use water efficiently results in a lower environmental impact of nuts.
The Macadamia Tree’s Ability to Reduce CO2
Another feature of the macadamia tree that reduces its environmental impact and produces eco-friendly nuts is its ability to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere. The macadamia tree is large and has dense, beautiful foliage. Combined with the long lifespan of the tree (sometimes as much as 100 years), this means that each tree can hold a significant amount of carbon compared to other orchards.
According to a study modelling carbon sequestration for the Australian macadamia industry, one acre of macadamia trees can sequester an estimated 5.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Macadamia nut shells also have an interesting role in capturing carbon once they are no longer on the tree. The shells are combined with other ingredients to make carbon composites that can be used to capture CO2 in industrial settings or to be used in water or air filtration.
How Macadamia Farms Provide a Sustainable Source of Nutrition and Life to the Communities Surrounding It
Macadamia trees aren’t just good for the environment, they’re also a sustainable source of nutrients and livelihoods for people and communities. Sustainable agriculture is ever more important as the climate changes and planting more environmentally friendly orchards like macadamia trees provides long-term opportunities for farmers and community members to earn a living.
The Anatomy of a Raw Macadamia Nut
When you eat macadamias, they most likely come roasted and packaged. When they have just come off the macadamia tree, however, the edible part is encased in a shell and husk. The part we know as the nut is actually the seed or kernel contained inside this shell. And this inner part is where all the good stuff is!
Macadamia Nut Nutrition and Calories Count
When it comes to macadamia nut nutrition, you get a delicious, buttery-tasting snack packed with dietary fiber, protein, and healthy fat. They also contain the essential vitamin thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, which plays a crucial role in metabolism.
When you eat macadamias, you also benefit from minerals such as copper and manganese, which you require, in trace amounts, from your diet. Plus, they contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that are important for maintaining body functions and preventing cell damage.
Macadamias are a fantastic choice for you if you’re on a Keto or Paleo diet since they are low in carbohydrates and rich in heart-healthy fats. An ounce of macadamias (equivalent to 10-12 nuts) provides about 200 calories, making it a great nutritious snack on the go.
Introducing Island Harvest Hawaii’s Sustainable and Organic Macadamia Farm
As one of the few and largest fully certified organic macadamia farms in the world, encompassing more than 700 acres in North Kohala, we are proud to contribute to regenerative agriculture through the sustainable production of macadamias. The rich Kohala soil, and favorable micro-climate allow us to produce eco-friendly nuts that taste delicious.
We reinvest our profits into enriching the soil by spreading more compost and planting trees, as well as in local community initiatives.
Now that you know why the macadamia nut tree is a great source of eco-friendly nuts, you can enjoy macadamias salted, unsalted, or covered in chocolate, knowing they’re not only a nutritious snack, but also good for the environment.