March 31, 2011

Monsanto Sued over GMO Alfalfa by Farmers and Consumers

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The US government has approved Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" alfalfa despite concerns by consumers, scientists, and farmers. As a result, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Earthjustice have filed a lawsuit against USDA as unlawful. Organic Consumers Association explains:

The GE crop is engineered to be immune to the herbicide glyphosate, which Monsanto markets as Roundup. USDA data show that 93% of all the alfalfa planted by farmers in the U.S. is grown without the use of any herbicides. With the full deregulation of GE alfalfa, USDA estimates that up to 23 million more pounds of toxic herbicides will be released into the environment each year.

"USDA has once again failed to provide adequate oversight of a biotech crop," said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety. "This reckless approval flies in the face of overwhelming evidence that GE alfalfa threatens the rights of farmers and consumers, as well as significant harm to the environment. APHIS has refused to apply and enforce the law and instead has chosen to bow to the wishes of the biotech industry."


Hopefully, justice will prevail!

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 30, 2011

Texas Grown Rice by Rice Select: Little Packaging, Not Always Organic

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We eat a lot rice in my family, and fortunately living in California, we can get rice that was grown close to home. Rice Select features Texas grown rice called Texmati. We were sent samples of the following varieties:


Long grain rice is my favorite, but the samples I was sent were not organically-grown. I did find that the brown rice is available in an organic variety, which I linked to above.

I prefer to buy my rice in bulk and store in large glass jars. Plastic packaging is environmentally degrading, even when recycled, and the samples we were sent were about one meals worth of rice. I can't imagine having to recycle a plastic container after every rice meal (larger sizes are available).

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 29, 2011

Single Serve Espresso Just Got a Little Greener

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The very concept of single serve coffee is not very green, and frankly, I don't really understand it. What's a K cup? I've only tried it once, and that was in a hotel room. I have to admit, it was one damn good cup of coffee, but what about the disposable waste?

Outpresso the Nespresso Capsule Recycler makes single serve espresso a little greener. Single Serve Espresso reports:

Outpresso was recently started by veteran web-entrepreneurs who fell in love with Nespresso. It wasn't until after a relative's trip to Europe where they saw Nespresso machines "everywhere", did the owners of Outpresso USA get one as a gift; a Red Nespresso Citiz. Fans of espresso, and keen on being green, the new machine presented a dilemma that a lot of single serve coffee/espresso users have; how to balance the convenience and quality of the single serve coffee brewer with the environmental impacts of the packaging, like the aluminum coffee capsules in the Nespresso system. Avid recyclers already, Andy and Beth, owners of Outpresso USA, the Outpresso recycler was the answer. Amazed by the quality and ease of use, bringing it to the US market was the obvious next step...

Each Nespresso capsule contains 2 grams of aluminum making it a small amount that adds up over a lifetime of espresso drinks. You can't just throw the spent capsules into the recycling stream because the ~7 grams of coffee contained in the capsule won't separate, and won't create that pure metal stream that is easy to process. So, in order to recycle the capsules, separating the aluminm from the coffee is a big step in making it more recyclable. While Nespresso runs a recycling effort in Europe, urging consumers to bring capsules back to recycling points, they don't yet do that here. Given the general sentiment here about the environment and the lack of market penetration in the US for Nespresso, I am not sure we will see that happen for a long time.

Good news if you are a Nespreso junkie!

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 28, 2011

Medela Breastmilk Labeling & Storage Makes Pumping Organization Easy

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Medela Breastmilk Storage System is essential if you are a busy mother needing to pump.


FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Makes it easy to protect, organize and locate breastmilk bottles in fridge or freezer.
Holds up to 6 Medela breastmilk bottles.
Lids are compatible with all Medela polypropylene breastmilk bottles.
Also compatible with Medela Pump & Save breastmilk bags (sold seperately).
WHAT'S INCLUDED
1 tray
2 labeling lids
2 - 5 oz breastmilk bottles

This system helps you organize your breastmilk to ensure freshness and eliminate waste. Additional Medela Fresh Breast Milk Labeling Lids are helpful too, as they easily indicate the day of the week and am, pm, or midday with a twist of the lid.  Of course, all of these products are BPA-free. 

I did pump for about two weeks when my son had surgery. A storage system like this would have been very useful, especially when other people, like family and nurses, were feeding him.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 25, 2011

Northbound Coffee Roasters Vintage Roasted, Fair Trade, Organic Coffee Guarantees Freshness

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I am a coffee junkie, and not just any coffee will do. I limit my coffee intake, so it has to come from quality beans to make it worth it. There's no point in drinking coffee that was roasted months (or even years) before it reaches my grinder.

Northbound Coffee Roasters is a new roaster in Northern California.

Northbound Coffee is roasted in small (tiny really) batches in our 1930′s vintage roaster at the base of Mount Shasta in beautiful Northern California. Sound ideal? Wait 'til you taste our coffees. We spend a good deal of time sourcing and selecting the finest coffees and then we roast them to perfection drawing out the best qualities of each origin or blend. We only roast to order and date every bag to guarantee the coffee drinker the freshest coffee. We cup every roast to assure you have a quality coffee experience each and every time. Our attention to detail is driven by our passion for quality.

Our love of quality is part of a larger devotion to those things which are built to last and forever giving a phenomenal experience. Sound like too big a promise for just a cup of coffee? Let us be part of your daily coffee ritual and deliver you something pleasantly unexpected.


We tried out two Northbound fair trade flavors of medium roast:
Ethiopia Harrar
Produced by the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, the largest fair trade coffee
producer in Ethiopia. This dry processed coffee presents wild berry notes, semi-sweet
chocolate, and hints of clove. Medium roast. Organically grown.

Guatemala Finca Bourbon
A rich and full-bodied cup with a hint of cocoa. Grown by the Echeverria family since 1870 at the border of the Atitlan and Acatenango regions, this medium roasted coffee is grown under the shade of native trees. Organically grown.

I have never tasted such freshly roasted coffee in my life! Short of owning your own roaster and doing it at home, you cannot get a fresher bean anywhere!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 24, 2011

Wal-Mart Voluntarily Bans PBDEs

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Mega-store giant Wal-Mart has voluntarily agreed to ban all consumer products containing PBDEs. This toxic flame retardant that is found in high levels in children's blood has been called a "chemical of concern" by the EPA.

Mother Nature Network reports:

Who needs government regulation when you have Wal-Mart? The retial [sic] giant is bypassing the government all together with a recent announcement that it will ban a controversial flame retardant commonly found in consumer goods, from computers to couches child safety seats.

The chemicals in question are polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, a class of chemical compounds used since the 70s as flame retardants in everything from furniture to electronics to sporting goods. But several studies have linked the chemicals to problems with the liver, thyroid and reproductive systems and brain development in laboratory animals.

In a recent notice to its suppliers, Wal-Mart said it would begin its own round of testing on June 1st to make sure products do not contain PBDEs. The company stated that the decision to ban PBDEs had been made several years ago, but just recently reminded its suppliers that it would begin verification testing

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I commend Wal-Mart for banning PBDEs, but I still not support the mega-stores. They are responsible for many local shops closing down, as well as the over-consumption of cheap goods made overseas.

Photo:  Attribution Some rights reserved by Monochrome

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 23, 2011

EcoTensil and EcoTaster Replace Plastic Single Use Spoons

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When I was a child, we frequented Baskin Robbins. I think I tried all 31 flavors with those little pink disposable spoons (just one more example of the heavy carbon footprint of my childhood)http://ecotensil.com. EcoTensil and EcoTaster have a solution with their paperboard alternatives:

EcoTensil is building a lot of momentum in the industry by making a truly sustainable replacement for plastic tasting spoons. It's just one step of the green puzzle, but something that often gets overlooked. According to the Clean Air Council, enough paper and plastic utensils are thrown away every year to circle the equator 300 times. It is estimated that close to 40 billion individual plastic utensils--meaning between 14 and 18 billion plastic spoons--are produced each year, and as you know with such low rates of reuse and recycling, most of them end up in our landfills, beaches and oceans, where they are likely to remain for hundreds of thousands of years. This astounding figure gives businesses an easy opportunity to make a decision for the environment by doing away with these unnecessary pollutants and replacing them with environmentally friendly utensils.

Anything designed to be disposable is contrary to being green; however, we are not going to live in a perfect world anytime soon where disposables no longer exist. Just last week, 78,000 EcoTensil single-use spoons used at the Natural Products Expo.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 22, 2011

Radiation Found in Japanese Milk, Spinach, and Water

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Fears of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant entering the food supply have now been confirmed as reality. Trace amounts of radioactive iodine have been found in the drinking water; greater amounts have been found in Japanese milk and spinach.   

Huffington Post reports: 

 In the first sign that contamination from Japan's stricken nuclear complex had seeped into the food chain, officials said Saturday that radiation levels in spinach and milk from farms near the tsunami-crippled facility exceeded government safety limits...

The tainted milk was found 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the plant, a local official said. The spinach was collected from six farms between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 75 miles (120 kilometers) to the south of the reactors.

Those areas are rich farm country known for melons, rice and peaches, so the contamination could affect food supplies for large parts of Japan.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 21, 2011

Good Home Co. Products Tested on Good People, not Good Animals

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Inspired by her parents' farm in Ohio, Christine Dimmick started the Good Home Co. making products on her kitchen stove. The Good Home Co. does not test on animals, only "good humans", and the products are vegan. They do not contain harsh chemicals.

Lately "organic" products have been popular in the market place, however none of our products would be deemed organic. Why? Because in order to be organic, all ingredients must be "grown", which is why the term organic relates to food. We use food items, but we also use other ingredients, such as water and soaps, that simply cannot be "grown". We hold ourselves to high ethics and standards and will not deceive our customers with claims that are impossible and do not pertain to our products, now matter how trendy they currently are. Though one ingredient we use may be deemed organic, if all ingredients cannot make this claim, then the product cannot be ingredient.

I agree with the above statement, but when I read the labels on the Good Home Co. products I was sent to review, not only are some non-descript (fabric softener and fragrance), none are labeled as organic. I understand not labeling an entire product as organic for the above reasons, but I like my products to contain some organic ingredients.  In fact, I take some offense at being labeled as "trendy" for caring about herbicide and pesticide use in our environment. 

We were sent the following products:


The Environmental Working Group has given the Good Home Co.'s fragrance a hazard score of 8. That's pretty high. Other products contain chemical colorants. The Good Home Co. does not claim to be all-natural and admits to using manmade ingredients in its fragrance.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

Good Home Co. Products Tested on Good People, not Good Animals

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Inspired by her parents' farm in Ohio, Christine Dimmick started the Good Home Co. making products on her kitchen stove. The Good Home Co. does not test on animals, only "good humans", and the products are vegan. They do not contain harsh chemicals.

Lately "organic" products have been popular in the market place, however none of our products would be deemed organic. Why? Because in order to be organic, all ingredients must be "grown", which is why the term organic relates to food. We use food items, but we also use other ingredients, such as water and soaps, that simply cannot be "grown". We hold ourselves to high ethics and standards and will not deceive our customers with claims that are impossible and do not pertain to our products, now matter how trendy they currently are. Though one ingredient we use may be deemed organic, if all ingredients cannot make this claim, then the product cannot be ingredient.

I agree with the above statement, but when I read the labels on the Good Home Co. products I was sent to review, not only are some non-descript (fabric softener and fragrance), none are labeled as organic. I understand not labeling an entire product as organic for the above reasons, but I like my products to contain some organic ingredients.  In fact, I take some offense at being labeled as "trendy" for caring about herbicide and pesticide use in our environment. 

We were sent the following products:


The Environmental Working Group has given the Good Home Co.'s fragrance a hazard score of 8. That's pretty high. Other products contain chemical colorants. The Good Home Co. does not claim to be all-natural and admits to using manmade ingredients in its fragrance.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 18, 2011

From Soy Candles to Castile Soap: Kiss My Face Peace Products

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Kiss My Face's line of Peace products supports Seeds of Peace.

Seeds of Peace is an organization that pioneers programs and ideals dedicated to challenging widely accepted perceptions and taught to children in countries of conflict. We both believe that by questioning the established way of thinking and spearheading a new movement, change will come... and a new, better way will become the norm.

Founded in 1993 by journalist John Wallach, Seeds of Peace is dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence.


We adore all of the Kiss My Face Peace products and support their mission!
Kiss My Face Soy Peace Candle, Pomegranate Acai
Give Peace a chance! Peace candles, that is. Each soy wax candle is hand poured with an unbleached cotton wick and scented to bring serenity to your favorite haven.

  • Environmentally safe, no petroleum based wax

  • Soy based, renewable

  • Natural cotton wick
Kiss My Face Peace Soap Grassy Mint Castile
Give Peace Soap a chance! You'll love it. (Peace & love....some things never go out of style.) Combining organic olive oil with coconut, hemp and jojoba oils for luxurious lather and mildness, we have created a totally pleasurable cleaning experience- from head to toe, ceiling to floor, our castile soap cleans skin and much more. Veggie, countertop, dishes or sweater, it does it all and it does it better.

Castile soap has been used for centuries around the world, originating in the Castile region of Spain. This simple soap formula is so effective that it has changed little in 500 years.

Kiss My Face Peace Soap Lavender Mandarin Castile Hand Soap
Same awesome 100% natural castile soap in a self-foaming bottle. Our natural castile soap starts with pure olive oil and natural essential oil fragrances ... lemongrass clary sage, lavender manderin, grassy mint, and pomegranate acai and is bottled in a cool, self-foaming bottle made of 50% post consumer recycled material.
 Kiss My Face was the first all natural beauty line I tried when I first made the switch to a healthier lifestyle at age 16. The company makes me feel nostalgic, and their Peace line does that for anyone who remembers a more idealistic time. 

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 17, 2011

Prepare for Radiation from Japanese Nuclear Power Plants Naturally with Brown Seaweed

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We share a planet, and even though we may distance ourselves from global tragedies, like the Japanese earthquake, to protect ourselves from their tragic realities, we are not immune from its effects. Radioactive material from the nuclear power plants will reach us, similar to how Mongolian dust has reached the West Coast of the United States in the past. Of course, our exposure will be less than the Japanese, but we still should prepare our bodies.

Pure Brown Seaweed Extract is one way you can protect your body. It has been used since the atomic bombs of WWII and Chernobyl. Susan Weed of the Wise Woman Herbal Series writes:

Miso broth is the classic food for prevention of radiation damage. There's twice the protection if a quarter-ounce/5 grams of dried kelp seaweed is added to the soup. In scientific studies, seaweed was able to neutralize radioactive isotopes in the human body. Researchers at McGill University say radioactive strontium binds to the algin in brown seaweeds to create sodium alginate, a compound easily and harmlessly excreted. Common black tea exhibited the same anti-radiation effects in several Japanese studies.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 16, 2011

Ayurvedic Tea: Prokapha and Provata All Natural for Your Health

prokapha_tea.jpg Herbal tea is not just for enjoyable drinking but can actually improve your health. R-U-Ved has two blends that not only taste delicious, they are based on the principles of Ayurvedic medicine, the oldest form of medicine in the world! Each tea is designed for your body-mind type: Vata, Pita, or Kapha


Prokapha Tea:
Cloves, Cardamom, Ginger, Green Tea, Cinnamon


Provata Tea:
Fennel, Licorice, Ginger, Cinnamon, Black Cardamom, Ajwain

At about $5, these teas are very affordable. They are kept very fresh in foil packages for individual tea bags, and each box includes an expiration date as well. The only thing that could make these teas better is if they were made with organically grown ingredients.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 15, 2011

Sunspire Sun Drop Cookie Recipe: M & M Cookie Healthy Alternative

Baking-SunDrops.pngI recently walked into our school kitchen and saw a flashback from my youth: M & M cookies. Luckily, Sunspire makes a natural alternative to M & Ms.  

Ingredients: Dried cane juice & unsulphured molasses, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, unsweetened chocolate, soy lecithin [a non-GMO emulsifier], pure natural vanilla), SHELL (Dried cane juice, whole rice solids, beta carotene color, beet juice color and caramel color, vegetable & beeswax, pure food glaze [without sugar]

Sunspire Sundrops Plain are delicious to snack on alone, but this week I was inspired to try the recipe on the bag and make cookies. Here is the recipe, with some healthy modifications. I omitted the additional chocolate chips and added spelt flour.

Sun Drop Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine and set aside:


  • 1/4 cup organic spelt flour

  • 2 cups organic unbleached white flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream together:


  • 8 ounces organic butter

  • 3/4 cup organic Sucanat (or brown sugar)

  • 3/4 cup organic sugar

Beat into sugar/butter mixture:


  • 2 organic eggs (add one at a time)

  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla


Blend in flour mixture slowly, then fold in:

  • 1 cup Sun Drops

  • 1 cup chopped organic walnuts


Drop by teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Yields three dozen cookies.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 14, 2011

Lucky Kids: Point6 Merino Wool Hiking Socks for Kids!

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Wool socks have come a long way since my youth, when after one washing they became a felted, itchy mass. Adults love point6 Hiking Tech Medium Cushion Merino Wool Socks, now kids can too!

The Point 6 Difference 
With a new spin on traditional merino wool sock construction, point6 is leading the way in the evolution of the merino wool movement.
 The spinning process turns our premium merino wool fibers into yarn, and compact spinning removes more air from between the fibers, creating a more compact, and thus softer, finer and more durable yarn. This is an expensive process, so other companies are content to use small percentages of compact spun yarns in their products. point6 uses compact spun yarns exclusively in our mens wool socks and womens wool socks. Once spun, our yarns are knit with fine gauge needles, producing more stitches per inch, to create exceptionally soft and durable mens wool socks and womens wool socks. We have created a superior wool sock with increased longevity.

Our company name is derived from 98 point 6 degrees fahrenheit (the body's optimal body temperature), and reinforces the benefits of maintaining optimum performance through the fantastic temperature stabilizing properties of point6 merino wool.


I've quit buying my children crappy, cheap socks. They do not last, and why should their feet suffer while mine enjoy fine merino socks? Lucky kids wear Point6!

Point6 also takes sustainability seriously.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 11, 2011

The Best Breast Pump: Medela Pump In Style Advanced

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We all know breast is best for baby, and thankfully companies like Medela have made it easier for moms to fill their baby's nourishment needs without being in their constant presence. From working moms to stay-at-home moms, a breast pump makes life more convenient.

With my first child, I had a hand style breast pump that was very inefficient and awkward to use. Even though we were together 99% of the time, I found a pump necessary when she fell ill and couldn't/wouldn't nurse. It was also convenient for when I needed to leave home to run a few errands sans baby in order that others could feed her without resorting to formula.

My second child was born with a congenital heart defect. After open heart surgery, breast pumping was a necessity to meet his needs in this fragile state. It made me feel good that I was helping him heal by pumping, and without Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump, there's no way I could have pumped round the clock for two weeks straight.

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote:

Product Features
  • Daily use double pump electric New bag style with extra storage
  • Adjustable speed/vacuum dial lets mom choose her most comfortable setting.
  • Removable PVC-free cooler bag with contoured ice pack keeps milk cool for up to 12 hours.
  • Battery pack lets mom pump anywhere, anytime. (Optional 9V vehicle lighter adapter available).
  • More milk in less time with 2-Phase Expression technology when pumping at Maximum Comfort Vacuum.
I can't say that I enjoyed pumping, but at least the Pump In Style is efficient and painless. I became quite used to the sound, and it gave me some comfort during a very stressful time in my motherhood.

 

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 10, 2011

GMO Warning: Your Natural Cereal is Genetically Modified!

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Natural and genetically modified sound like antonyms to me; however, many "natural" cereals contain ingredients that have been altered from Mother Nature's design. Organic Consumer's Association explains:

Does "natural" mean non-GMO? Not likely. Many breakfast cereals labeled natural are likely to contain ingredients from genetically modified corn, soy, canola, and sugar beets.

This was a key finding from a survey of natural cereal manufacturers conducted by The Organic & Non-GMO Report. Several natural cereal manufacturers admitted that their products may contain GM ingredients, one manufacturer refused to comment, and three are putting their products through a non-GMO verification program to avoid the use of GMOs.

While GM ingredients are prohibited in certified organic food products such as cereals, "natural" products have no such requirements.

"Many natural products use GM ingredients"

Four natural cereal manufacturers issued statements saying that their products may contain GMOs. Malt-O-Meal, which manufactures Mom's Best Cereals, said "many all-natural products use some genetically modified ingredients, particularly corn. We respect that some people object to GMO ingredients for a variety of reasons, and we're continually researching and testing alternative ingredients that will make our cereals appealing to more people."

Quaker Oats, which manufactures Mother's Nature Cereals, said that because it buys bulk grains such as corn, soy, and canola "there is always a possibility that those grains may contain GMO material due to cross contact during manufacturing and transportation."


Even Kashi, a brand we have reviewed before here on Really Natural, will not guarantee there "natural" cereals are free of GMOs. I'm glad we can still safely enjoy our organic Kashi cereals!

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 9, 2011

All Natural FruitziO Freeze Dried Fruit Snack Only 100 Calories Per Bag!

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If you are looking for a full flavor delicious snack that is low in calorie, FruitziO may be the answer. Freeze dried fruit is crunchy and is a great treat; however, FruitziO is not organic. It is made by Crispy Green:

Our Crispy Green and new FruitziO product lines are created using a sophisticated freeze-drying process where water is removed from the fresh fruit in a cold (freezing) vacuum condition, leaving behind the true essence of the fruit in a light and crispy texture that's perfect for snacking.

Fruitzio comes in the following flavors:

These snacks are made in China, which does leave me with a little concern. Cane sugar is also added to these products, which makes me wonder what they would taste like if they were simply fruit. Our samples were packed in styrofoam peanuts (the non-compostable kind). FruitziO may be all natural and have great flavor, but these snacks would be better if they were organic, sugar-free, and made in the USA.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 8, 2011

Spirare Surfboards: Surfboards Constructed of Ocean Garbage

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The ocean is amass with litter, with both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans containing garbage gyres. Spirare Surfboards has a unique solution of making surfboards from ocean garbage. Treehugger explains:

Cunningham's idea is to first produce a limited series of boards made from reclaimed debris that will be featured in galleries around the country, to be followed by a line of 100 boards that will be sold as custom orders. But before any trash can become the eco-conscious surfer's dream board, Cunningham needs some financial support.

To that end, he has started a Kickstart campaign, looking for $3,500 by mid-April (he's about halfway there). And pledges come with rewards, from Spirare t-shirts, stickers and tote bags to a surfboard itself (for the grand $2,000 pledge).

Photo:  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by Fathzer
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 7, 2011

Best Green Company 2010: Nikwax Cleaning and Waterproofing Extends Life of Your Technical Gear

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If you have noticed your synthetic long johns are starting to smell, or the rain water no longer beads on your jacket, Nikwax has the solution for you to extend the life of your favorite gear. Many people think they need a new jacket when it starts to lose its waterproofing, but that is not the case! Nikwax even has solutions for your footwear too!
Nikwax Basewash:

Nikwax BaseWash is a new product created specially for cleaning synthetic base-layers.It enhances the fabrics wicking properties, stopping them from stinking and helping them dry more quickly.

Nikwax Downwash Fabric Cleaner:

Benefits of using this product

  • It prolongs the life of gear and optimises outdoor performance

  • Revitalises loft and insulation, without damaging the structure of the down

  • It maintains breathability

  • It maintains original water-repellency

  • It's easy to apply - can be used in a washing machine


Nikwax Tech Wash:
Wash-in cleaner for waterproof clothing and equipment

Safely revitalises breathability and water-repellency

This product is a non-detergent soap which can be used regularly to clean clothing and equipment without damaging the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coatings. Use this product instead of detergents or washing powder.


Nikwax Wool Wash:
Nikwax® Wool Wash is a new product created specially for cleaning and maintaining the natural qualities of wool garments. This new innovation from Nikwax® is a gentle product formulated to clean technical wool base-layers, whilst enhancing wool's natural wicking properties. Recommended for Merino.

Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel Treatment:
Benefits of using this product

  • Removes dirt and helps to release stains

  • Improves the appearance of dirty footwear

  • Prepares the footwear for proofing with an appropriate footwear product

  • Prolongs the life and performance of all types of footwear

  • Maintains breathability

  • Ideal for footwear with breathable linings e.g. Gore-Tex

  • Easy to apply

  • WaterBased - environmentally friendly, biodegradable, non flammable, non hazardous

  • Does not contain fluorocarbons


Nikwax Sandal Wash:
Nikwax Sandal Wash is a sponge-on cleaner for sandals Designed to clean safely, deodorise all sandal types - leather, fabric and synthetic, leaving you with a fresh smelling fragrance.

Whether you need to revitalize your capilene or your Smartwool, Nikwax has the product you need to keep your expensive outdoor gear lasting.

For two years in a row, Nikwax has been rated

one of the greenest companies in the UK. The Sunday Times Best Green Companies 2010 recognises that we deliver on environmental performance while instilling a culture within the business that ensures employees are doing their part as well. In fact, we are rated as having the 5th greenest workforce in the country!

It only makes sense that a company that helps your outdoor gear last longer also helps protect the environment through sustainable practices.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 4, 2011

Really Natural Beauty: Zi Ran Nature's Beauty is Pure

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I always love discovering new beauty products that are handmade and truly natural! Zi Ran's philosophy is "Natures Beauty is Pure," and the company lives by this motto with the ingredients they use.

Our Basically Beautiful Lotion line contains;
Aloe Vera Juice, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Honey, Emulsifying wax (vegetable derived), Vitamin E, Grapefruitseed Extract, Essential Oils (fragrance of your choice) Shake well before each use!!!!!!!

Our All Natural Body Butter contains;
Purified Distilled Water, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Raw African Shea Butter, Emulsifying wax (vegetable derived), Vitamin E, Grapefruitseed Extract, Essential Oils (fragrance of your choice)

Our Super Scrub Soap contains;
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Purified Distilled Water, Raw African Shea Butter, Tallow, Vitamin E, Grapefruitseed Extract, Lye. Essential Oils (Lemon Oil, and Eucalyptus oil at the moment)

Like any truly natural beauty product, Zi Ran products have a shelf life of six months. Rather than this being a negative, I see it as a positive. When companies include this information on their labels, it means they truly are all-natural.  Natural ingredients do not last indefinitely!

The aromas of the body butter and moisturizer are beautiful! These are products you can truly feel safe about applying to your skin.


Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 3, 2011

Natural Gas Drilling, aka Hydraulic Fracking, Contaminates US Water

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Natural gas has been touted by some wealthy individuals, such as T. Boone Pickens, as a solution to the US energy crisis. Like any non-renewable resource extraction, there is environmental degradation. In the case of natural gas drilling, aka hydraulic fracking, the process leaves behind highly toxic waste water. The Guardian explains:

A controversial new method of natural-gas drilling, embraced rapidly across the US, has contaminated water supplies with radioactive waste, according to an investigation by the New York Times. The paper said internal documents from the Environmental Protection Agency and state regulators showed that the dangers to the public from the drilling method - hydraulic fracturing - were greater than previously understood.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses huge volumes of water, chemicals and sand injected into rock at high pressure to release natural gas. Its development has unleashed a natural gas boom in the US and around the world. But the NYT said the waste water contained dangerously high levels of radioactivity. It was being sent to treatment plants that were not designed to deal with or being discharged into rivers that supply drinking water.


Photo:  Attribution Some rights reserved by Purple_Mecha

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 2, 2011

Really Natural Breakfast: Kashi Heart to Heart Seven Whole Grain Cereals

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There's nothing like starting your day with whole grains! Kashi Heart to Heart cereals are delicious and all-natural. Throw in a little fresh fruit, like blueberries, and you have a great, quick breakfast to start your day.


  • Kashi Heart To Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal:
    Light, sweet, and crunchy, Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal is a combination of honey-toasted Os, hearts made with whole grain oats, and our unique blend of Seven Whole Grains and Sesame.

  • Kashi Heart To Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal
    We combined tasty cinnamon with some of our favorite warm spices to create a heart-warming way to start the day. Lightly sweet and crunchy, Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal is a combination of cinnamon-kissed Os, hearts made with whole grain oats, and our unique blend of Seven Whole Grains.

  • Kashi Heart to Heart Blueberry Flake and Cluster Oat Cereal
    This is a delicious blend of crispy oat flakes and crunchy oat clusters made with sun-sweetened blueberries, one of nature's best antioxidant fruits...Blueberries are nature's #1 antioxidant fruit, and they provide powerful flavor punch in Kashi® Heart to Heart Clusters.

My family really likes this cereal, but I do wish they were made with organic ingredients. It's the only way these cereals could be better, as they are delicious!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 1, 2011

Really Natural February 2011 Monthly Roundup

Baby

Beauty

Climate Change

Entertainment

Food

Green Cleaning

Health

Holiday

Home

Pets

Product review

Promotions

Really Natural Books

Shopping

Wildlife

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking
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