February 17, 2010

Organic Honest Tea Yearly Sales Match Coke's 9 Minutes

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We occasionally drink Honest Tea because it is readily available in gas stations and health food stores alike. Recently, my daughter read an interesting statistic inside her Honest Tea lid:

Last year, Honest Tea sold 7,998,654 bottles of tea. This the same amount of Coke sold in 9 minutes.

She was blown away by this statistic, and it really shows how even a quasi-mainstream product like Honest Tea nowhere comes close to a giant like Coca-Cola. Of course, Honest Tea was only launched in 1998, and it somewhat ironic they would include such a quote when in 2008, "The Coca-Cola Company purchased 40 percent of Honest Tea". Hmm, maybe that's why we are seeing it convenience stores now.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 12, 2010

New Gluten Free Crunchy Maple and Vanilla Sunrise Organic Cereal by Nature's Path

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Nature's Path already makes many gluten-free, organic cereals, and now they have added to the bunch with the Crunchy Sunrise flavors of maple and vanilla.
Crunchy Maple Sunrise:

Made with love and ...
INGREDIENTS: Organic whole grain corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice, organic brown rice flour, organic yellow corn flour, organic inulin, organic quinoa puffs, organic maple syrup, organic flax seeds, natural maple flavor, organic buckwheat flour, organic quinoa, sea salt, organic amaranth, organic molasses, tocopherols (natural vitamin E). Produced in a facility that uses peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise:
Made with love and ...
INGREDIENTS: Organic whole grain corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice, organic brown rice flour, organic yellow corn flour, organic inulin, organic quinoa puffs, organic flax seeds, natural vanilla flavor, organic buckwheat flour, organic quinoa, sea salt, organic amaranth, organic molasses, tocopherols (natural vitamin E). Produced in a facility that uses peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

Of course, you don't have to be one of the two million people in the US that suffer from Celiac Disease to enjoy these healthy cereals. There is no sacrifice of flavor in making these cereals gluten-free.


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 at Permalink social bookmarking

February 9, 2010

iPhone App Helps You Find Fruit on Public Lands

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There is a park in our county seat that is full of heirloom fruit trees. This fruit most often falls to the ground and is consumed by the deer, and I have often wondered about the legality of families collecting this harvest in times of need. A new iPhone app helps solve the problem of wasted food on public lands.

Neighborhood Fruit began as a website to help neighbors share the fruit in their yards. Green Living Ideas explains:

Neighborhood Fruit is a new website that aims to connect neighbors and their fruit trees to share in the abundance...

In a time when many people don't know their neighbors living next door, sharing fruit can be a challenge, but it can also be an icebreaker. Imagine a harvest block party in the fall which would truly be a locavore potluck! Neighborhood Fruit can help you connect with your local community, as well as give you access to delicious, local, homegrown food.

Neighborhood Fruit has released an iPhone app that shares information on free fruit on public lands. Mother Nature Network describes the app:

Right now, there's a pear tree on 17th Street in Philadelphia that I could grab a pear or two from if I wanted. At least, according to a new iPhone app Neighborhood Fruit's Find Fruit there is.

This 99 cent app has mapped out fruit trees on urban public lands and locates them for you according to what is in season at the moment. It also allows you to see what's available during all seasons.

This app also works on the Apple iPod touch too!
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 5, 2010

Organic Gourmet Flavored Tortillas Made in LA by Tumaro's


Tortillas are completely versatile wraps, and now they are coming in more flavors than just wheat and white. Tomaro's makes gourmet organic flavored tortillas that are great in any recipe. Varieties we tried include:

Herman Jacobs originally retired in 1981 after selling two successful family businesses, Hain Pure Food Co. and Hollywood Foods. In 1994, Herman and his son Brian bought a tiny Mexican frozen entrée company named Tumaro's in Santa Monica, California. Together, they reformulated the product line to be healthier, tinkering with the tortillas they used in the process.

Soon after, they concentrated all their efforts solely on tortillas, infusing them with natural flavors and whole grains. They created the supermarket industry's first flavored tortillas and to this day, remain the largest seller of flavored tortillas on the market. In addition to adding flavors, they also set out to make them the healthiest too.

These are good tortillas, and we enjoyed them with our burritos. I like how the company discloses the percentage of organic ingredients in each product, instead of just saying "organic". 

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 at Permalink social bookmarking

February 4, 2010

Vertical Farming Sustainably Optimizes Growing Space

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We have a problem: the world's population is growing rapidly putting pressure on agriculture to feed all those people. One solution is vertical farming, which has just won the endorsement of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Valcent, developers of Verticrop, explains the benefits of vertical farming:

Vertical growing is a new idea currently emerging in the sustainability discourse which offers great promise for increasing urban production. Vertical growing systems have been proposed as possible solutions for increasing urban food supplies while decreasing the ecological impact of farming. The primary advantage of vertical growing is the high density production it allows using a much reduced physical footprint and fewer resources relative to conventional agriculture. Vertical growing, hydroponics and greenhouse production have now been combined into an integrated commercial production system, a system that has major potential for the realization of environmentally sustainable urban food and fuel production.

Treehugger further addresses some of the criticisms of vertical farming:
Of course criticisms of vertical and urban farming still shave some merit--namely that urban real estate is generally expensive, and best used for high-density residential and commercial use, with the surrounding farmland being used to feed the city. But such criticisms ignore the fact that formerly industrial sites in cities like Detroit are now lying derelict and are being eyed-up by potential urban farming operations.

I don't see that vertical farming has to be limited to urban locations, as it could also be used by farmers in order to maximize their crop land for food products that require more space.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 3, 2010

Organic Meat Soups by Pacific Natural Foods

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Of course it is better to make soups from scratch, but the next best thing when you need a quick meal is canned organic soup. Pacific Natural Foods has just improved the flavors of its Hearty Artisan Soups that contain "organic meat protein". As a vegetarian, I could not taste these soups, but I did find an omnivore to try them out. He said they were good with some "doctoring" of Bragg Liquid Aminos and nutritional yeast. The five improved flavors are:


  1. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Savory White Bean With Smoked Bacon Soup

  2. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Spicy Chicken Fajita Soup

  3. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Savory Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

  4. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Chicken & Penne Pasta Soup

  5. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Split Pea with Bacon & Swiss Cheese Soup

Besides being committed to organic foods, Pacific Natural Foods is a top donor to the Oregon Food Bank. The company believes, "No one should go hungry."

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 at Permalink social bookmarking

January 29, 2010

Really Natural Cookbooks: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

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Mmmm, I love cookies! Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats is a handy book filled with great recipes for vegetarians and omnivores alike! From Tahini Lime Cookies to Whole Wheat Fig Bars, you can't go wrong with these delicious recipes. Great images of the finished products make you drool and motivate you to get into the kitchen and start baking.

Caramel Pecan Bars

For the crust: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon baking powder A big punch of salt 3/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, slightly softened

For the pecan topping:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup nondairy milk
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons melted nonhydrogenated margarine
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure the foil completely covers the sides of the pan, with about 2 inches folded outside over the edges. Spray the bottom and sides of the pan generously with nonstick cooking spray.

Prepare the crust:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry cutter or two knives held together to cut in the margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into the prepared baking pan and press down evenly and very firmly, making sure to press the mixture all the way to the edges of the pan. Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes until firm and very lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside.

Prepare the topping:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and nondairy milk until foamy. Stir in the the dark brown sugar, brown rice syrup, melted margarine, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Fold in the pecans and pour the mixture onto the crust, using a spatula to spread the topping evenly.

2. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until the filling is rapidly bubbling. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, then move to the refrigerator to finish cooling and setting. Chill for at least 2 hours or, even better, overnight.

3. To slice completely cooled bars, grab ahold of the foil and carefully lift the whole thing out of the pan and onto a heavy cutting board. Peel away the foil and cut bars with a heavy, sharp knife.

Disclosure:  I was sent a free sample of this product to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.


Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 28, 2010

Eating Chocolate Proven to Reduce Stress Hormones

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Science has proven what I have known all along: eating chocolate reduces stress! The "chocolate cure" has been clinically studied. Published in the Journal of Proteome Research, Medical News reports:

It found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed...

Sunil Kochhar and colleagues note growing scientific evidence that antioxidants and other beneficial substances in dark chocolate may reduce risk factors for heart disease and other physical conditions. Studies also suggest that chocolate may ease emotional stress.


In my experience, a glass of red wine coupled with chocolate works best :) Of course, organic chocolate yields premier results.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 15, 2010

New Variety of Apple: Piñata Heirloom Available in 2010

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Our grocery stores are filled with the same generic varieties of fruits and vegetables, when countless heirloom varieties are coveted by home gardeners. Not all agricultural producers are stuck in the same variety rut.  Stemilt Growers is introducing a new variety of apple: Piñata.

• The PIÑATA!® apple originated in the 1970's after researchers in Dresden- Pillnitz, Germany crossed the Golden Delicious, Cox's Orange Pippin and the Duchess of Oldenburg varieties. The apple was released commercially throughout Europe in 1986.
• In 2004, Stemilt Growers--a leading tree fruit company based in Wenatchee, Washington--trademarked the name Piñata. Stemilt holds the exclusive rights to grow and market this variety in the United States.
• Under its former names (Pinova and Sonata), Piñata was deemed "Apple of the Year" in Germany in 2001. In 2004, Stemilt renamed the variety Piñata, in order to tie-in the apple's given names with its exciting attributes.
• Piñata apples are stripy red over an orange background. A blend of high sugar and high acid levels give Piñata a special flavor. Crisp and juicy, Piñata has a classic apple flavor with a unique tropical twist.

The Piñata reminds me of a Pink Lady, one of my favorite varieties of apples, and my children really loved them. They are tangy and sweet, they are quite beautiful in appearance. They are available under the Artisan Organics label.


Personally, I am annoyed that heirloom varieties would carry a registered trademark. These varieties belong to the people of the world, not agricultural companies.  It shouldn't need legal protection or have exclusive rights.

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 at Permalink social bookmarking

January 13, 2010

Zero Calorie, Natural Stevia in the Raw Cup for Cup Replaces Sugar in Recipes

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I first heard about stevia from my secretary about ten years ago. At that time, it was available as a liquid extract, and I couldn't figure out how to use it in recipes. I'm not a huge fan of zero calorie sweeteners, and stevia has not been without controversy; however, Stevia Extract In the Raw may change my mind. You can use it cup for cup as you would sugar in any recipe.

Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is an herb in the compositae family that grows as a small shrub in parts of Paraguay and Brazil. The glycosides in its leaves make it incredibly sweet, a property that is unique among the nearly 300 species of stevia plants. Stevia has been used to sweeten beverages and medicines for over 400 years. A scientist named Antonio Bertoni first recorded its use by native tribes in 1887...

Unlike some of our competitors, Stevia Extract In The Raw does not use additional sweeteners such as erythritol (Truvia™) and isomaltulose and erythritol (PureVia™) to mask the natural sweetness of Reb-A Stevia Extract. The high purity level of our product eliminates any of the licorice-like aftertaste associated with less pure Stevia products currently in the market.

I am not sure how processed this stevia is compared to raw sugar, but it is much lighter in weight and the kids love it!

Disclosure: I was sent a free sample of this product to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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