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Newsletter Archive


September 2012

  September 2012  


In this issue you'll find:


What works...Success Stories

The Answer to our Prayers

“In this day and age it is so hard to find both good quality and good priced items made in the USA. My sister recently recovered from breast cancer and we are so careful about what we buy to eat. Sometimes though it is disheartening to find safe containers. Your company is the answer to our prayers, with stylish items to be proud to carry lunch in. Now we are both excited to carry our lunches and feel comforted to know that they’re safe and free of unhealthy and unwanted chemicals.”

    -- Julie Ankney, Knoxville, TN

Love Our Laptop Lunch Boxes

“We love our Laptop Lunch boxes.  We have had version 1.0 for four years now and it's hard to upgrade because everything but the cases are in great shape. The kids have kept up with their containers and lids. It's incredible.  And, we usually get a couple of comments at the beginning of the year from interested onlookers. Lots of fun!!”

    -- Kathryn M, Plano, Texas

A Great Durable Product! 

"I am finally upgrading my son's lunchbox. I bought him his first bento box as he entered kindergarten. He is now going into 5th grade! The original bento is still totally usable; I just decided to get him a new one and use the old one for myself. Thanks for making such a great, durable product!”

    -- Carol, Erie, PA

Do you have a success story or photo to share? Email it to us at [email protected].


New Retailers

Mendocino Bounty
200 School Street
Mendocino, CA 95482

Shop Rite
76 Central Avenue
Clark, NJ 07066

Shop Rite
2333 Nott Street East
Niskayuna, NY 12309

Shop Rite
13 City Place
White Plains, NY 10601

Shop Rite
709 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12206

Shop Rite
785 State Route 17M, Suite 1
Monroe, NY 10950

Shop Rite
801 Miron Lane
Kingston, NY 12401

Shop Rite
153 State Route 94S
Warwick, NY 10990

Shop Rite
8 Joyce Road
New Rochelle, NY 10801

Mumzworld FZ LLC
United Arab Emirates

Treehouse Kid and Craft
815 W. Broad Street, Suite A
Athens, GA 30601

Goodman Building Supply
775 Redwood Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941

The Green Light
301 N. Higgins
Missoula, MT 59802

2142 Barrack Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Alfalfa’s Market
1645 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80302

Village Ace Hardware
17101 Kercheval Avenue
Grosse Pointe, MI 48230

Tess' Kitchen Store
115 Mill Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945

Piazza’s Fine Foods
1218 West Hillsdale Boulevard
San Mateo, CA 94403

205 West 5th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401

Andy's Local Market
688 Point San Pedro
San Rafael, CA 94901

Andy's Sun Valley Market
2202 5th Ave.
San Rafael, CA 94901

Granada Gourmet
197 E. Granada Boulevard
Ormond Beach, FL 32176

Hardware Unlimited
3326 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94118

The Gift Shop of the Woman’s Board
of Northwestern Memorial Hospital
251 East Huron
Chicago, IL 60611

843 Upshur Street, NW
Washington, DC 20011

Walnut Creek Cheese
2461 SR 39
Walnut Creek, OH 44687

Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins
5154 Hollister Avenue
Santa Barbara, CA 93111

Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins
1790 S. Broadway
Santa Maria, CA 93454

Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins
4308 California Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93304

Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins
2080 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins
2857 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins
2955 Cochran Street, Suite A-4
Simi Valley, CA 93065

Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins
9439 N. Fort Washington Road
Fresno, CA 93730

Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins
3471 Saviers Road
Oxnard, CA 93033

Andronico’s Solano
1850 Solano Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94707

Andronico’s Irving
1200 Irving Street
San Francisco, CA 94122

Andronico’s Shattuck
1550 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709

Andronico’s Los Altos
690 Los Altos Rancho Shopping Center
Los Altos, CA 94024

Andronico’s San Anselmo
100 Center Boulevard
San Anselmo, CA 94960

8855 Mcgaw Road
Columbia, MD 21045

Diane’s Natural Market
240 State Road 312
Saint Augustine, FL 32086

The Green Light
301 N. Higgins
Missoula, MT 59802

Whole Earth Provision Company
2410 San Antonio St.
Austin, TX 78705

Whole Earth Provision Company
1014 North Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78703

Whole Earth Provision Company
4477 South Lamar Boulevard, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78745

Whole Earth Provision Company
2934 South Shepherd Drive
Houston, TX 77098

Whole Earth Provision Company
2501 Post Oak Boulevard
Houston, TX 77056
713- 526-5440

Whole Earth Provision Company
5400 East Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, TX 75206

Whole Earth Provision Company
11700 Preston Road, Suite 737
Dallas, TX 75230

Whole Earth Provision Company
255 Basse East, B-510
San Antonio, TX 78209

Flatbush Food Coop
1415 Cortelyou Road
Brooklyn, NY 11226

GreenStar Cooperative Market
701 W. Buffalo Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Oconee Interiors Kitchen Store & More
109 Harmony Crossing
Eatonton, GA 31024


From Our Desk to Yours


As our children return to school, reunited with friends and pining for the lazy days of summer, the rest of us are working behind the scenes to set them up for a successful school year. Amidst the scheduling, chauffeuring, and chaperoning, we hope you find plenty of time for fun, laughter, and quiet moments together. Have a wonderful school year!

NEW LUNCH JARS: Be sure to check out our hot-off-the-press 11 oz. stainless lunch jars! This smaller option, great for packing hot and cold foods, is ideal for small servings or lighter appetites. We’re so excited to add this new item to our Web store at: Thanks for suggesting it!
NEW VIDEOS: Have you seen the new product videos that we’ve added to our Web store? When you have a moment, please check them out at and let us know what you think.
FACEBOOK SPECIAL: Be sure to check out this week’s Facebook Deal at



From Your Kitchen to Ours

    -- Anna, Chesterfield, UK

Food for Thought: Pineapple

Pineapples are rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium and potassium. The high Vitamin C content, along with the ability to help reduce throat mucus, makes pineapple good to eat during colds. Pineapples are high in manganese, which helps strengthen bones. Many of the health benefits of eating pineapples can be attributed to bromelain, a digestive aid, reducing constipation, nausea and gas. It also helps reduce inflammation and offers relief from upper respiratory infections. Reports show that it reduces-allergy related sinus problems as well. Fresh pineapple juice is known to help relieve morning sickness.

Pineapples are great in smoothies, fruit salads, sauces and salsas. Try adding some to green salads or cole slaw, and to pancakes, cakes and other baked goods. Pineapple is a perfect complement to fish dishes. Eat it fresh as a snack or on top of yogurt.

For a variety of pineapple recipes, visit:


  • Helps with Digestion
  • Boosts the Immune System
  • Supports Weight Loss
  • Aids in Digestion
  • Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory
  • Relieves Arthritis Pain and Stiffness
  • Reduces Blood Clot Development
  • Helps Build Healthy Bones
  • Good for Teeth and Gums
  • Provides Relief for Sinusitis and Bronchitis

This Month's Recipes: From The Family Dinner
The following recipes are reprinted with permission from Laurie David and Kristin Uhrenholdt, authors of The Family Dinner. To view the postings for these recipes and others, visit:

Crispy Crunchy Quinoa Cakes

These quinoa cakes are crispy, crunchy and tasty…perfect for Meatless Mondays, and they are great for using up veggie leftovers! Just take this recipe and replace the 1 cup of spinach with any 1 cup of cooked vegetable you have in the fridge, some of your leftover black beans, sautéed mushrooms or a cup of Sunday’s roasted vegetables chopped up. All would be fabulous!

Quinoa Cake:
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 Tbsp tahini, almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup finely grated sweet potato (this is a secret ingredient, it holds the batter together)
  • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed-dry
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (pine nuts, walnuts or your very favorite nuts), optional
  • ½ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley, dill or cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper, cumin and/ or cayenne to taste
  • Vegetable or grape seed oil

Quick Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

  • 1 ½ cup drained fire roasted red peppers from a jar
  • ½ cup toasted almonds
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In your favorite mixing bowl mix the first 4 ingredients, then add all the other ingredients except the oil. Stir until everything is well combined.
  2. Let the mixture chill in the fridge for about a ½ hour.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400º.
  4. Make the quinoa cakes by placing 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture into your wet hands and firmly forming it into a round flat “patty,” then put it onto a well oiled baking sheet.
  5. Bake, flipping halfway through, until lightly browned and just crisp, about 25 minutes. Serve with quick roasted red pepper sauce, tzatziki, chutney or tomato sauce.
  6. For the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste for seasonings.

This recipe can be found at:

Cauliflower Sweet Potato Latkes

With this recipe, potato latkes have been tweaked a little by replacing the potatoes with two superfoods: cauliflower and sweet potatoes. They are tasty, crunchy, and pretty.

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, about 1 1/2 lbs
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour (or corn starch)
  • 1 large sweet potato, grated*
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Vegetable or grape seed oil

*Cook's Tip: For lacy crunchy edges, grate the sweet potato lengthwise so you get long strands. For neat round little patties, grate finely instead. 

  1. Chop up the cauliflower and microwave in a covered bowl without water until easily pierced by a fork. Mash the cauliflower, then toss with the remaining ingredients, except for the oil.
  2. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat a goodly drizzle of the oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Make the pancakes by placing 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the hot skillet, flattening them with the back of the spoon.
  4. Sauté until the bottom of the pancakes are nicely browned – between 3 and 5 minutes; flip the pancakes and cook for about 3 minutes longer.
  5. You will probably have to make them in a few batches, so keep the first ones warm in a 200 degree oven, on a cookie rack placed on a cookie sheet.
  6. Serve with tzatziki and cranberry sauce or apple sauce and sour cream.

This recipe can be found at:

In the Spotlight: Meatless Mondays

Laurie David & Kirstin Uhrenholdt of The Family Dinner Book

About Laurie David:
Laurie works on a variety of environmental, food and agricultural issues. Her most recent book, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time, is an inspirational, practical and green guide to the vital family dinner ritual and how to accomplish it in today’s busy world. She has also authored the bestselling book Stop Global Warming: The Solution is You! and co-authored The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, which has been published in over eight languages.

Laurie was a producer of the 2006 Academy Award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and executive produced the HBO documentary Too Hot NOT to Handle, and the TBS comedy special Earth to America! She has partnered with Katie Couric to executive produce The Big Picture, a feature-length documentary examining the causes and impact of the childhood obesity epidemic.

Laurie is a regular blogger on the Huffington Post and has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

Laurie has received numerous awards and honors.  

About Kirstin Uhrenholdt:
Kirstin grew up on a fruit-farm in Denmark, pickin’ n’ pruning and making pies. Then by a stroke of good luck, she ended up on a cargo ship to Greenland doing, among other things, a lot of dishes, — a lot — more than you can imagine. She escaped and became a beer wench in Appenzelle, Switzerland, where they speak a language no one understands. Eventually she landed in L.A. where, lo and behold, she was kidnapped by some actors, some heavy rockers, and some kosher people. Presently she is living happily ever after.  

I had an eureka moment this year: Eat less meat. Okay, well maybe reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s game-changing book, Eating Animals, had a little something to do with my lightning-bolt wake-up call. That was the straw that broke this camel’s back. I devoured the book, and then placed it atop a few other favorites piled on my night- stand, including Mark Bittman’s Food Matters, Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, John Robbins’s Diet for a New America, and a must-watch DVD: Food, Inc.

All of these fueled my growing concern about the food I was feeding my kids. Then a well-timed two-hour lunch seated next to vegan advocate Kathy Freston, and a long conversation with Paul McCartney, who saw the “meatless light” a long time ago, sealed the deal. It was time to step out of denial and into conscious eating.

There is a growing arsenal of disturbing information about how our food is produced in this country, especially meat products, and it’s not the way any parent would want it done. Sadly, much of our food has lost its integrity. The processing practices of our food system are harming our bodies and our planet —and unfortunately we’re eating more of it than ever. Just look at the growth in diet-related health problems, life-threatening allergies, cancer rates, epidemics of obesity and diabetes—all of these are exploding in part because of what and how much we eat. But let’s put all that aside for a moment and consider it this way:

Want to lose weight? Eat less meat. Want to be more regular? Eat less meat. Want your family to be healthier? Eat less meat.

Wait, there’s more! Want fewer chemicals in your food? Less meat! Cleaner air? Less meat! Protect drinking water and forests? Less meat! Improve living conditions for animals? Less meat! Want to help stop global warming? Animal agriculture is responsible for a shocking 51 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Eat less meat!

Contrary to what we were taught, we now know we have a choice. Eating meat isn’t necessary—not for protein, not for our blood, not at all. Protein can be found in all kinds of foods, including cheese, beans, edamame, peas, tofu, nuts, quinoa, and lentils. According to the American Dietetic Association, a vegetarian diet is at least as healthy for every stage of life, from newborn to lactating motherhood to old age.

The overconsumption of meat is a relatively new problem. Americans now eat 150 times more chicken than we did only eighty years ago. When our grandparents were our age, meat was harder to come by, and was considered a luxury. They didn’t have steak every night. They had soups and pastas and vegetable stews. Meat was used to add flavor or as a side ingredient, more an embellishment than the center of attention. Today we are doing something that was unheard of not that long ago: eating meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The average American is consuming are about eight ounces of meat every single day—which is 45 percent more meat than the USDA even recommends!

So what to do and how to start? Becoming a vegetarian overnight is probably not feasible or desirable for most people. So why not start slower? How about . . . meatless on Mondays! That’s an easy, simple step toward a healthier life. In fact, there’s already a national movement to help inspire you (; a former Beatle advocating it (; and a prestigious university—Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health—associated with it. What a perfect way to start the week: thinking about what is healthier for you and your family and making a small change with huge repercussions.

Talk about it at dinner. Here are some basic facts you can discuss to back up your family decision to start Meat- less Mondays right away!

Fact: It is much healthier for you and your children to start eating less meat.

Why: Because animal products are our main source of saturated fats, which contribute to high levels of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Giving up meat once a week would reduce your saturated fat intake by 15 percent. We know obesity is a huge problem in the United States, and it’s growing, just like our waist- lines. Today 65 percent of the U.S. population is considered overweight. Eating less meat and reducing the fat in your family’s meals could save your children from obesity, and all the diseases that go along with it, later in life.

Fact: The meat we generally consume is raised, processed, and transported in very unhealthful, inhumane ways that pose serious threats to public health.

Why: More than 99 percent (that is not a typo!) of the meat purchased in supermarkets, cooked in homes, and consumed in American restaurants is grown on factory farms where animals are raised in miserable and unsanitary conditions, and fed foods their bodies are not naturally suited to digest. What’s wrong with this picture? Unhealthy animals eat toxic chemicals, and then we eat the animals!

To make matters worse, animals on factory farms are being pumped full of antibiotics to make them grow faster and bigger. These are the same antibiotics we need for ourselves and our kids when we get sick. Ever wonder why our antibiotics are only good for a few years, then the bug develops resistance and we need to find new, much more expensive medicines? About eight times the amount of antibiotics that are fed to sick humans are fed to healthy animals. Many of our tried-and-true classes of antibiotics, such as those in tetracycline, are being fed by the ton to farm animals . . . who then pee them out into the mulch and mud . . . where bacteria develop resistance and then wash away into our streams, rivers, lakes, and bays. Shouldn’t we be saving those medicines for people who need them? The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control think so, which is why they’ve long advocated for a moratorium on nontherapeutic antibiotic use on farms.

To learn more about Laurie, Kristin and The Family Dinner, visit:

The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time is a practical, inspirational, fun (and, of course, green) guide to the most important hour in any parent's day. The book includes: over seventy-five kid approved recipes; tips on teaching green values; conversation starters; games to help even the shyest family member become engaged; ways to express gratitude; the family dinner after divorce (hint: keep eating together) and much more.

In the News

Crafts and Things

Laptop Lunches Bento-ware Review

Laptop Lunches® are American-style bento boxes designed to help you pack nutritious, eco-friendly lunches. Our stylish lunch boxes--which come with a book of healthy lunch ideas and creative lunch making tips and recipes--are reusable, recyclable, and dishwasher safe. Our eco-friendly lunch boxes contain NO phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), or lead.

I must first say this is an awesome lunch box for any kid, but you can also use it for yourself! When your child is done, you just simply wash them all out, though they are also dishwasher safe as well. I was excited to receive one. My little one was excited to use it, I think the colors got his attention. You can buy other items to mix and match your Bento Box and lots of other accessories are available too.

  • The outer container acts as a lid for unlidded containers
  • Three lidded water-tight containers
  • Two unlidded containers
  • A compartment for your fork and spoon
  • Recycled & Recyclable
  • Cost-effective - pays for itself in just 3 weeks
What's not to like about this? Nothing. I think it's a great product and so will your child.

To view the posting, visit:

Happy Mothering

Green Your Lunch with a Laptop Lunches Bento Box

While my girls aren’t in school yet, we do take trips to the park to have picnics, and have tea parties at home on an almost daily basis. The girls love when their tea parties have a fun or different presentation. I actually find it’s easier to get them to eat more healthy treats that way.

So when the Laptop Lunches® Bento Lunch Box arrived on our doorstep, the girls were ecstatic! They could hardly wait to open the box and give the Bento Box a whirl. I was excited too because I love adding more reusable products to our household.

The plastic used in these Bento Lunch Boxes contains NO BPA, phthalates, lead or PVC and they are made in the USA! The containers and lids are dishwasher safe (top rack only, NO heat boosters). And, the containers are microwave safe (the lids are NOT).

I know the Bento Lunch Box will get a lot of use in our house! You can order your own directly on the Laptop Lunches® website.

To read the full posting, visit:

Parents Magazine

Healthy School Lunches and Snacks
Keep it simple with these easy ideas to make school lunches healthy
and fun.

The simplest and healthiest foods look extra-yummy when they're tucked inside colorful little compartments. That's the idea behind Laptop Lunches, the company that sells these cute plastic sets (starting at $21; We filled the containers with a protein, some fruit, a vegetable, and a small treat -- all in perfect-size portions for kids 5 to 8.

To read the entire posting, with more school lunch ideas, visit:

Green Opportunities

BREAKFAST: THE BEST WAY TO START THE DAY – Do you find excuses to skip breakfast? "I don't have time." "I'm trying to lose weight." There are plenty of reasons that people skip breakfast, but there are even more reasons why they shouldn't. Did you know that eating a good breakfast can actually help with weight control and controlling blood sugar, To learn more, visit:

EAT THE RAINBOW – Eating a colorful assortment of produce is a year-round commitment to make for your health. Fill your diet with lots of beautiful, juicy, sweet, ripe colors. Let the rainbow guide you. Here's a handy list of produce to keep your diet full of colorful fruits and veggies:

WHAT'S WRONG WITH OUR FOOD SYSTEM – 11-year-old Birke Baehr wants us to know how our food is made, where it comes from, and what's in it. In his speech, Birke presents his take on a major source of our food -- far-away and less-than-picturesque industrial farms. He argues that keeping farms out of sight promotes a rosy, unreal picture of big-box agriculture. To view the video of Birke's talk and hear how he outlines the case for greening and localizing food production, visit:

Featured Web Site: Nicodemus Wilderness Project

Nicodemus Wilderness Project (NWP) is an environmental conservation organization dedicated to protecting Earth's biodiversity and ecosystems through education, outreach, and volunteerism. NWP coordinates volunteer events worldwide that utilize the resources of the community to provide long-term environmental benefits for natural areas. By working together with a community, the Nicodemus Wilderness Project educates the youth about the need to protect the integrity of the environment by promoting stewardship of the wild lands and waters supporting Earth's biodiversity and ecosystems.

NWP's vision is for all young people to take personal responsibility and action toward protecting wildlife and the environment in their communities. Their hope is that through NWP projects, these inspired youth volunteers will become the next generation of conservation leaders worldwide.

To find out more, visit:

On This Site:
  • NWP Projects
  • Make a Difference Day
  • Education Programs
  • Apprentice Ecologist Projects
  • Volunteer Information
  • Environmental Links
  • How to Get Involved
  • Membership Newsletters
  • Upcoming Events

Featured Item: Fruit and Veggie Cutters

Contact Us

Comments, questions, concerns? Please email us at [email protected].

View archived issues of this newsletter at

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© September 2012 Obentec, Inc.

500 Chestnut Street, Suite 250
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


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