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Newsletter Archive


October 2009

Laptop Lunch Times: October2009
October 2009

In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • Recipes from Mariel Hemingway
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • Mariel's Kitchen: An Interview with Mariel Hemingway
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site:

From Our Desk to Yours...

We would like to take a moment to thank you all for your support this record-breaking back to school season! We couldn’t have done it without you! At the height of the season, we shipped a record number of Laptop Lunches across North America and beyond. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Stores in all parts of the US and Canada put together imaginative displays like this one at Whole Foods in
Capitola, CA. What a classy, eco-friendly, and wholesome way to pack lunch for work or school!

BERRY BLUE BENTO SET: We are excited to announce the arrival of yet another Bento Set 2.0 color selection this month: Berry Blue. This fun, colorful set is certain to put a smile on your face! For more information or to place an order, visit:
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ORIGINAL INNER CONTAINER SETS: These container sets, available in a variety of colors and compatible with the original bento set only, will be back in stock in just a few days. Thanks for your patience! &iTp Status=0&Tp=&Bc=

LAPTOP LUNCHES IN JAKARTA: Yes, you read that correctly. Laptop Lunches are, indeed, available in Indonesia at Little Toes, Darmawangsa Square Citywalk 1st Floor Unit Lot 1B (TEL: +6221 7280 1835). If you’re in the area, please stop in and check out our new Laptop Lunches 2.0 line!

AUSTRALIAN RESELLER: We'd like to welcome our newest Australian reseller into the Obentec fold. Be sure to visit Galaxy Gear online at
GREEN FESTIVAL: We are looking forward to another great weekend at the San Francisco Green Festival, November 13-15th. If you're able to attend, please stop by our booth to say hi and check out our new Laptop Lunches 2.0 line. For more information, visit

SHOPPING SUGGESTIONS: Looking to change the way you pack lunch? Lisa Borden of Borden Communications has put together an informative flyer, featuring 6 shopping suggestions to help you navigate the aisles, build a great pantry, and be a lunch trendsetter. Check it out at

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

Email it to us at [email protected], and we'll publish it here!

  • Sweet Potato Latkes with Cheese Features on a Bed of Steamed Snow Peas
  • Homemade Cinnamon Apple Sauce and Cottage Cheese
  • Black and Green Grapes
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Barbeque Chicken with a Cheese Ghost.

  • Two Ghost Roast Beef Sandwiches with Jack Cheese
    on a Bed of Black Grapes
  • Salad Greens
  • Two Clementines
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Brownie with a Ghost-y Peep on Top. 

"I really love that it lets me provide healthy lunches while tapping into my creative side. Lunch becomes a piece of art -- fun to make and fun to eat."

                     -- Amanda and Jason, Milpitas, CA (

Recipes from Mariel's Kitchen to Yours

Mariel Hemingway provided us with these yummy and nutritious recipes. Take a look, and then scroll down to read what she had to say in an interview with Amy earlier this month. (Note: these recipes are not inluded in Mariel's new cookbook.)

Cashew Pesto with Basil

This pesto is perfect served over “veggie” noodles. Make veggie noodles by briefly sautéing ribbons of thinly sliced summer squash. Or use a julienne-peeler to make veggie spaghetti.

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head organic garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed Italian parsley
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (more or less to taste)
  • 8 ounces organic raw cashews
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic loses its sharp taste and turns lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Place garlic in the work bowl of a food processor.
2. Add basil, parsley, cashews, lemon juice and remaining olive oil to the garlic in the
food processor. Blend, scraping down sides of work bowl from time to time, until
mixture resembles a thin paste. Add more olive oil if necessary. Taste pesto and
adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper.
3. Serve over veggie “noodles” or cooked organic pasta.

Green Pea and Spinach Soup

This soup is great hot or chilled.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) package organic petite frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 (10 ounce) package organic frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 5 cups low sodium organic vegetable broth
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mint, chopped, optional

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently until very soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add peas, spinach and the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 7
3. Using an immersion blender, puree until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and
4. Stir in mint and serve.

Green Opportunities

Some earth-friendly tidbits that have landed in our office in recent weeks...

  • LOW-COST, LOW-IMPACT LANDSCAPING Would you like your home landscaping to be easy on the earth and your pocketbook, yet beautiful to behold? Check out for some energy, water, and emissions-reducing landscaping solutions.

  • COMPOST THIS – Want to know what can be composted and what should not? Visit to find out and to learn more about composting.

  • BUILT TO LAST – See the Video on Youtube
    This short film explores the connection between New Urbanism and environmental issues. Created by independent filmmaker John Paget
    with First+Main Media "Built To Last" was recently named the winner of The Congress for New Urbanism video contest.

Laptop Lunches in the News

The New York Times

Bento Boxes Win Lunch Fans

By Samantha Storey, September 8, 2009

...It might seem like silly kids’ stuff, but that sense of fun has helped make bento boxes — obentos as the Japanese call them — increasingly popular with grownups in the United States, too.

For dieters, they are an eye-popping form of portion control. Artistic preparation of ingredients can act as a pleasant distraction for health-conscious parents. For others, bentos are a way to make lunch pretty or indulge their love of things Japanese.

...Another bento blogger, Jennifer McCann, began on her son’s first day of school in 2005. She made him sushi for lunch in a bento box from, which sells Americanized bento boxes with lidded compartments for items like yogurt or dips like ketchup. She took a picture of it and posted it. [Read the full story at]

Woman's World Weekly Magazine

You Deserve the Best Kids’ Lunchbox!

By Kristina Mastrocola, August 31, 2009

A Durable, Waste-not Bento Box
Bento Laptop Lunches System

Mom Missy Marquart ( promises this lunchbox can survive anything, even her five-year-old son. “Not only is it durable, it’s also ‘green,’ because its built-in compartments eliminate the need for plastic bags. It also comes with a book of lunch ideas!”

ByAddie Broyles | Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Laptop Lunch Box To the Rescue

Bento bloggers represent a substantial percent of food bloggers, Austin blogger Jack Yang is one of them. The Eating in a Box blogger helped me out for today’s story in part by lending a few bento supplies for our photo shoot, including the blue box you see here that’s made by a company called Laptop Lunches.

These phthalates-, bisphenol A- and lead-free boxes are a favorite among the parenting community in Austin. I first saw them at a playdate earlier this year when a mom had packed an array of snacks for her toddler. I haven’t splurged and spent the $25 or so they cost, but I just might be tempted to do so if you all don’t go out there and snatch them all up first.  [Read the full story at]


Brown-bag lunch, Milwaukee style

By LuAnn Lopez, June 6, 2009

Times are tough, but you already knew that. There are tons of websites and blogs to help you pinch pennies, cut costs and earn

extra money, but have you thought about brown-bagging your lunch to lower your monthly food bill? If you're like so many other people who are spending their hard earned money on workday restaurant lunches, then this is your lucky day. Here are a few ideas to help you start brown-bagging your lunch everyday and ultimately save you big money each month. Don't worry, you won't be carrying your lunch in a brown bag with grease stains or blue plastic grocery store bag, unless you really want to. You'll actually find a couple of links where you can order "custom" lunch kits and all the paraphernalia that go along with it. [Read the rest of the story at]


Today's Parent magazine polled teachers on the top tools kids need in the classroom. Find out what is and isn't essential. View the video at

New Retailers

S. Feldman Housewares
1304 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10128
(212) 289-7367

Groovy Green Baby
17 Centre Street
Brighton, ON
(613) 475-2429

Whole Foods Market
283 Broadway Street
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 376-7888

Hillside Artisans
827 West Washington Street
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 293-0134

Stone Soup
1740 NW Pence Lane #4
Bend, OR 97701
(541) 323-7117

A Little Behind
217 Wall Street
Morgantown, WV 26505
(304) 296-8733

Whole Foods Market
115 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 492-0070

Wegmans #42
8297 Stonewall Shops Square
Gainesville, VA 20155
(571) 222-2300

Blue Merle Boutique
5347 W. Fletcher
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 782-6482

Pacific Palisades Junior
Women's Club
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 230-1331

Little Toes
Darmawangsa Square Citywalk
1st Floor, Unit Lot 1B
Jakarta, Indonesia

Eco Pixie
Placerville, CA 95667

Let's Go Strolling
344 Thomas L. Berkley Way
Oakland, CA 94612
(877) 787-6551

Visit for a complete list of retailers.

Want to see Laptop Lunches at a store in your neighborhood? Email us at [email protected], and we'll give them a call.

Mariel's Kitchen: An Interview with Mariel Hemingway

Mariel Hemingway is an actress, model, yoga instructor, mother of two teenage girls, and one of the leading voices for holistic and balanced living.

She has authored three books on creating a balanced and healthy life. In her memoir, Finding My Balance, Mariel uses the lessons and practices of yoga as a starting point for her own personal reflections and a larger-than-life family story. Healthy Living from the Inside Out gives a day by day description of how each of us can strive for better personal health -- by making better nutritional and lifestyle choices. And Mariel's most recent book, Mariel's Kitchen: Simple Ingredients for a Delicious and Satisfying Life, is filled with easy-to-follow recipes, beautiful photographs, and stories about her own lifelong love affair with food.

Photo by Jeff Katz

Amy: Hi Mariel. Thanks for taking time out of your busy life for this interview. Let me start by asking: What do you do to maintain balance in your life? 


The most important thing that I do is to create a time for silence daily, usually at sunrise or sunset.   It’s a quiet, meditation time where I take into account all that I am grateful for and all that I need to look at in me. Taking the time to be honest with myself is very important.

Amy: What recommendations do you have for our readers who want to create more balance in their lives?


I really believe that taking even five minutes for yourself during the day is the difference between being in touch with yourself or not. Take some time off from technology, a day or at least a few hours where you let go of time.  Where you become like a child, timeless. It is healing.  Also, make good, healthy choices in the food you eat. Get out and exercise.  Don’t overdo it but get moving.  Focus on the exercise and nothing else.

Amy: I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a yoga class that you co-taught a few weeks ago, and it was truly inspirational. Can you tell us a bit about the role that yoga plays in your life?

Mariel: Yoga is what has helped me get into my body and helped me to really listen to what my physical needs are. It has such a great ability to get you in tune with your physicality. It has been my teacher for where I am stuck physically and then emotionally. Yoga is a blessing in my life.

Amy: Congratulations on the publication of your new book, Mariel’s Kitchen. What would you like our readers to know about it?

Mariel's kitchen is a book that inspires a person to get into the ceremony and ritual of food. It is about connection to mother earth.  Where does your food come from? How long is the distance from field to plate? How am I preparing it? Do I eat seasonally, supporting local farmers, therefore supporting my own sense of health and balance from food? The ritual of food is crucial to the power that food and eating has to heal and get us on the right track towards good health and well being.

Amy: Which recipes, if any, would you recommend for home-made school lunches?

Mariel: I think the living wrap is great but better yet are Blisscuits; a cookie that has no sugar, no gluten and is DELICIOUS.  Any of my recipes that have the basic Blisscuits recipe core are GREAT for kids.  They love them and they are totally yummy and no child will suspect they are icky healthy. Blisscuits are also coming out in Target and Whole Foods (under the Mariel's Kitchen label) in the next months, so they will be available if a mom can't make them. I created these cookies when my girls were young. I think it is imperative to educate KIDS about food and how healing good and wonderful it is. Most kids have so little knowledge of good, real food and when introduced, they love it!

Amy: What tips can you offer parents who wish to improve the quality of lunches they’re making for their kids to take to school?

Mariel: I beg that parents make their children's lunches if at all possible.  Otherwise teach your kids to make a decent lunch. There are so many reasons not to let a child eat school lunch, mostly because it is just bad for you at its very core.  If you want your school to change to healthier foods, speak up and ask other parents to speak up too.  It is a crime that CHEAP is our school’s priority in feeding our kids. It is inexpensive at the cost of children's health and happiness. I needn't tell you that childhood obesity in this country is off the charts and it’s because of what kids eat, not to mention the pesticides, hormones and poison that our foods are conventionally grown in.  It is a crime as far as I am concerned. We can all make a difference by speaking out and making changes in our own kid's meals. I strongly recommend doing this. There are also organizations that are concerned, and parents can look online to find these groups.
Amy: We all know that kids tend to trade or throw away lunches they don’t like. What strategies might you have for increasing the likelihood that kids will actually eat the nutritious lunches they take to school?

Mariel: Give them healthy food that tastes good and MAKE THEM a part of it. Kids love to cook; teach them how, and they will make better choices.


What’s your favorite lunch?

Mariel: I love my living wrap, but I also love salads.  I am a salad freak and put everything in the kitchen sink in them. The green, organic, kitchen sink that is!


Tell me a bit more about your Blisscuits. They sound great! What makes them different from other cookies? 


Blisscuits are sugar free, gluten free, organic and really, really good for you!


Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

Mariel: I want people to make the connection between their food and the farm it comes from.  I am personally investing in a local farm because it means that much to me to have a relationship to my food and where it is grown, raised, etc.  I really think it is important for parents and families to look into where their food is coming from.  When you have the chance, visit a small local farm and take your children.  Make a connection with what you are eating and doing with food. It makes a difference. The farm I am involved with is called Healthy Farm in Santa Paula, California. You needn't invest a lot of money in a farm, but invest time to take your children there so they can understand their food's birthplace.

For more information about Mariel, visit Mariel's Kitchen at

Special Pricing: This inspirational book is available for purchase at

What Works...Success Stories

"Hi. I am writing to say that I love my Laptop Lunchbox! I learned about them through the Vegan Lunchbox blog/book and had to get one of my own. Luckily I found one in a shop near where I live. I love the fun colors, the sizes and shapes. The outside case is fun and I love that I can carry it by hand or throw it over my shoulder with the strap. Even though I'm an adult, I love making lunches with my lunchbox set. It makes making and eating lunch fun--even if I'm just eating at home! The lunchbox kit is the perfect size and is very easy to clean. The accompanying book is great too--I love the recipe and meal suggestions. Thanks so much for such a great product! Keep up the great work!"

        -- Katie, VA

"A friend showed me your Laptop Lunchbox, and I was sold on the idea immediately because we have always fed our daughter a variety of fresh, wholesome foods.  We cook an extra portion of dinner each night for lunch and the variety makes for a healthy, interesting experience every day. Recently a parent approached me at school and said she'd heard about the 'six-course' lunches from her son. She asked me to bring the lunchbox and recipies to their next PTO meeting.  The portioned containers prompt me every day to provide the extras that support my daughter nutritionally: fruits, nuts, vegetable bites, etc.   Because she often has an after-school activity, I include an extra sandwich in the insulated bag and cold-pack pocket, which keeps the food fresh.  Thank you!"

        -- Valen Watson, San Pedro, CA

My son had his first day of first grade today, and he was soooo excited to have his Alien Laptop Lunch Box! He told me that he will be the only kid in school with a cool Alien Laptop lunchbox!

Also, I just had Gastric Bypass surgery and your lunchbox system is perfect for bariatric patients. Packing up small amounts of food for the day is so easy with your system!... I just LOVE your product for both me and my son.

        -- Robyn Esposito, Worcester, MA

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

Featured Web Site:

The next generation has the power to bring about change.

Teens Turning Green is a national movement of youth transforming the world by investigating and eliminating toxic exposures in daily lives, schools and communities. They are advocating for change in policy and habits to protect our health, and to educate peers and the community about greener alternatives. Their goal is to raise awareness about potentially harmful exposures, lessen the global impact and advocate for the elimination of chemical exposures in our daily lives.

Through peer to peer education, outreach programs,