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March 2008

Laptop Lunch Times: March 2008

March 2008

In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • Perfect Pilafs
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • It's Out of the Bag: Reduce Waste, Save Money
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site:

From Our Desk to Yours...

BLACK AND RED BENTO SETS: Wow!!! The black and red bento sets flew off the shelf so quickly that we've decided to add them to our line permanently. We apologize for being on backorder these last few weeks. They're now back in stock and available to our resellers and the general public at
Laptop Lunches Red and Black Bento Set

CO-BRANDING: If you're a Laptop Lunch user who envisions your school, organization, or business logo on your Laptop Lunch, this may be your ticket. We've just recently established partnerships with two companies ready and waiting to guide you through the co-branding process. If you're interested, please let us know, and we'll set the wheels in motion. (831-457-0301 / [email protected])

PHOTO CONTEST: Thanks again for your patience! Winners will be announced shortly.

EXTRA MISC CONTAINERS STILL AVAILABLE: We still have some medium and large unlidded containers available for 50 cents each, and a few dip containers now as well. For more information, visit or call us at 831-457-0301. These are available in a limited number of colors while supplies last. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT HAVE ANY INDIVIDUAL LARGE LIDDED CONTAINERS AT THIS TIME.

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

Email it to us at [email protected], and we'll publish it here!
ham Sandwich, cucumber slices, strawberries, organic oatmeal cookies

  • ham sandwich on a whole wheat hamburger bun
  • cucumber slices
  • cut up strawberries
  • organic oatmeal cookies

  • "I am enjoying the laptop lunch system. We are homeschoolers, so we use it both at home and on the go."

                         -- Sandy Ramlet, Littleton, CO

    Perfect Pilafs

    Tired of plain ol' rice? Here are two alternatives that will add a bit of spunk to your mid-day meal.

    Cranberry-Almond Pilaf


    • 2 cups brown basmati rice
    • 4 tsp. olive oil
    • ½ cup sliced almonds
    • ½ cup chopped onion
    • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
    • ½ cup dried juice-sweetened cranberries
    • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin (or to taste)
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    pilaf recipe

    NEW black and red bento sets now available online:

    1. Prepare 2 cups brown basmati rice in a sauce pan or rice cooker.
    2. Sauté sliced almonds in 2 tsp. olive oil until just pungent. Remove and set aside.
    3. Sauté the onion in the remaining olive oil until nearly translucent.
    4. Add the mushrooms and continue to stir until mushrooms are cooked but not mushy.
    5. Turn off heat, add cranberries, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and stir to mix thoroughly.
    6. Add the sautéed mixture to the rice, sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper, and toss gently.

    Wild Rice and Red Quinoa Pilaf


    • 2 cups wild rice
    • 2 cups red quinoa (or regular quinoa)
    • 1 medium red onion, chopped
    • 3 Tbs. olive oil
    • 4 cups water (or vegetable/chicken broth)
    • 4 large carrots, cubed


    wild rice and quinoa pilaf

    1. Rinse the rice and quinoa and set aside to drain.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan.
    3. Add onions and sauté, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.
    4. Add rice and quinoa and continue to sauté until rice/quinoa mixture browns.
    5. Add water or broth, cover, and let simmer.
    6. After half of the liquid is absorbed, add chopped carrots and stir.
    7. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes longer or until water is completely absorbed.

    Green Opportunities

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

    • THE SMARTLY FURNISHED HOME – Furniture can contain materials that contribute to air pollution, global warming emissions, and tropical deforestation (at least 32 million acres of tropical forest—an area larger than Mississippi—are cut down each year, releasing 20 percent of all global warming emissions). When searching for that perfect addition to your living room, dining room, or bedroom, consider options that minimize the amount of resources consumed and emissions released:

    My Green Bistro
    • MY GREEN BISTRO – This meal delivery company was established to help make 'eating your veggies' an energizing and culinarily delightful experience. Founder Bryan Lawrence has set out to bring to your table his favorite dishes from Europe, the US, Asia and Australia. He believes that eating a balanced diet high in fruits, grains and vegetables provides an opportunity to explore new and exciting cuisine. My Green Bistro is dedicated to providing convenient vegetarian and vegan meals that help you feel great, are delicious and add variety to your diet.
    • DELIVERY BAGS – Looking for a special gift for a mom-to-be? The Little Stork Delivery Bag, designed by a mom, provides essentials and a bit of pampering as well. Check out the selection at
    • CLOTH NAPKINS – offers an eclectic collection of custom attire and accessories, including cloth napkins. Inspired by color and texture and the belief that we deserve to be pampered, Debra Janin creates personal items like scarves, handkerchiefs, napkins, pillows & quilts.

      All napkins are handcrafted of 100% pre-shrunk cotton. Selections include dinner or cocktail/snack size napkins, and a special collection geared to kids (and kids at heart), all in groupings of harmonious mix-and-match colors and patterns. Individual patterns are also available -- or create your own set at

    cloth napkins

    Laptop Lunches in the News

    Going Green In 2008: What's For Lunch?

    The Radio Mom Show. Talk Radio For Socially Conscious Moms! Host Kemi Ingram interviews Amy Hemmert, Co-Founder of Waste Free Lunches and President of Obentec, Inc. at

    the radio mom

    New Retailers

    The Kitchen Shoppe & Cooking School
    101 Shady Lane
    Carlisle, PA 17013
    (800) 391-2665
    Blueberry Baby
    378 Old Chena Pump Road
    Fairbanks, AK 99709
    (907) 347-2772

    Whole Foods Market
    100 Sunset Drive
    San Ramon, CA 94583
    (925) 355-9000

    Whole Foods Market
    414 Miller Avenue
    Mill Valley, CA 94941
    (415) 381-1200

    Green Dreams Baby
    Austin TX
    (512) 647-7470

    Blue Skies Yoga Eco Store
    45 Cedarhill Crescent, Unit 8B
    Kitchener, ON N2E 0A2 Canada
    (519) 574-1941
    3412 Los Pinos Dr
    Santa Barbara, CA 93105
    (805) 708-2500
    Lindhovedvej 18, Helnaes
    DK-5631 Ebberup, Denmark

    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.

    It's Out of the Bag: Reduce Waste, Save Money

    Wondering what you can do to reduce plastic bag use? Try these ten simple strategies for lifting the plastic bag burden in your life. Afterall, why pay for something you don't really need?

    Tips for reducing bag use

    1. Decline the offer. If you get to the store check-out and realize that you don’t absolutely need a bag for just one or two items, then decline the offer. Doing so will remove the burden of having to decide what to do with them when you get home--and you may see a 5- or 10-cent credit on your receipt as well.

    2. Switch to reusables. Take advantage of store incentives for shoppers who bring their own bags. Wouldn’t it feel strange to go to the store without your wallet? Once you establish a bag-toting routine, you won't leave home without your reusables in hand.

    3. Avoid ‘em. Look for minimal packaging when making purchases. If your new purchase looks heavily packaged, find an alternative with less packaging.

    4. Reuse ‘em. Why spend your hard-earned money on boxes of empty bags? As hard as we try, most of us can’t avoid ending up with some plastic bags at the end of the month. Use them to line your trash can or pick up after your dog.

    5. Opt for alternatives in the kitchen. Store your food in reusable containers instead of plastic bags.

    6. Carry a collapsible. Keep a collapsible bag in your purse or car for those occasions when you find yourself stopping unexpectedly at the store. Check out and for some options.

    7. Pile it in. If you’re shopping at multiple stores, pile your purchases into a single bag. There’s no need to take an additional bag from each store you visit.

    8. Recycle. Recycle the bags you can’t use. It’s better than sending them to the landfill.

    9. Try biodegradables. BioBags work like plastic bags, but they're biodegradable. Look for them at your natural foods store, or check out

    10. Pack waste-free lunches. Finally, don’t forget to pack waste-free lunches for work and school. For more information, visit

    Plastic Bag Statistics
    • It takes1000 years for a plastic bag to decompose.
    • The average family in the United States uses 1,460 plastic bags per year.
    • 12 million barrels of oil are used annually to produce the plastic bags used in the U.S.
    • Less than 1% of all plastic bags get recycled in the U.S.
    • 88.5 billion plastic bags were consumed in the U.S. last year.
    • Worldwide, more than a million plastic bags are used every minute.
    • Roughly 60–80% of all marine debris, and 90% of  floating debris is plastic.
    • Each year, the State of California  spends approximately $25 million to landfill discarded plastic bags.
    • Plastic bags, which resemble jellyfish or sponges, cause harm to seabirds, marine mammals, fish, and sea  turtles.

    What Works...Success Stories

    "For me, the best part of having Laptop Lunchboxes is that I no longer dread the process of packing lunches! The worst part used to be choosing the food and digging up what kind and size of plastic bag, ziploc baggie, wax paper bag, or tidbit of aluminum foil might contain each piece of food. But with the bento box, everything is laid out so prettily; I can see everything; I can even see if I've hit all the food groups. There is no rummaging around -- just the fun of arranging the colorful and yummy things in their little trays. The kids are definitely eating better lunches now. And I use mine to take my breakfast on the go, so I can park by the Bay and eat at a leisurely pace before I exercise. It's all a total pleasure now. Thanks! "

            -- Eve Lynch, San Francisco, CA

    "Hi! I just wanted to tell you how EXCITED I am about your product!! It has started a WILDFIRE in our home!! I wanted my son to use it for Mother's Day Out on Tuesdays and my hubbie to use it the other son wants breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even ice cream out of it!! I thought his younger brother (17 months) was going to come to fisticuffs over it also...I have just been through EVERY issue of your newsletter, printing recipes and gathering ideas. I can hardly think about anything else!!

    "I always try to provide healthy foods...whole grains, lots of veggies, very little meat or processed foods. It helps so much to have someone else motivate and inspire me with new ideas. My friends are all as excited as I am. Three of us have already ordered them and I know we'll be getting them for the rest of our family members.

    "I have it crammed with healthy snacks to take to the state fair of Texas tomorrow...I'm sure we'll have their infamous corny dogs but we'll also have jicama, red bell peppers, red grapes, almonds, steamed carrots and whole grain crackers...not too shabby!!

    "Thanks...we're having SO MUCH FUN!!!"

           -- Karen Scott, Oak Leaf, TX

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

    Featured Web Site:

    Today, 20 million American children (one out of every three) suffer from allergies, asthma, ADHD or autism. With food allergy research being funded primarily by the processed food industry, it's no surprise that parents are searching information they can trust.

    AllergyKids provides concerned parents with the comprehensive independent research they need to make educated decisions for their children with allergies. Their universal food allergy symbol makes it easy to identify children with life threatening food allergies.

    As the first independently funded food allergy organization, AllergyKids highlights previously undisclosed research, including the recent introduction and engineering of allergens, proteins, food additives and dyes into our food supply.

    For children with allergies

    On this site:

    • Allergy-related products
    • Food Politics Blog
    • Defining Food Allergies
    • Research
    • News Articles
    • Resources for Families

    Since the introduction of chemicals into our children's food twenty years ago, the incidence of childhood  allergies, asthma, autism and ADHD has increased dramatically:

    Allergy Kids
    • 400% increase in allergies
    • 300% increase in asthma
    • 400% increase in ADHD

    If you decide to make a purchase at, use coupon code LAPTOP for a 10% discount.

    April Highlights

    Fantastic Frittatas, Green Opportunities, and Earth Day Activities


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

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    © March 2008 Obentec, Inc.

    849 Almar Ave., Suite C-323
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060


    Feel free to reprint or forward this newsletter with the following acknowledgment and contact information clearly visible: "Thank you to Obentec, Inc. for permission to use this copyrighted material. For more information, contact Obentec, Inc. by email at [email protected] or by phone at 831-457-0301, or visit their Web site at Reprint permission granted with this full notice included."