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Newsletter Archive


May 2008

Laptop Lunch Times: May 2008

May 2008

In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • Delicious Dips
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • Is organic worth the cost?
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site:

From Our Desk to Yours...

RED CARRYING CASES COMING IN JUNE: Our new red carrying cases are on the way and will be available for purchase in mid-June. We're very excited about this new color scheme, which we hope will be appealing to both children and adults. They'll be sold separately and as a a complete system with the black and red bento set and water bottle inside.

Laptop Lunches Red Carrying Case

WASTE-FREE LUNCH POWERPOINT: If you're looking for an easy way to educate your school or organization about the benefits of packing nutritious, waste-free lunches, consider downloading our free PowerPoint presentation at

Earth Day Sacramento 2008

STATE-WIDE WASTE-FREE LUNCH INITIATIVE: Kudos to the California Department of Conservation for their Earth Day waste-free lunch campaign launch. We'd like to thank the department for inviting us to partner with them and for providing Laptop Lunches to the 4th - 6th graders at Crocker/Riverside School in Sacramento. The school, which had been generating four full trash cans of lunch waste daily, filled only the very bottom of just one can on Earth Day. Keep up the great work!!!!

CALLING ALL SOUTHERNERS: We've noticed a recent surge in Web orders coming from your part of the world. We've also received a large number of inquiries from people who want to see Laptop Lunches at stores in this region. If you have a particular store in mind, please email us at [email protected] with the store name and location, and we'll give them a call. You might also consider printing off and filling out our product request form, available at

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

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

  • Homemade raw milk yogurt with raw honey
  • Nitrate free ham with grated cheese
  • Cucumber slices
  • Raisins and pistachios

  • "We really love our Laptop Lunches. It makes preparing lunches fun for me, and I love the food my girls eat each day. And the earth-friendly, trashless aspect makes me feel even better about their meals. Thank you!!!"

                         -- Nicole, Prosper, TX

    Delicious Dips

    Add some spunk to your mid-day meal with creative dips, dressings, and sauces.

    Garlicky Yogurt Dip


    • 5 heaping Tbs. plain (goat, or any) yogurt
    • tsp. lemon juice
    • tsp. cumin
    • tsp. soy sauce
    • 1 small clove minced garlic


    1. Spoon the yogurt into a small bowl.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients; mix well.

    Grape Leaves, Whole Wheat Pita Bread, Melon, Pan-fried Potatoes, Garlicky Yogurt Dip

    Whimsical inner container set with black outer container (sold separately).

    Lime-Cilantro Dip


    • Juice of ½ lime
    • 1 Tbs. olive oil, Vegenaise, or Mayonnaise
    • ½ tsp. soy sauce or fish sauce
    • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 clove minced garlic
    • ½ tsp. honey
    • Fresh or dried ground hot chiles to taste (optional)


    1. Combine all ingredients and stir well.
    2. Serve as a dip with fresh or steamed vegetables or as a sandwich spread.

    Veggies with Lime Dressing for Lunch

    Steamed potatoes and broccoli with lime-cilantro dressing, pecans & dried cranberries, and whole wheat carrot bread.

    Green Opportunities

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

    • LUNCH NUGGET – Looking for additional lunch ideas? Check out the Lunch Nugget blog at for delicious (mostly healthy) merry meal making ideas, feeding a tree nut allergic preschooler, lessons learned, and what's for lunch in a bento box!
    CFL Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb
    • COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHTBULBS –Thanks for doing the right thing and using energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs. Since these bulbs are a bit different from the old incandescent bulbs we grew up with, be sure to read up on how to use and dispose of them properly. CFLs contain a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing, and mercury in many situations can pose health risks to humans and the environment. Learn more at
    • 21 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU COULD RECYCLE – Garbage. We should be producing less of it, but Americans produce more and more of it every year. Even the most waste-conscious among us can feel overwhelmed by the amount of household waste that goes beyond what municipal recyclers and compost bins can handle. Thats why Co-op America spent the summer of 2007 investigating the state of waste management in our country. They've compiled a "how to" list for taking the three Rs reducing, reusing, and recycling to the next level. View the list at
    • ECO-FRIENDLY DRY CLEANING OPTIONS Contrary to what its name implies, dry cleaning involves washing clothes in a liquid solvent to remove stains. In about 85 percent of dry cleaning shops this solvent is perchloroethylene (perc), a chemical that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers both a health and environmental hazard.

      Clothing makers often place the dry clean only label on tags because they can list only one cleaning method and can be held liable if an item is damaged under the recommended method. Yet many of these items can be safely washed at home, either by hand or using the delicate cycle. For clothes that must be professionally cleaned, there is no perfect solution, but consider using a cleaner that offers a perc-free method. A list of alternatives can be found at

    Green Dry Cleaning

    Laptop Lunches in the News

    ABC 10

    April 22, 2008

    Sacramento and Ed Begley, Jr. celebrate Earth Day with Laptop Lunches:

    The Today Show

    April 7, 2008

    Go Green, Live Rich author, David Bach, explains that packing a lunch to work or school can save $2,000 per year:

    Sacramento Bee

    April 23, 2008

    No-waste lunch bunch

    Actor Ed Begley Jr. ate a waste- free lunch with 210 students at Crocker/Riverside Elementary School Tuesday to celebrate Earth Day.

    Crocker Riverside Zero Waste Lunch Event

    "This is the way I took lunch to school when I was a kid," the celebrity environmentalist said, comparing yesterday's lunchboxes and thermos to the plastic "Laptop Lunch System" the students brought their lunches in.

    The California Department of Conservation approached the school to take part in the event, said principal Alvin Lee.

    [Watch the video or read the rest of the story at]

    New Retailers

    Gumboot Books
    604-980 Seymour St.
    Vancouver, BC V6B1B5
    (604) 669-4866
    Whole Foods Oakland
    230 Bay Place
    Oakland, CA 94612
    (510) 834-9800
    Country Sun Natural Foods
    440 S California Ave.
    Palo Alto, CA 94306
    (650) 321-0376
    Whole Foods Kitsilano
    2285 West 4th Ave.
    Vancouver, BC V6K 1N9
    (604) 739-6676

    Taylors Market
    2900 Freeport Ave.
    Sacramento, CA 95818
    (916) 443-6881

    Learning Express
    2710 Mowry Ave.
    Fremont, CA 94538
    (510) 791-9990

    Paradise Yoga
    81927 Overseas Highway
    Isla Morado, FL 33036
    (305) 778-2529

    Party Animal Co.
    109 Bigsky Dr.
    Gulfport, MS 39503
    (228) 596-5872
    Amaranth Whole Foods Market
    #7 Arbour Lake Dr.
    NW Calgary, AB T3G 5G8
    (403) 547-6333
    Kahunas Kids
    840 13th St.
    Paso Robles, CA 93446
    (805) 237-9497

    Mind Play
    1985 Squaw Valley Rd. A 27
    Olympic Valley, CA 96146

    Whole Foods Cambie
    3277 Cambie St.
    Vancouver, BC V5Z 2W3
    (604) 909-2988

    AcroSports Gymnastics
    1800 W. Nasa Blvd.
    Webster, TX 77598
    (281) 332-4496

    Whole Foods Sebastopol
    6910 McKinley St.
    Sebastopol, CA 95472
    (707) 829-9801

    Hedgehog Mountain Alternatives
    Hedgehog Mountain Rd.
    Deering, NH 03244
    (603) 464-9959
    Organic Family Natural Home
    2755 Dunsmuir Ave. #765
    Cumberland BC V0R 1S0
    (250) 218-6335

    Milkweed Mercantile
    3 Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
    Rutledge, MO 63563
    (660) 883-5634

    Baby Awearness
    Manoa Marketplace
    2752 Woodlawn Dr. 
    Hololulu, HI 96822
    (808) 988-0010

    The Toyworks
    531 College Ave.
    Santa Rosa, CA 95404
    (707) 526-2009

    The Toyworks
    2724 Santa Rosa Ave.
    Santa Rosa, CA 95407
    (707) 576-8609
    The Toyworks
    6940 Sebastopol Ave.
    Sebastopol, CA 95472
    (707) 829-2003
    Nature's Emporium
    16655 Yonge St., Unit 27  
    Newmarket, ON L3X 1V6
    (905) 898-1844

    Kaiser Permanente Gift Shop
    Fresno, CA
    (559) 448-2318

    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.

    Is Organic Worth the Cost?

    by Angelle Batten M.A., H.H.C.

    So, organic food costs more and you may be wondering if it’s worth the cost.  I know I used to wonder the same thing.  Some of the reasons my husband and I decided organic food is worth the extra expense are:

    Nourish Your Kids

    1. My intuition, along with my analytical side, tells me that knowingly putting chemicals into my children’s bodies is not supporting their health, especially chemicals that are known to be carcinogens.
    2. Data collected by Tufts New England Medical Center show that, "small amounts (of pesticides) may be harmful when exposures are combined."  Click here to see how many different pesticides can be on one single kind of fruit or vegetable.
    3. In a study at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Dr. Lu and colleagues found that when a group of children who ate conventional foods, were switched to a mainly organic diet of the same types of food for five days, traces of the two harmful pesticides being studied immediately vanished from their urine and stayed undetectable until the children resumed their conventional diets. 
    4. On the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, it is states that, "By their very nature, most pesticides create some risk of harm…Most importantly, each of these decisions must protect infants and children, whose developing bodies may be especially sensitive to pesticide exposure."  Read more at the EPA website.
    Most tests conducted by the EPA to set acceptable risk levels for pesticide residues used 154 pound adult men, not 0-90 pound children. 
    5. Organic farmers have been growing safe, nutrient-dense food for years.  The use of pesticides and other conventional farming practices have only been around for a relatively short time and because it could take decades to determine the safety of a conventional pesticide, such as what happened with DDT and led to it being banned, we won’t know the full effects on our children and grandchildren’s health until it is too late.
    6. Some recently published studies in peer-reviewed journals have shown organic foods to have higher nutritional value. For example, researchers at the University of California, Davis, recently found that organic tomatoes had higher levels of phytochemicals and vitamin C than conventional tomatoes. (source:
    And the truth is, not all organic foods are more expensive than conventional foods.  When you buy in season and from local farmers’ markets, you can get great deals.  And, the bottom line is that if we don’t prioritize healthier foods in our budgets, our kids will pay the price in the long-run ~ with their health and with the health of the world they are inheriting from us. 
    For more information, click here to read a Shopper's Guide to the Dirty Dozen.

    Nourish Your Kids
    To learn more about Nourish Your Kids, visit

    What Works...Success Stories

    "I just wanted to write in to let you know I have used your Laptop Lunches going on 5 years now. I still have our very first set. (Wow! That $33 spread over 5 years is quite a bargain price for a lunch box!) And my son has used it almost every day for school. It still looks new after all this time! (I do admit, I put the outer insulated bag into a cold water washing machine a couple of times a year to get it really clean.).

    "I now have 5 sets for the rest of us. Even in summer, we take them on our outings, which makes it easy for everyone to have and eat their whole lunch. With three kids (oldest 8, youngest 18 months), these Laptop Lunch Systems are a sanity-saver!

    "To distinguish whose lunchbox belongs to whom, and to make them more fun for the children, (besides the carrying cases with different colored panels), we add fun key chains. My daughter has a jeweled heart, my oldest son has Captain Underpants, and the baby has a skateboard. These key chains also make it easy for my children to find their lunches quickly at school.

    "Recipes in your recipe booklet have become staples in our household - Monkeyphant Madness, Hearty-Breaky and See & Cee, anyone? Your recipes are quick, delicious and healthy. Fabulous!

    "Thanks for making such a great product that holds up to years of use and abuse!"

            -- Mae in Corte Madera, CA

    "Hey Gals!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just wanted you to know that I absolutely love our Laptop Lunches soooo much that we have 5 of them. I feel sooooo good every day when I pack my son's bento box and send him to school. I REALLY do. I'll keep showing them off and passing the word on. You gals ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy the sunny weather and have a superb day. Thank you for your insight. "

            -- Brandy Cooper, Elko, NV

    "I just received my Laptop Lunch User's Guide. WOW! Great resource! Lots of basic, commonsense (to some of us) information on nutrition. Wonderful ideas on how to improve nutrition at home. Fabulous recipes! I applaud your hard work and passion for improving the food choices of children and families. Keep up the good work!"

            -- Karen Bergmann, Mississauga, ON, Canada

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

    Featured Web Site:

    Recipe Finder

    The Food Stamp Nutrition Connection Recipe Finder is a database of recipes for use by nutrition educators working with the Food Stamp Program eligible population. Staff from other Food and Nutrition Service nutrition assistance programs may also find the recipes suitable for their target audiences.

    The majority of recipes in the database were submitted by nutrition educators in the Food Stamp Program. Additional recipes are from government agencies or other health professionals and organizations.

    Evaluate Existing Recipes

    Try some of the recipes in the database and submit feedback on the Rate a Recipe page. If a recipe is rated (using a scale of 1-5), the star rating system will automatically reflect the rating. If a recipe is reviewed, the responses will go to the FSNC staff for evaluation and posting.

    Contribute Recipes

    Send in your recipes. Recipes that meet the scope and criteria of the Food Stamp Nutrition Connection will be included in the Recipe Finder.

    On this site:
    • Recipe Finder
    • Resource Library
    • Photo Gallery
    • Professional Development Tools
    • Nutrition Education
    • Cost Analyses
    Recipe Finder

    For more information or to find or submit a recipe, visit

    June Highlights

    Cool Summer Pastas, Green Opportunities, and Travel with Kids.


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

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    May 2008 Obentec, Inc.

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


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