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October 2005

Laptop Lunch Times: October 2005

The Laptop Lunch Times

October 2005

Yes, Laptop Lunches ARE lead-free!

You may have read the Center for Environmental Health's recent press release entitled "A Back to School Warning: Children’s Vinyl Lunch Boxes Can Contain Dangerous Levels of Lead," posted at As crazy as this claim may seem, it is--unfortunately--not a hoax.

Rest assured that Laptop Lunches have been thoroughly tested and are guaranteed to be completely lead-free. We care deeply about the environment and we remain committed to providing families with the safest lunch products available.

Amy and Tammy

In this issue, you'll find:

  • Monthly Menu
  • Tofu Treats

  • Green Opportunities
  • New Retailers
  • Animals Have Feelings Too
  • Laptop Lunches in the News: Vegetarian Times
  • Featured Web site:
  • What works...Success Stories
Laptop Lunch Photo with Food

Monthly Menu

Tofu Treats

When you think of tofu, do you think of a white, flavorless, mushy substance? Put that myth to rest for once and for all with these three fabulous tofu recipes.

#1: Baked Tofu

Several readers have asked us for our favorite baked tofu recipe. Well, here it is. It's simple, quick to prepare, and tastes great. Try it cold in sandwiches, warm with a bowl of Japanese rice and vegetables, or just as it is. Serve plain or with dijon mustard, spicy Thai chili sauce, or a mixture of wasabi and light soy sauce.

  • 1 brick firm tofu
  • 4 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
1. Whisk together mustard, soy sauce and garlic.
2. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch thick slices.
3. Pour the marinade over the tofu and mix gently to cover.
4. Place tofu on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until brown and firm (about 10 minutes).
5. Serve warm or let cool.

#2: Inarizushi

(Recipe makes about 16 pieces.)

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked sushi rice
  • 1 Tbs (or to taste) Japanese rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs (or to taste) Japanese mirin
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 can of inari zushi no moto (seasoned tofu skins, available at Asian markets, natural foods stores and some national grocery chains)

1. When rice is warm but cool enough to touch, sprinkle with rice vinegar, mirin and salt, and toss lightly to mix. (Taste and add more vinegar, mirin, or salt if necessary.)
2. Open each tofu skin and, with wet hands, press a small amount of rice inside.
3. Fold over the opening, and set the inarizushi down on a decorative tray.
4. Serve with wasabi, light soy sauce, and pickled ginger.

#3: Soy Sausages

If you're looking for a quick and delicious meatless source of protein, try Tofurky Italian-style soy sausages with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. They can be pan fried in a small amount of olive oil (pictured here), grilled, or microwaved. Enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Green Opportunities

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

  • Looking for lunch-making inspiration? The Vegan Lunchbox blog at features a collection of lunch photos using the Laptop Lunch container. The blogger photographs the creative lunches she packs for her child each day and posts them for all to see. It's a "don't miss" lunch-making resource! (Be sure to click on "Archives" for even more menu photos.)

  • Laptop Lunch user, Laura Pasetta, has created a truly informative and unique DVD called "How to make a Healthy Lunch for Kids,"available for purchase at AND...she's generously offered our readers a 10% discount! To take advantage of this offer (before December 31, 2006), use the discount code laptop when checking out.

    This 90 minute DVD contains hundreds of easy-to-follow, creative ideas on:

    • Cutting and adding interest to fruits and vegetables.

    • Making the best of your leftovers.

    • Sandwich, wraps, & pita ideas.

    • Soups, bean and rice dishes.

    • Helpful tips for the busy parent.

    • Healthy and fun ways to make a fantastic lunch for your child!

  • Visit for more information on

  • It's just about that time of year again! The Green Festival in San Francisco is slated for the weekend of November 5-6. We'll be there selling our Laptop Lunches, and we hope to have some very cool new products to showcase as well. You'll find lots of green products, environmental resources, great food, fabulous speakers, and an organic beer and wine bar. And...if you're there, please stop by and say hello! (We'll be in booth 427.) For more information about this premier eco-event, visit

  • Is your lunchbox safe? Visit the Publix GreenWise Magazine at for information on preventing food-borne illnesses.

  • A communtiy of native Ugandans known as the Abayudaya has started producing fair trade coffee. Their slogan is "not just a cup, but a just cup." For more information, visit their Web site at:

  • For Asian bento ideas, photos, and recipes, visit and

New Retailers

Huckleberry's Natural Market
926 S. Monroe Street
Spokane, WA 99204

Telephone: (509) 624-1349

Three Twins Ice Cream
641 Del Ganado Road
San Rafael, CA 94903

Telephone: (415) 492-TWIN

Animals Have Feelings Too

By Jim Farrell

When the folks at Laptop Lunches asked if I'd submit a few words to their newsletter, I decided to floodlight a tangible environmental issue. In my work with children I have learned that children are adept at expressing concerns about these critical issues, so I chose to "invent" the voice of Gabriela. It is a voice I have heard many times. Share this letter with your children. I think it will make for some good conversation.

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Gabriela. I spent last weekend with my friend Carson who lives near me. We both live in California. Carson's Aunt Zelda who is real smart and wears a big floppy yellow hat was visiting too. Zelda is a biologist and she runs all around Carson's big back yard in the summer looking for moths and butterflies. She says there aren't as many as there used to be because of pollution and climate change and lots of other reasons which I can't remember right now.

Carson's Aunt Zelda says the earth is getting hotter and one day even the Eskimos will need air conditioners.

She told us a lot of different kinds of plants and bugs and animals are disappearing forever from the earth, even big strong animals like gorillas and elephants. She calls them endangered species. She read a book to us about animals that are disappearing.

There was a picture in the book of a giant sheep called a bighorn sheep. They live right here in California and they are on the list of disappearing animals. And I have lived in California my whole life and we drive all around California and I have never seen one California bighorn sheep. Maybe they are all hiding because they are scared.

That's sad because California is such neat place to be and I bet the bighorn sheep like it here too.

My favorite animal of all is the cheetah. It's like a kitty only much bigger and spotted. Did you know cheetahs are the fastest animals in the world? They can run over seventy miles an hour. That means if they ran down my street as fast as they could they might get a speeding ticket.

When cheetahs run as fast as they can, all of their feet are in the air. Zelda says cheetahs can fly twenty five feet. I think the Cheetah is the most amazing animal anywhere. But guess what, Mr. President, cheetahs are on the endangered species list too. There are hardly any cheetahs left on the earth.

I really want to see a cheetah someday but not in a zoo. My mom is having a baby soon. His name is Alex and I'm worried me and my new baby brother won't be able to see cheetahs or gorillas or elephants except in books.

I hope you can help save the disappearing animals because I want to be a biologist like Carson's Aunt Zelda when I grow up and I will have to visit a lot of animals in my job. Please save the animals so I can see them when I am a biologist.



Jim Farrell is an author, actor, composer, songwriter, and children's play write. Visit him at

Scripts, photos, and songs from "Animals Have Feelings Too" and "Mrs. Inahurry and the Amazing Trash Converter," two earth-friendly plays for elementary school children, are available from Farrellworks on CD ROM. Click on Kid's Page and email [email protected] for details.

Laptop Lunches in the News

vegetarian times

health SHOP

September 2005


Disposable bags and plastic utensils--just part of a packed lunch, right? No more! Fed up with packaging waste, two moms created this reusable lunch kit. And, because they're moms, they care about nutrition: The Complete Laptop Lunch System comes with a 96-page guide loaded with healthy veg recipes and tips for reducing throwaways. And it's not just for kids--anyone on the go (airplane travelers!) will love this kit and insulated case. From Laptop Lunches, $34.

What Works...Success Stories

  • "I want to tell you we are loving our laptop lunch system. My son thinks he has the coolest lunchbox in the entire school (and he's right!).

    "FYI, I started a photoblog called "Vegan Lunch Box," taking pictures of the vegan meals I send to school with my son. They feature our laptop lunchbox, and I've included a link to your website so people know where they can get one."

  • "I just completed my 30th year as an speech pathologist in the school system and have been an insulin-dependent diabetic for nearly all of that time. School lunches are well represented by starchy items--it is nearly impossible for me to eat them and get a well-balanced meal that fits my meal plan. For the last several years, I have carried my lunch every single day and have gone through many lunch bags in an attempt to find something that holds my food without spilling it, keeps it cold if there is no space in the lounge or cafeteria refrigerator, and is not too bundlesome to carry. (I traveled between 2 schools and was already carrying a lot of stuff!) Thank you for developing the Laptop Lunch!"

       -- Brenda Green, Inman, SC


  • "Last year I made an Earth Day resolution to decrease use of disposable paper and plastic products and changed my habits when packing my two sons' and my husband's lunch. At the same time I was doing a lot of research for Earth Day activities for my son's preschool. We are moving to a new city soon, and thought the lunch boxes will be a nice thing to use in our new digs. Thanks for the quick service!"

       -- Kelly Kelso, San Diego, CA

  • We bought our first laptop lunch container at a health food store called The Market Place in Santa Fe, NM. No more plastic bags. We use ours almost every day. My daughter is starting school (preschool) on Monday... I figured it was time for a new one... Ours is looking pretty used.

       --Susan Grubb, Santa Fe, NM

  • "I like the containers." JJ, age 7

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

Featured Web Site:


Trouble may begin in the grocery cart !

Did you know that the brand of ice cream, cookie and potato chip you select, and the type of fruit or vegetable you choose, can have a direct effect on your behavior, health, and ability to learn? That your irritability, hyperactivity, headaches, asthma or hives could be triggered by certain chemicals in the products you buy?

For nearly 30 years Feingold Association volunteers at have been helping families give their children better food. Their main focus is on removing the worst of the synthetic food additives; they make the process very do-able and easy -- even for the confirmed convenience food shopper.


In addition to helping families improve the quality of food they eat, they're committed to improving the food being served in schools. To learn how you can change your school food service choices, visit

November Highlights

Fun with Fruit, Green Opportunities, The Truth about Plastics, and Fair Trade Coffee Deals.

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

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© September 2005 Obentec, Inc.

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


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