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August 2006

Laptop Lunch Times: August 2006

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The Laptop Lunch Times
August 2006

In this issue, you'll find:

  • Obentec Announcements
  • Favorite Photos
  • Monthly Menu
  • Picnic Menus
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • The Ultimate Secret Weapon For Dieters
  • Featured Web site:
  • What works...Success Stories
Nutritious, waste-free lunches for the whole family

Four Inner Container Sets Now Available!

If you've been sitting on that proverbial fence, trying to decide whether or not to invest in an extra inner container set for your Laptop Lunch Bento Set, you may want to check out our sizzling new colors. Hot-off-the-press pink inner container sets are now available online at and through select retailers.

Laptop Lunches: Now available in the UK!

Laptop Lunches are on their way to the UK and are expected to be in stock in about 3 weeks. To place an online order for late-August delivery, please visit Orders are also being accepted by fax (01252 714398) and telephone (01252 733536).

If you live in Europe, you now have the option of ordering directly from the UK for faster, less expensive shipping.

Whether you're ordering from the UK, within the USA, or from somewhere else, we recommend that you place your order early this back-to-school season. (We want to make sure that you receive your Laptop Lunches before your children go back to school!)

News From Australia...

Lunch Matters is an Australian e-business that will commence trading in the first week of September at Laptop Lunches will be available through their Web site along with a great range of related products sourced from international sellers. The products have been selected to assist parents wanting to maximize the nutritional value and minimize the environmental impact and costs associated with packed lunches.

The Web site will also provide daily recipes and suggestions for filling lunchboxes, along with weekly shopping lists to make life easier. The focus will be on fresh seasonal produce and great ideas that will make lunches interesting, healthy, and free of processed foods. Lunch Matters is currently taking expressions of interest from Australian and New Zealand parents at [email protected]. An email to us will ensure that you receive all Lunch Matters' updates and will be informed as soon as Laptop Lunches are available for purchase.

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

mail it to us at [email protected], and we'll publish it here!
  • Grilled Cheese and Peanut Butter Sandwiches
  • Celery and Carrot Sticks
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Roasted Nuts
  • Dried Apricots
  • Cream Cheese and Dried Fruit Roll-ups

Monthly Menu

Picnic Menus

#1: Papaya Plus

Summertime offers so many opportunities for picnics any time of the day. Packing a Laptop Lunch eliminates the need for single-use plates, napkins, and utensils. They stack well in a cooler for "park and eat" picnics, or use your carrying cases so each member of the group can carry his or her own meal.

  • Fresh Papaya stuffed with Blueberries
  • Sliced Francese Bread
  • Zucchini Pancakes
  • Assorted cheeses

  • #2: Stuffed Avocado

    • Fresh Watermelon, cubed
    • Banana Bread with Walnuts
    • Avocado Stuffed with Wild Alaskan Grilled Salmon (Use barbecue leftovers.)
    • Fresh Sugar Snap Peas

    Green Opportunities

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

    • GARDENING WITH CHILDREN–One of the best things you may ever cultivate in your yard is a gardener. National Wildlife Federation provides 16 tips for developing your child’s green thumb and fostering an appreciation of nature. Take a look at

      Educate ourselves. Visit these sites which help distill the complex science into language we can all easily understand and share with family and friends.


    Make better choices. There are many individual choices we make, from how we heat our homes to what we eat, that can reduce our contribution to CO2 in the atmosphere. The single most effective way to reduce CO2 is to change our transportation choices. Let's do what we can to buy more fuel-efficient cars, take mass transportation when possible, and choose to walk or ride our bikes more frequently.

    Demand more from your elected officials. This year in California there are several bills that will reduce greenhouse gases. Urge your legislators to support these bills, not just to slow down global warming, but also to send an important signal to the rest of the world that decisive action is needed now.

  • Find links to these and other sites on CLCV's Web site at
    See the inspiring film An Inconvenient Truth to learn more about global warming and Vice President Al Gore's lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change.

    *Reprinted from the California League of Conservation Voters
    • THE PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE (PCRM) is seeking nominations for its third annual Golden Carrot Awards for outstanding school food service professionals. The grand prize winner will receive $1,500 and the winner's school district will receive $3,500. Up to four additional awards will be given, with $500 going to the food service professional and $500 to benefit the school food service program.

      Food service professionals in both public and private schools are eligible to apply. Awards will be given to schools that promote nutrition education and offer a lunch program that features vegetarian, low-fat meals, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nondairy beverages.

      Parents, teachers, principals, fellow food service workers, and community members are encouraged to nominate professionals who make a difference in their schools. The deadline for nominations is September 18. More information can be found at

    • HEARD OF ZELFO? It's a wood-like material made of hemp, and it's 100% biodegradable. It's made of pure plant fibers with no resins or glues. It's extremely strong and looks great. To see some Zelfo products, including a bowl by Georgio Armani and a stylish chair, visit

    Laptop Lunches in the News

    Every Day with Rachael Ray (August/September 2006)

    "Let the other kids pack sandwiches and chips. You, my friend, will be the envy of the school cafeteria with this bento-box lunch.

    Seven-year-old Gaby, from Woodstock, New York, tested Rachael’s bento box recipes. Here’s what she had to say:

    'Every time I see wasabi I think of the first time I tried it at a Japanese restaurant. I ate the whole ball on the side of my plate! It was really spicy. But it wasn’t too strong here—I think it made the pinwheels taste good!'"

    The Ultimate Secret Weapon for Dieters

    By Joanna C.

    The Laptop Lunch System isn't just for kids! Spend an afternoon browsing the glorious pictures on the laptop lunches Web site; then take a good, hard look at your office cafeteria or mall food court. Ask yourself if it's fair for the kids to have all the fun while you spend half your hourly wage on over-priced, grease-infused, chicken-flavored polystyrene!

    I am an adult Laptop Lunch user, and I have found that my box is not just a glorified ziploc bag, it's a secret diet weapon too. Before I got it, I ate a ton of convenience food. I knew it was bad for me, but it tasted so good. And when the only handy alternative was a peanut butter sandwich in a smushed-up ziploc bag, I found it hard to resist the call of the food court. Having a lunch that is accessible, attractive, and full of interesting things has been my best defense against temptation.

    Lunch is not the only meal that has changed for me either. I used to eat convenience food for dinner too, but all those single-serve microwave meals left me foraging later. Now I cook foods which yield leftovers. A third of my dinner fits nicely in the portion-controlled lunchbox containers, and when supplemented by fruit and snacks, make for a well-rounded day of eating. A third of my dinner is a small enough quantity that I don't miss it. I can make up the lost plate real estate with side dishes such as salad or vegetables, which add bulk but do not add many calories. These used to be blue moon foods, but now I eat them twice a day---at dinner, and as a snack in tomorrow's lunchbox.

    The laptop lunchbox has made me a more well-rounded cook because those little containers inspire me to think creatively. I consider it sacrilege to pack the same food in more than one container, so it has become a game to find four separate foods to pack each day. I got out of my cucumber and carrot sticks rut with asparagus, squash, cauliflower, edamame, yellow peppers, cole slaw mix, baby corn and snow peas. The protective hard containers opened me up to fruit choices beyond the sturdy apple, and I have enjoyed pineapple, orange slices, strawberries, canned pears, grapes, cherries, plums and watermelon.

    I am skipping the junk, eating less packaged food, having smaller portions, eating more nutritionally balanced meals and enjoying both my lunches and dinners a lot more than I used to. No wonder I am losing weight!

    What Works...Success Stories

    "We received our Laptop Lunches last week. Wow. Love them! My son was so excited, and the next day he had it in hand ready for school. His teachers told me he was showing it around school. He loves taking his lunch to school. His 2.5 year old brother is always asking 'mine, mine?'"

            --Rogelio Fernandez, Miami, FL

    "I really love the lunchboxes, and now I'm an even bigger fan because of your excellent customer service. My daughter is in 7th grade, and she is apparently the unofficial 'Nutrition Referent' at her table - she says she's had to fuss at her friends who spend their lunch money on five packs of HoHos or three ice creams and a coffee. Makes me feel even better that I'm packing her an interesting lunch in a colorful container."

            --Eugenia Davis, Kent, OH

    "I have 2 Laptop Lunch kits and we love them!!!! I originally heard about you all on KCBS radio (San Francisco) on the “Eco-Talk” segment. I am active in our school’s “Go Green” initiative program (recycling, reducing, school garden, etc.) and I have passed your info on to several other people. Keep it up!!"

             --Ruth Gray, Pleasanton, CA

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

    Featured Web Site:

    TerraCycle ( produces a potent, organic, eco-friendly plant food that is the first mass-produced product in the world to be packaged in used plastic soda bottles. In fact, the entire product is made out of garbage - from the contents to the packaging.

    In only three weeks, organic garbage destined for landfills is converted to plant food through a revolutionary process developed by the company's founders.

    Proven at Rutgers University to outperform the chemical alternatives, TerraCycle Plant Food is more than simply environmentally friendly - TerraCycle's products are environmentally beneficial, from production to application.

    TerraCycle collects used soda bottles through environmental fundraisers at hundreds of elementary schools across the US, and through partnerships with numerous recycling centers.

    TerraCycle Plant Food can be sprayed or misted directly onto houseplants, lawns, and gardens. It is also applied in mass agricultural settings, distributed through the existing irrigation facilities of farms, vineyards, golf courses and parks.

    TerraCycle Plant Food is the first mass-produced consumer product to have a negative environmental footprint.

    Visit their Web site to:

    • Learn more about their plant food
    • Help collect bottles.
    • Find a store near you.
    • Subscribe to their newsletter.
    • Enter a bottle cap contest.

    September Highlights

    Creative Sandwiches, Green Opportunities, and Tips for Personalizing your Laptop Lunches


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

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    © August 2006 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."