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Newsletter Archive


May 2011

  May 2011  


In this issue you'll find:


What works...Success Stories

Love the Photo Gallery

"I just found your website, and I'm so excited and relieved. My daughter could have hot lunches at school, but we prefer for her not to eat the processed food. Of course, this creates more work for me, but your website eliminates some of the stress. I love the photo gallery because it gives a quick visual of several ideas. Thank you, thank you, thank you! "

    -- Heidi, Milwaukee, WI

The Kids Love It

"Last week I received the lunchboxes and we are very very happy. The kids love it and me too. It makes it more fun for the kids and also more fun for me to think how to fill them every day. Just want to thank you."

    -- Kim, Kuala Lumpur

The Laptop Lunches® System Has Been So Helpful! 

"I haven't been on your site in awhile, but I simply adore the new layout of the newsletter. It is crisp, clean and very inviting. Both my boys use the Laptop Lunches® System, and I am constantly looking for ways to enhance their meals. I also wanted you to know that my youngest son, who is 7, has Down Syndrome. As a result, he has very poor fine motor skills. Opening Ziploc bags was impossible and very frustrating for him (let alone the wastefulness). I came across your site 3 years ago when I was looking for easy to open containers for him. The Laptop Lunches ® System has been so helpful! His teachers and therapists worked with him for a year on opening the zipper, and now he can do it himself. He still needs a bit of help with the containers, but for the most part he simply opens the bento box, and there is everything he needs with no frustration! Also, his friends think it is cool. Thanks for creating such a helpful product.”

    -- Cristen Reat, Houston, TX

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

New Retailers

Learning Express Toys
5110 Mae Anne Avenue #704
Reno, NV 89523
(775) 787-5646

Whole Foods Market
1451 1st Street
Sarasota, FL 34236-5709
(941) 955-8500

Dorothy Lane Market
6177 Far Hills Avenue
Dayton, OH 45459
(937) 434-1294

Stargazer Gifts & Toys
56 Bridge Street
Richmond, VT 05477 www.stargavergifts&

Whole Foods Market
833 Wayne Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 608-9373

Whole Foods Market
500 W. Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
(610) 832-0010


From Our Desk to Yours

Enjoy the Abundance of Spring

May has arrived and along with it the many wonders of spring! We’re all enjoying the longer days, the warmer spring showers, and the budding trees in all their beauty. We’re also excited that the start of the picnic season is upon us, and with warmer weather ahead, we’re looking forward to many lovely outdoor meals shared with family and friends. We hope you’ll find a few moments this month to do the same!

APRIL CHALLENGE: We’d like to take a moment to report back on last month’s challenge: eliminating disposable tableware from our office and our homes. While it was easy for some of us and more challenging for others, we all found at least one way to make our lives greener, and we’re feeling confident that these new habits will become even more ingrained in the month’s to come. Were you able to take on the April challenge with us? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Please share your story at

MAY CHALLENGE: We’re all very excited about the upcoming May challenge. It’s all too easy to fall into the habit of remaining sedentary all day, hunched over our computers, eating bento lunches at our desks. (You may be familiar with the routine!) So this month we’re challenging ourselves to get out of the office, eat lunch outside, meditate, take a nap, or just simply stand up straight and breathe—for 10 minutes a day. We hope you can make time during your busy day to stretch, relax, and breathe—during the week of May 9th-15th—and be sure to let us know how it’s working for you!
PLUM BLOSSOM KIT: We’re pleased to announce that our new duel-compartment lunch kits have arrived and are now available on our Web site at for only $39.99. Place your bento box horizontally in the bottom zippered compartment, pack additional containers, a drink, or personal items in the roomy top section, and you’re good to go!
SALAD SET: Check out our new Salad Sets at If you’re looking for a compact kit for salads and other entrees, be sure to give this one a gander. The extra large container is perfect for leafy greens, the medium container for toppings, and the small container for salad dressing—all you need to pack wholesome, squish-free salads!


Happy Spring!

From Your Kitchen to Ours

"I have been thrilled with my Laptop Lunchbox - it is a great system whether packing a lunch for work or to travel.  The containers are sturdy, do not leak and while the lunchbox fits plenty of food (usually lunch and 1-2 snacks in my case), I like how compact it is. I have used my Laptop Lunchbox almost every weekday since receiving it a couple of months ago and continue to be very pleased with it."

    -- Valerie, Washington, DC,

Food for Thought: Flax Seeds

Photo by: Melissa Braun

Flax Seeds are loaded with nutritional value. They are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s have been known to help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is considered a key element in causing many chronic diseases, like heart disease, stroke and cancer. Flax is one of the best sources of lignans, an antioxidant which plays a role in reducing the damaging effects of free radicals. Its high fiber content and supply of healthy fats, makes flax seeds a good choice for weight loss.

To get the full nutritional value from flax seeds, they need to be ground into meal. Flax seed meal can be added to pancakes, breads, muffins, and smoothies. You might consider sprinkling it on yogurt, dry cereal and oatmeal, to add a somewhat nutty flavor. Flax seeds, flax seed meal and flax seed oil can be found in natural food stores and in many local grocery stores. Although whole flax seeds have a long shelf life, It is best to store the ground seeds in the freezer.

For recipes and more information on flax seeds, visit:


  • Rich Source of Omega-3 Fats
  • Low in Carbs, High in Nutritional Value
  • Great Source of Fiber
  • Helps Reduce Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
  • Excellent Source of Lignans, a Natural Antioxidant
  • Great for Digestive Health
  • Helps Reduce Menopausal Symptoms

Photo by: Melissa Braun

This Month's Recipes: Provided by Allergy Kids Foundation

Mixed Berry Freeze


* Freeze ripe bananas at least 24 hours in advance.

Yield: 2 servings

1. Place the soy milk in a food processor, turn the machine on and drop in small slices of frozen banana, one by one.
2. Add the berries and mix.
3. Place in serving bowls and top with flax seeds.

Green Smoothies

This smoothie is a great way to start the day off with vegetables.

  • 1 cup almond milk or golden milk


Yield: Approximately 2 cups

1. Blend all ingredients in your VitaMix or blender.
2. Serve in your favorite cups or glasses.

In the Spotlight - An Article By Robyn O'Brien


Inside Truth on Food Allergies
By Robyn O"Brien of Allergy Kids Foundation


Robyn has authored The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It. A former food industry analyst, Robyn brings insight, compassion and detailed analysis to her research into the impact that the global food system is having on the health of our children. She founded and was named by Forbes as one of "20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter." The New York Times has passionately described her as "Food's Erin Brockovich."

Just when I thought I’d found my groove as a mother of four, life changed one morning over a plate of scrambled eggs when our youngest child had a life threatening allergic reaction.  Up until that point, I hadn’t given much thought about what went into our food, where it came from or how it is regulated, and in all candour, I had rolled my eyes at food allergies.  I was a former food industry analyst, with four young children, limited time and a limited budget, and I wasn’t particularly  sensitive to any of it and almost entirely ignorant about the dangers in our food supply and the sudden increase in the rates of allergies, autism, ADHD and asthma in American children.

So I was stunned to learn that there had been a doubling of the peanut allergy from 1997-2002 and that according to the Centers for Disease Control, there had been a 265% increase in the rate of hospitalizations related to food allergic reactions.  Since a food allergy is defined as when your body sees food proteins as foreign and launches an inflammatory response to drive out the foreign invader, I couldn’t help but ask the question: are there new and perceived “foreign” substances in our food supply?

And that’s when I really started to learn some very disturbing truths.  In 1994, farmers began injecting dairy cows with a genetically engineered hormone called recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which they used to increase milk production in dairy cows.  And while today milk allergies are the most common food allergies in the United States according to CNN and the Wall Street Journal, no tests have been developed to assess whether these allergies are actually in response to the new proteins introduced in the genetic engineering process that produced rbGH.  And these foreign proteins aren’t just showing up in our milk.  A few years after scientists got hold of our dairy, soy began to be genetically engineered and there was a sudden increase in the rates of soy allergies despite the fact that once again, no tests were developed to assess the allergenicity of the novel proteins created in the process. 

While correlation is not causation, these statistics were jaw-dropping.  Yet when I approached the largest food allergy non-profit about the data, they basically had an allergic reaction to me. So with my background in finance, I pulled their financial statements in an attempt to understand why they might react this way, not only to find out who might be funding their research, but also to learn why they had not highlighted the potential risks, novel proteins and novel allergens found in these recently introduced genetically engineered foods. That is when I learned of their financial relationship with large food and chemical corporations, with some nationally-recognized allergists even listed as inventors on patents for these genetically engineered proteins.

Because no tests have been developed to assess the safety of the novel proteins and allergens created in the biotechnological process of genetic engineering, governments of developed countries around the world have exercised precaution and have either not allowed these novel proteins into their food supplies or have required labelling so that consumers, especially parents, could make an informed choice when it comes to feeding their loved ones.  In the United States, that precautionary measure was never taken, despite the fact that human trials had not been conducted to assess the safety and allergenicity of these novel proteins.  Because I could not unlearn that information or that of the financial ties between some of our nation’s most trusted pediatric allergists and big corporations and felt it important to disclose this information in order to inspire and inform parents and caregivers about ways in which they could begin to protect their children with food allergies, autism, ADHD and asthma, I founded the Allergy Kids Foundation and wrote The Unhealthy Truth.

And while I am trying my hardest to effect change, I can’t do it alone and appreciate everything that all of you are doing to inspire a health revolution for our children.  Because together we can affect remarkable change in our food supply, not just for the little kids, but for the “big kids,” too.

To learn more, visit the Allergy Kids Foundation Web site at:, and check out their article on 12 Cooking Tips for Families With Food Allergies: Insight From Food Allergy Chefs, Parents and Advocates.

In The Unhealthy Truth, Robyn O'Brien shares the story of how she chose to take on the system by investigating America's food supply. The book is a call to action for each of us to do our part and keep our own families safe. To learn more about Robyn and The Unhealthy Truth, visit

In the News

Wall Street Journal

The New Power Lunch:
Strategies for Brown-Bagging at Your Desk, With Executive Image Intact

They may look like laptop bags, boxy purses or even yoga bags. Just don't mistake them for lunchboxes. 

Manufacturers have come up with dozens of satchels, bags and even full systems for the growing number of people who are skipping the takeout and bringing a home-packed lunch to work. Many of the new bags are inspired by Japanese bento boxes, the compartmentalized food trays that are traditionally filled with rice, vegetables, pickles and fish.

At formal companies, image-conscious managers need a carrying case roomy enough to hold an adult-size meal, functional enough to keep food from getting soggy and cold, and stylish enough to be mistaken for an executive accessory. To read the full article, visit:

The Early Show - CBS

Upscale Brown Bag Lunches

Real Simple magazine's Allie Lewis Clapp showed how to create a simple brown bag lunch with an upscale twist. Read more:;contentBody#ixzz1JRIUuIcf.

Kitchen Magpie

Laptop Lunches Rock My Socks

Angels are singing, the Red Sea has parted, yada yada yada.

Isn’t it annoying when you knew about something that could make your life easier, yet didn’t purchase it before?

I knew about these Laptop Lunches since last year when my friend Melissa P -not to be confused with Melissa G or Melissa V- posted a few pictures of her concoctions for her son’s lunch last year. I admired, thought they were cute and that was it...

I hate plastic bags, Saran Wrap and cheap plastic containers. This is the solution.

Also important to me is that they contain NO phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), or lead.

The beauty is that the lid of the box acts like one huge lid across all the containers.

To read the full post, visit:

Green Opportunities

THE ZERO WASTE HOME – How much trash does your family produce each year? Here's an article that tells how one family has managed to reduce their trash to only two handfuls a year. The Johnson family's day to day intension is to live simpler and lighter on our planet. To read more and learn what they are doing, visit:

NEW PROGRAM TARGETS PLASTIC BOTTLES IN YELLOWSTONE – Three and a half million visitors leave behind a whole lot of recycled bottles in Yellowstone every year. In order to reduce the number of bottles sent to landfills, Yellowstone has partnered with a textile company who will convert them into a non-woven fleece material, to be used in the backing of carpets.To find out more, visit:

JOHN FRANCIS WALKS THE EARTH – How far might you go to take a stand on an issue that's important to you? For almost three decades, John Francis has been a planetwalker, traveling the globe by foot and sail, with a message of environmental respect and responsibility. To watch a video of John's inspirational talk and learn about his crusade to do what he could to protect the earth, visit:

Featured Web Site:, is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

With an interest in design innovations that enhance sustainability, efficiency, and interactivity in the home, Inhabitat’s attention is focused on objects and spaces that are eco-friendly, multi-purpose, modular, and/or interactive.

To find out more, visit

On This Site:
  • Sustainable Architecture and Design
  • Green Interiors
  • Green Products and Gadgets
  • Renewable Energy and Green Transportation
  • Ecouterre for Fashion
  • Inhabitots for Kids
  • Design Competitions

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