RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—A brigade of green-minded Rodale editors and foodies scoured the floor of
Natural Products Expo East in Boston last week to find the tastiest and neatest green products among the thousands on display at the largest trade show of its type on the East Coast. The taste-testing, eco-seeking task force even included Rodale CEO and author Maria Rodale, Organic Manifesto Organic Gardening managing editor Ethne Clarke, and the magazine's food and wine editor, Denise Gee, as well as Rodale director of food services extraordinaire Leah Nichols, along with Rodale.com editors. Leah Zerbe shares some great new natural products on the 10! Show, NBC-10 Philadelphia:
Here are some of the top green products scouted out during the show:
• Manuka Med honey lozenges and sterile honey wound dressing use the power of nature to soothe sore throats and heal cuts and scrapes. (Bye-bye, Neosporin!) Manuka Med wound dressings are even being adopted in hospitals because of the special honey's natural antibacterial, wound-killing properties. The good news? Germs cannot grow resistant to honey the way they do to typical chemical-based drugs.
• Aquasana home water filters have been leading the pack for years, but we especially like the shower filters, since not everyone thinks about filtering his or her bathwater. For about $7 a month, you can keep your family safe from chlorine fumes that can build up in your house if you don't filter city water.
• Measure Up Bowl makes watching your portion sizes an easy feat. Use the small bowl for higher-fat items like nuts, and the larger bowl for combination meals, such as spaghetti and sauce or cereal with milk. A New Jersey mom developed the white ceramic bowls when she had trouble finding a stylish bowl with inconspicuous portion-control measurement lines. Needless to say, she's lost lots of weight and looks great!
We're avoiding GMO food this month... come join our No-GMO Challenge!
And join Maria Rodale's discussion about the future of organic food, and why it's important to the future of all of us, on the Atlantic Monthly website.
• Badger Massage and Body Oils are new this season, and we love them because they are made of all certified-organic ingredients. If you're leery of using oil instead of lotion, don't be. Rodale.com tested these, and because they're made of a high-quality jojoba oil, so they don't leave a messy residue. Skip lotions (which add all types of emulsifiers and fillers that take more energy to make) and go straight for a body oil…it feels great!
• Verterra dinnerware is made from fallen palm leaves that would otherwise be burned by palm farmers; the leaves are just soaked, placed in a mold, and baked to be turned into a plate. The single-use plates are beautiful, and contain no bleach or other chemicals. They are also completely compostable, unlike some of those plastic-looking corn cups on the market.
• Eco-Me Cleaning products were developed after the founder's sister was diagnosed with breast cancer that was deemed to be caused by environmental pollutants. The green products, ranging from cat and dog shampoos and sprays to carpet deodorizer, dish soap, and all purpose cleaners, use plant-based soaps, baking soda, and vinegar as the basis for many formulas. The line is also cruelty free.
• If You Care unbleached paper baking cups and sandwich bags keep harmful bleaching toxins out of the environment and our bodies. And by the end of 2011, all If You Care paper products will be Forest Stewardship Council certified, meaning they are made with responsibly harvest wood, leaving our forest ecosystems in check. They are a leader in the industry!
• Earthworm Cleaners use natural enzymes to do the dirty work of cleaning up soiled carpets, mold- and mildew-stained bathrooms, and clogged drains, all without any harsh chemicals found in other products that could actually wreck your plumbing.
• Mini Pops, popped sorghum may look surprisingly like popcorn, but it boasts more iron and protein. You also don't get of those annoying hulls stuck in your teeth. The popped grain comes in smaller pieces than popcorn, so it might make a particularly good snack for kids.
More products we loved...
• Theo Chocolate (We kind of stalked this stand, but with so many funky and traditional flavors, we had to try them all!) Coconut-curry, fennel-fig, and spicy chili are just a few of the flavors, among many traditional ones, too. (Your tastebuds will be doing backflip…but in a good way!) This Seattle-based company is the real deal, sourcing Fair Trade Certified, organic chocolate and processing it organically, too.
• Purely Elizabeth organic cookie mix comes from whole food sources; no refined flours or sugars. Simply delicious!
• Flavorganics offers a line of certified organic syrups, including raspberry, caramel, and amaretto, for your coffee and lattes…free of the nasty stuff that most syrups contain, like high fructose corn syrup, which likely contains GMOs. If you're already drinking organic coffee, go the extra mile and make the fun flavors natural and organic, too!
• Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats offer the ultimate cheap and easy breakfast, full of cholesterol zapping powers. For about $3, you'll get 15 servings. For an added health bang for your buck, sprinkle a bit of flax meal from Bob's Red Mill, or organic chia seed from Salba for plant-based omega-3s.
• Bamboo Bottle Company is building a buzz with its soon-to-be-released reusable water bottle made of a bamboo insulator and a glass bottle. You can take it apart and pop the glass part in the dishwasher, while wiping down the outside. You can preorder now; they're expected to ship out in December, just in time for the holidays.
• VerMints use real ingredients, not ones created in test tubes, to offer a variety of breath-freshening options, including PepperMint, CinnaMint, and WinterMint. They are GMO-free and made in the USA. If mints aren't your thing, try GLEE gum, made from rain-forest chicle, the way gum used to be made in the olden days.
• Organic Valley Live Organic Low-Fat Yogurt offers a quick and easy super-healthy snack. Because it's certified organic, you can enjoy it knowing there are no hormones or pesticide-packed grains fed to the cows. Organic Valley is a co-op, meaning a bunch of small farmers own the business, not a giant corporation.
Green Sprouts Disposable Compressed Wipes come in a handy travel tube…much better than lugging around a plastic box of wipes. To use, add a little water to a wipe tablet, and you have a compostable wipe!
Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat is an oldie, but goodie when it comes to naturally relieving sore throat pain. In fact, we heard through the grapevine that singers like Madonna and Bon Jovi, among many others, make sure it's in their dressing rooms before every single show.