Wednesday, February 25, 2009
We've still got some overrun pink bento sets that we're selling by the case of 24 at a substantial discount: only $312 + shipping!
They're ideal for parties and other events.
Available online at www.laptoplunches.com/products.html.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Who decides what our children are eating?
To a large degree, it is the Federal Government. Congress and the Department of Agriculture approve what foods can (and can't) be served to over 30 million American school children who get daily meals from the National School Lunch Program.
The government gets a ton of pressure from a food and beverage industry frantic to keep kids hooked on a diet of sodas, snacks and hot dogs. The competition, for a piece of this $10 billion market, is particularly fierce right now because this year, the School Lunch Program is being reviewed and revised.
Despite the enormous nutritional and financial stakes at play, American News Project (ANP) was the only media to cover a recent panel set up to discuss the school menu. While nutritionists outnumbered the press, corporate lobbyists outnumbered everyone.
This video provides a view into the decision-making process:
Monday, February 23, 2009
* Vegetable Fried Rice
* Spring Rolls
* Dipping Sauce
* Garlic Sesame Sticks
* Sliced Organic Bartlett Pear
Prepare spring roll filling by combining shredded cabbage, chopped scallions, grated fresh ginger, minced garlic, chopped shitake mushrooms, chopped bamboo shoots, chopped carrots, soy sauce, and a few drops of sesame oil. Roll the filling in spring roll wrappers and pan fry in a small amount of olive oil.
Add vegetable fried rice.
Pour in a handful of garlic sesame sticks (available in bulk).
Include your favorite dipping sauce. Pictured here: Sweet Ginger Chili sauce from The Ginger People.
Slice the pear.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Mother Earth News
by Laura Sayre
"You may be familiar with many of the problems associated with concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. These 'factory farm' operations are often criticized for the smell and water pollution caused by all that concentrated manure; the unnatural, grain-heavy diets the animals consume; and the stressful, unhealthy conditions in which the animals live. You may not be aware, however, of the threat such facilities hold for you and your family's health - even if you never buy any of the meat produced in this manner."
Read the rest of the article at http://www.motherearthnews.com/Natural-Health/Meat-Poultry-Health-Risk.aspx.
Friday, February 20, 2009
By ALICE WATERS and KATRINA HERON
Published: February 19, 2009
THIS new era of government bailouts and widespread concern over wasteful spending offers an opportunity to take a hard look at the National School Lunch Program. Launched in 1946 as a public safety net, it has turned out to be a poor investment. It should be redesigned to make our children healthier.
Under the program, the United States Department of Agriculture gives public schools cash for every meal they serve — $2.57 for a free lunch, $2.17 for a reduced-price lunch and 24 cents for a paid lunch. In 2007, the program cost around $9 billion, a figure widely acknowledged as inadequate to cover food costs. But what most people don’t realize is that very little of this money even goes toward food. Schools have to use it to pay for everything from custodial services to heating in the cafeteria.
[Read the rest of the article at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/opinion/20waters.html?_r=1&emc=eta1.]
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Enjoy this delicious meal for dinner and save pack the leftovers for lunch!
* Prepare 1 cup cous cous or bulgur wheat as directed and set aside.
* In 3 tbs olive oil, saute until tender: 1 large clove crushed garlic, 2 cups cubed potatoes, 3 large sliced carrots, 2 cups sliced zucchini, okra or shredded cabbage, and 1 large coarsely chopped onion.
* Boil 4 cups water in a large sauce pan.
* Season with 2 tbs vegetable bouillon.
* Add 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes or 1 large can diced tomatoes.
* Add the sauteed vegetables.
* Add one can chick peas, drained.
* Mix 2/3 cup freshly ground peanut or cashew butter into 1 cup hot water and 1 tbs soy sauce and stir until smooth.
* Add the peanut butter mixture to the soup mixture and stir well.
* If you like it spicy, add some chopped jalapenos or spicy sambal. (optional)
* Spoon a serving of rice into each bowl.
* Top with the stew.
* Dig in!
Monday, February 16, 2009
By ARTHUR MAX, The Associated Press
9:40 a.m. February 12, 2009
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Eleven North Sea islands have signed up to become living laboratories for a waste-free environment.
The islands from six countries will follow a "cradle-to-cradle" philosophy, which calls for using renewable energy and products made from materials that can be endlessly reused or organically decomposed.
Innovations will include electric vehicles, a desalination system for drinking water that removes salt in a usable form, and purification of household water – including human waste.
"The islands will be a catalyst for innovation for the whole region," German chemist Michael Braungart said at the unveiling of the project late Wednesday.
Technical universities from around northern Europe will try out new solutions for small-scale energy production, transportation and water management, with the aim of making the islands nearly self-sustaining by 2030, project managers said.
The EU is donating euro3.5 million ($4.5 million) for the first four-year phase. Islands from Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and the Britain will take part. The Cradle to Cradle Island project will be overseen by officials of the northern Dutch province of Friesland.
The islands have a total of nearly 50,000 residents, but most of them swell with visitors during the summer. Some of the islands see the project as a way of attracting more tourists.
The concept originated in the 1970s, but was popularized with a 2002 book by Braungart and American architect William McDonough, "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things."
It calls for revamping industries to use non-harmful materials that can be reused for other products when their original life span reaches an end. An office chair, for example, can be regenerated in 200 ways, said Braungart, of the Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency.
"If you don't change the whole industrial sector within the next 10 to 15 years, the system will destroy itself. It's already starting," Braungart told The Associated Press.
Among other proposed ideas, new buildings will use paint on the internal walls containing micro-organisms that clean the air, and cement on the external walls that removes particulates from the atmosphere, he said.
Different islands will experiment with various elements of sustainability. Several islands of Britain's Shetlands, a group of 100 islands north of Scotland, will tap the energy from waves off its west coast and tidal streams between the islands.
The Dutch islands of Texel and Ameland, largely comprised of dunes and bicycle paths, will get a network of electric motor scooters and recharging posts. A Dutch water research company, Wetsus, will experiment with a system to produce electricity by mixing salt water and fresh water.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Angelle Batten, M.A., H.H.C. at www.nourishyourkids.com provides these practical tips for reducing your family's intake of sugar:
In our Favorite Read this month, Little Sugar Addicts, author Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons shares her 7 step solution to a child's sugar addiction. We agree that taking these steps will help your child (or you) break an addiction to sugar. Remember, one step at a time and before you know it you have a healthier, happier child!
One: Eat breakfast with protein; and do it within the first hour of waking, suggests DesMaisons, to beat a drop in blood sugar.
Two: Make connections between food and mood. Never reward a child with food—especially sweets.
Three: Change snacks and drinks. Children under the age of 18 should eat every three hours to prevent a drop in blood sugar. In addition to good, well-balanced meals, your child should get several high-protein snacks throughout the day.
Four: Eat protein lunches. Foods like cottage cheese, poultry and meats, eggs, and nuts are all essentials.
Five: Shift to whole grain food. Cut any white flour breads and pastas from your diet.
Six: Take out the sugar. ("Notice that taking out sugar is not step one. It is step six," writes DesMaisons.)
Seven: Take care of life. Relax, have fun, and spend time with your family.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Heading out of town for the long weekend? Don't forget to feed your body.
* CAR TRIPS--Car travel can be stressful with kids in the back seat. Consider packing plenty of nutritious foods in your Laptop Lunches so you won't be forced to stop at convenience stores and fast food restaurants. Laptop Lunches are economical, convenient, and fit nicely on your lap!
* IN THE AIR--If you're not crazy about airline food, or if your airline has stopped providing meals altogether, consider packing a Laptop Lunch with your own nutritious meals and snacks instead of picking up an overpriced fast food meal at the airport. Before your return flight, pack it full of nutritious treats or fresh salads. You'll be happy you did!
* TWO FOR ONE--Restaurant portions can be huge! If you find yourself eating out more often when you're on the road, remember that there's only one reward for being a member of the clean plate club--added pounds! When you eat out, take your Laptop Lunch and fill it with the leftovers instead of asking for a disposable box. Store it in the refrigerator overnight. You won't have to make (or buy!) lunch the next day. And you'll have one less disposable container to feel guilty about.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
* Frittata (Two delicious recipes available HERE.)
* Caesar Salad
* Navel Orange Slices
Prepare a frittata of your choice. (Be sure to include lots of fresh herbs and vegetables.)
Slice the orange.
Prepare the ingredients for the Caesar salad:
1. Tear romaine lettuce into bite-size pieces.
2. Prepare the dressing:
* 1 Tbs. lemon juice
* 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
* 1 clove of garlic (minced)
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1/8 tsp. pepper
* 3 Tbs. olive oil
3. Sprinkle some of the dressing over the lettuce and toss.
4. Add parmesan cheese and croutons (optional).
5. Toss again.
Alternatively, pack the salad ingredients separately and assemble at lunch time.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Just thought we'd share this great review!
"I first heard about Laptop Lunches at a Weight Watchers meeting of all places. Two members were describing this bento box-like lunch system as a great way of eating a variety of foods while still maintaining calorie-friendly portions. Since then I’ve discovered a large fan base of all ages for this eco-friendly lunch system, which even has a following on Flickr.
"Most easily described as American-style bento boxes, Laptop Lunches are designed to help families pack nutritious, environmentally-friendly lunches for school, work and travel. The sustainable lunch containers come with a book of healthy lunch ideas and lunchmaking recipes and are reusable, recyclable and dishwasher safe. Though made of plastic, they do not contain phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA) or lead." [Read the rest of the review at http://celebrity-babies.com/2009/02/02/laptop-lunche/#more-20726]. Thanks People Magazine!
Monday, February 2, 2009
We've got a new lunch photo and menu posted at http://www.laptoplunches.com/rss/RSSVegetableSoup.html.
This Week's Photo
* Vegetable Soup
* Pretzel Sticks
* Mustard Dip
* Pink Orange Segments
* Baked Potato
Prepare a large pot of vegetable soup on the weekend to enjoy throughout the week. Be sure to include lots of onions, celery, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, and parsnips. Add some brown rice, barley, or quinoa if desired.
Pack the pretzels.
Pour your favorite mustard into the dip container.
Peel and segment the orange.
Bake the potato and top with a small amount of butter, salt, and pepper.