The organic show was by far my favorite, the energy, the exhibitors, the products there was a great feeling of community. Don't get me wrong the Fancy Food show floor was good, lots of new and existing products, an international section (small but fun) and tons of sampling. There are more distributors showcasing products at FF and you don't get the same high energy feeling from a distributor as you do from the product owner.
Subsequently all of my "favorites" are from the All Things Organic show floor where I met lots of young people who have passionately created products that are conscious of the environment and that they are excited to share.
The first of those is a start up company by the name of Organic Fred. What caught my eye was the fun, fresh designs of their organic t-shirts and baby clothing, I am wearing the pink "biodegradable" t right now. The soft 100% organic fabric is fabulous and the art is created to "Fred-ucate" consumers on the importance to live, eat, wear and be organic.
The companies products, which include apparel for adults and children, accessories for baby and re-usable shopping bags, are made in a factory certified to ensure the human rights of the workers and are printed using solvent free water-based ink with no synthetic additives. Their website is super easy to navigate with plenty of educational content so I strongly encourage you to experience Organic Fred for yourself at http://www.organicfred.com/
The second company is an established group that has great organic oils, Assured Organics and sister company Nature's Approved. This NY based group promotes the benefits and versatility of different organic oils one of which is coconut oil. Used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, coconut oil is ideal for cooking and can be used just like olive oil, on salads or to saute with. Coconut oil can also be used topically and in your hair. The butter texture is easily warmed in your hands for easy application and the natural aroma is delightfully tropical. I have been using Camellia oil on my skin for a while so I know that oils are great and don't cause break outs or clog pours.
Dr. Bruce Fife, the companies founder, seemed even more excited to tell me about the benefits of organic Rose Hip oil "it has remarkable skin healing properties and can help diminish and in some case even remove stretch marks and old scar tissue caused by acne, cuts or burns when used over time". I had some sun damage removed from my upper lip a few years ago so I have started using the sample of Rose Hip oil they gave me at the show. The oil is a transparent light orange, virtually odorless and feels great on my skin. You can find our more about these cool products on the companies web site http://www.assuredorganics.com/
I can't leave out chocolate and while there was a ton of terrific chocolate at the show I especially enjoyed one of Dagoba's latest bars "lemon ginger". With a cacao content of 68% and only 13 grams of sugar this delicious, dare I say healthy, bar is one you should definitely try. It would even be great with a cup of our organic Lemon Ginger green tea!
Chicago is one of my favorite cities. The weather was perfect and this very clean city looked especially pretty with tulips in full bloom everywhere you looked. We stayed at the Omni where the service was impeccable. We had a terrific meal at an Indian Latin fusion restaurant named Vermilion on Hubbard St., the atmosphere was fun, the service was great and the cuisine interesting and delicious. Vermilion is a restaurant I would definitely visit again.
I will showcase the rest of my "favorites" in my next blog, until then, Beth