Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Rest of My Favorites

My final "favorites" begin with the the Organic Fiji line of skin care products. Delicious aroma is what drew me to the booth and then I experienced the Pineapple Coconut Scrub which I used to exfoliate my hands. I was left with a lush layer of moisture and a subtle, natural scent, I am very finicky when it comes to scent especially too much scent!

The scrub adhered to my skin (my biggest complaint with scrubs is many slide right off especially sugar based types) and the texture was good. Made with organic Fijian cane sugar and virgin coconut oil, which is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and antibacterial properties, helping to protect against environmental stresses. Coconut oil also acts as a natural pour decongestant with exceptional moisturizing ability while helping to relieve minor skin irritations.

As an added bonus the company uses all of the left over coconut husks as an energy source helping to power the local community where the product is made. I briefly visited the website where I will be back to buy in the not so distant future. Learn more at www.organicfiji.com .

My next favorite was Tenfold Organic Textiles. Now I must admit that I am nuts about fabrics and paper, I just love textures. This company, started by a young woman named Leah, has incredible quality fabrics that are not only organically grown but also naturally plant dyed which differ from low impact dyes. The companies website www.tenfoldorganic.com is easy to use and you will find fabric by the yard, sheet sets, duvets, towels and napkins. The most impressive of their products was the Peace Tree Quilt and it was a work of art. The hand craftmanship was obvious and this impressive quilt is also available online. Tenfolds textiles are grown and produced in India where they employ fair trade standards for the workers.

Lastly I want to mention a delicious olive oil that is not yet available in the US but when it is you will want to get some. Intense flavor that was different from other oils I have tried ACUSHLA extra virgin olive oil is a product of Portugal and one that will hopefully find a US outlet!

Until next time, Beth

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My Favorites from the All Things Organic - Fancy Food Shows in Chicago

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

Monday, May 07, 2007

All Things Organic Show

I am in Chicago attending the All Things Organic & Fancy Food Shows. We arrived yesterday, I am with my girlfriend Riza, and went directly from the airport to the show and decided we were most interested in the organic portion.

It's huge with so much to see; sustainable packaging, baby clothing, new herbal products, lots of chocolate (Dagoba has a new lemon ginger dark chocolate bar that is yummy) but not much in the way of tea. Stash is here and another newer company, can't remember the name, with a new fangled tea bag but other then that just herbal stuff. Tons of great food products and incredible fruits and veggies.

We are heading back this morning to begin where we left off yesterday, we did not finish the organic portion of the show and I understand that the Fancy Food section is even larger. I will check in with my favorite finds after covering as much ground as possible.

Until next time, Beth

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I Wish I Had A Camera!

My 17 year old son, an avid baseball player, plays for his high school varsity team. What does this have to do with tea? Well when your kids are involved in sports the parents are always called on to volunteer.

Our team was hosting a barbecue for an out of town team about a month ago. We were feeding 50 teenagers so everything was being made in large quantities including the sweet iced tea that was being served, we live in the south and no matter how hard I try....

I am the brunt of all the "tea" jokes and this day was no exception we were sharing a lot of laughs. As we set up for the guys to eat I turned around and saw Marianne, my personal tea maven after this, filling one of those industrial size coolers with a garden hose! Yes that's right a garden hose, she was making the tea! I thought I would die, I was in hysterics!

This has to be my funniest tea moment ever and one of those times when I wished I'd had a camera because no one is gonna believe it.

Hats off to Marianne and the Suncoast Chargers, big time tea drinkers, Beth