As you know from the last two posts, the Good Food Fighter attended the SXSW Wellness Expo in search of great new products. I brought you imperfect-but perfectly-delicious produce, healthier pizza, a cork yoga mat, cancer-fighting latte, beer soap, and fresh-food vending machines.
Here are four more fantastic finds:
My New Favorite Chocolate Bar
Chocolate is all about “mouth feel”, so no matter how nutritious, it still has to wow me with that indescribable creamy richness to win my favor.
Loving Earth was created by Australian Scott Fry. He initially worked to help rice farmers in India protect their livelihood and their land. He then moved to Mexico and discovered that growing cacao could sustain whole communities through cooperatives. He decided to found a company that would work for the benefit of indigenous people and bring their products to the marketplace.
The cocoa beans used by Loving Earth come from a remote village in the Amazon jungle of Peru and travel 100 miles by canoe to get to the nearest road. They are an indigenous wild variety of criollo cacao, which means they have been untouched by industrialization and the trees have never been hybridized. The beans are grown and harvested by the Ashaninka people who have been growing cacao for generations and now work in an organically certified cooperative.
This cocoa has inherent characteristics that give it notes of aniseed, fennel, toffee, and coffee. It is fragrant and has a wonderful mouth feel. This is what real, pure, raw, regenerative cocoa tastes like!
The company is eco friendly in everything they do. Every bar is organic, ethically produced, directly traded, wrapped in compostable packaging, free of gluten, soy, and cane sugar, and made in a solar powered factory.
Meesh tells it in her own words:
I’m pretty sure that the 72% is the only chocolate bar I’ve ever found with just two ingredients: raw cacao beans, and coconut sugar. The other flavors only add one or two more. No soy lecithin, no gums, no dextrose. Pure as can be. This is a true power food. Not the Nestle industrial chocolate that you thought was the real thing.
Hard-to-kill, Air-freshening plants.
I bet it didn’t occur to you that plants on your office desk is a good idea. So let me thrill you with some facts:
- Certain kinds of plants absorb toxins, thereby cleaning the air you breathe. Indoor air has been shown to be more polluted than outdoor air, especially in commercial, air-tight buildings, and even in homes because most people keep widows tightly sealed. VOCS (volatile organic compounds) are everywhere.
- The company Desk Plants has studied which plants are best at reducing VOCs. They choose plants recommended by NASA for air cleaning properties. That’s right—the National Air and Space Agency, not the Nincompoop Agency for Silly Adventures.
- Plants improve mental health! They also positively impact productivity and creativity.
- You won’t kill them! (Unless you really try to). All plants have been specially selected for their resistance to abuse and neglect. That means they need very little water or other maintenance.
Desk Plants only grows plants that meet all this criteria. What’s more–they ship it right to your desk. If you live in Austin, you’ll get it next day straight from the greenhouse. For everyone else, it will arrive in 4-5 days. Either way, it comes with clear and helpful instructions.
What makes this company different? Why not just order from Amazon?
- guarantee of plant quality
- care instructions and support line
- shipping methods (shipping boxes specifically designed by company to ensure the plant will be delivered safe and sound)
- continued relationship with the customer.
Desk Plants doesn’t close out the sale and move on. They have great customer support—a dedicated support line— and will help you get the most out of your plants. When someone buys a plant from Amazon, there is no guarantee that the plant is coming from a healthy place—it’s usually a warehouse with no natural sunlight or humidity control. Desk Plants guarantees that every plant comes from their greenhouse and there is a 30 day plant life guarantee. They are also connected to their customer base through social media.
Here’s Lawrence explaining what the company does:
Check out all the plants they offer here.
Desk Plants is offering 10% off for Good Food Fighter readers! Use code GFF10 at check out.
Guess what this is made of?
- cotton candy mixed with tofu
- jack fruit
- rose petals
Jack fruit! Founder Diana Dussan wanted to come up with a satisfying vegan jerky that had all the flavor and chewiness of its carnivorous cousin, beef jerky. She experimented with all kinds of fruits and vegetables, avoiding the standard over-processed meat alternatives. She then tested it on her harshest critic—her retired military, anti-anything-vegan, mountain man of a stepdad. He loved it, before realizing that it was not meat, and then still kept eating it afterwards! It’s made in Austin and comes in 3 flavors: hickory smoked, cracked pepper, and sweet chili.
This unique jackfruit jerky is made from antioxidant-rich ingredients like jackfruit, tomatoes, poblano peppers, seaweed, and mushrooms—vegetables that maximize flavor. It is free of soy, gluten, sugar, or nuts. They use no squishy, sticky, or slimy ingredients, giving it the texture of real, homemade meat jerky.
I gotta say that it’s impressive.
Some interesting testimonials:
- “Most buzz-worthy foods for 2019”, Food Network Magazine
- “The jerky of the future”, The Austin Chronicle
- “A botanical master of disguise”, Edible Austin
Where do you get this?
Use promo code GOODFOODFIGHTER10 on their website to receive an additional 10% off current sale prices.
Move Over Kale, ‘Shrooms are taking Over!
Well, not really—you should still consume plenty of both. But research is piling up on the health benefits of mushrooms, including their success at fighting cancer.
Most mushrooms are packed with nutrition, including:
B vitamins. These are important for heart health, for red blood cells, and for the digestive system.
Vitamin D. Not many foods contain this critical vitamin that almost everyone is low in. Among other things, Vitamin D enhances the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorous.
Antioxidants. These protect against the damage caused by free radicals. They strengthen the immune system and slow the effects of aging. Mushrooms are uniquely rich in a potent one called ergothioneine.
Natural antibiotics. Similar to penicillin, they inhibit microbial growth and other fungal infections.
Beta-Glucans. This stimulates the immune system to defend against bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections. It is known as biological response modifier since its protective activity is the result of modulating the host immune system.
Blood sugar regulation. Mushrooms contain natural insulin and enzymes which help to break down sugar and starch in food. Other compounds support the proper functioning of the liver, pancreas and other endocrine glands, which are involved with insulin regulation throughout the body.
Clearly a power food, it’s wise to incorporate many kinds into your diet and to eat them often. However, most of the mushrooms that are well known for their medicinal effects are difficult or impossible to find in your supermarket. Enter Four Sigmatic.
This Finnish team has created a new way to get the most potent mushrooms into your body without your having to climb trees in Siberia to scrape off the fungus.
They are making tasty drinks using mushroom powder.
Four Sigmati’s powdered packs contain some of the most powerful mushrooms—chaga, reiki, cordyceps, and lion’s mane. They concentrate the mushroom into a powder so you can add it into your favorite drink. The packets also contain herbs known as adaptogens which have neuro-protective, anti-fatigue and anti-depressive effects. For example, their chaga elixir mix contains eleuthero for general wellbeing and rose hips and mint for flavor.
Their best-selling products are the Reishi Hot Cacao, Golden Latte, Chai Latte and the Lion’s Mane Coffee. Most people just dissolve in hot water but others mix into almond milk or other flavored bases.
Good Food Fighter readers get a 15% discount on their website using code GFF15.
Fun fact 1: Mushrooms are actually a fungi, but they are considered “vegetables” for the purpose of cooking.
Fun fact 2: There are approximately 140,000 species of fungi in the world, but only about 100 are being studied for potential health benefits and medicinal applications.
Fun fact 3: Most species of mushrooms are not edible, are highly poisonous and look strikingly similar to their edible counterparts.
Articles and studies on the benefits of mushrooms:
Book by company founder
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