Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged organic

Green for Life

Green for Life is both fascinating and troubling at once. In a nutshell, Victoria Boutenko persuades the reader that people should consume one quart of blended greens per day. She further demonstrates that humans should be eating the same diet as chimpanzees, because "modern people and chimpanzees share an estimated 99.4% of our DNA sequence." Many folks may pick up this book expecting a cookbook; however, Green for Life mostly consists of health information and testimonials. Although a few recipes are included, they are a minority of the book's content, and placed in the very back; these recipes are designed more for health than flavor, foodies be damned.

Ripe from Around Here

I'm an avid vegan cookbook collector, and Ripe From Around Here is more than a vegan cookbook. jae steele, a holistic nutritionist from Toronto, offers a neat little package of sustainability, mindfulness, and the politics of food in addition to vegan gourmet recipes in the end.

Ripe From Around Here

When jae steele’s Ripe From Around Here arrived, it joined a pile of vegan library books on my kitchen table. I needed inspiration and fresh ideas, and hoped one of the books would help. steele’s book was the star. These are the recipes that will become everyday favorites, and the ones that omnivores will devour, blissfully unaware that no animal products are present.

Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know

As an ethically and environmentally aware feminist vegetarian, I view food and politics as ineluctably joined. Robert Paarlberg’s Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know challenged some of my basic ideas about hunger, famine, and the scope of issues contained by the term food politics, yet the book ignores some of the ways in which food is always simultaneously personal and political.

Fight Global Women's Organic T-Shirt

If you’re going to be a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, you’ve got to go out of your way to make sure your tees have something interesting to say. If you’re going to be a t-shirt and jeans girl who lives in New York City, that message should make a statement about art or politics.

Organic Fair Trade Chocolate Mint Mill Box

I don’t consider myself a chocolate connoisseur just because I love chocolate. Although as an unabashed chocolate lover, I was only too happy to review Sjaaks’ Organic Fair Trade Chocolate Mint Mill Box. I admit to being a little late to the party when it comes to all things organic, but I thought, how can one go wrong with chocolate? My goodies arrived in a half-green, half-transparent box with a gold bow tied around it, which attractively displayed the chocolates.

Winter Wonderfuls: Dark Chocolate Crunchy Peanut Butter Snowmen

I finished the last Dark Chocolate Crunchy Peanut Butter Snowman on the wintriest day in Atlanta. Anyone who is familiar with the city and its weather knows that snow covered roofs, cars, trees, and streets meant a snow day for hundreds of thousands of adults and kids alike. So it was one of those rare and perfect days to stay in and enjoy a chocolate-y treat! Originally, I was a bit perplexed to find a box of nine little, white, individually wrapped, peanut butter snowmen waiting to be consumed.

YummyEarth Organic Super Sour Pops

I don’t have a sweet tooth; I have sweet teeth. No: I don’t have sweet teeth, I have sweet bones. So the challenge is to get through life with a minimum of caloric catastrophe and dental damage. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of health-conscious treats available from YummyEarth. Founded by two fathers who wanted to spare their children chemical dyes, fake seasoning, and corn syrup, all YummyEarth candies are USDA and EU certified organic.

YummyEarth Organic Gummy Bears

Looking for the perfect lunchbox treat? Look no further than YummyEarth Organic Gummy Bears. These cute little critters are USDA Certified Organic, made with real fruit juice, and provide 100% of daily vitamin C. The first thing you might notice about YummyEarth’s bears is their color. They are vibrant and appealing, but they colors are markedly more natural (no bright green or screaming orange). This is because of (hooray!) the lack of artificial dyes in the product.

Skinny Scarves

The first time I came to Kolkata, I was swindled by a little girl who couldn't have been more than six years old. While trying to find a pair of shoes in New Market, this cutie pie grabbed my hand as I was walking, turned her grinning face toward me, and cheerfully said, "Hello! What is your name?" Caught off guard, and a little stupid from lingering jet lag, I said, "My name is Mandy." Her eyes grew wide and she dropped my hand.

Replenishing Hand Cream (Rose Flower)

My paternal grandmother was the offspring of a French immigrant family that emigrated to the United States. She came of age during a time of great extravagance (Roaring Twenties) followed by a sharp decline (Great Depression) and then raised five children—three boys and two girls—by herself in St. Louis, Missouri while my grandfather reported for duty during World War II. In my grandparents' house there were two bathrooms, one pink and the other blue, a color-coded system marked by a form of gender segregation that had a utilitarian function in the large and evenly split household.

Organic Dark Chocolates

If you have a vice, you might as well indulge it responsibly. Shaman Chocolates' profits propagate Huichol communities and culture. Descendents of the Aztec, the Huichol population is approximately 18,000. They reside in the sierra of Jalisco and Nayarit, and their traditions persist despite the encroachment that ensued with the arrival of the conquistadors. Huichol ceremonies use peyote, and the people are known for vivid depictions of themes from nature utilizing beads and yarn.

Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine

Whether you're rebuilding yourself or just doing daily maintenance, healthy food is a necessity for bringing the body back and keeping it going. Now that I can't go to Whole Foods, it's time to get creative with the selection from produce stands and farmer's markets. Today I saw a man with a straw cowboy hat selling tomatoes, melons, and sunflowers out of a battered pick-up truck. Chilled soup, sorbet, and an arrangement for the table?

Pregnancy Body Oil / Nursing Tea / Skin Food / Sea Buckthorn Body Lotion

Mean, lean, and green is not a trend come-lately. Weleda has been producing natural, organic beauty products since 1921. Dr. Rudolf Steiner, a founder of anthroposophy, joined forces with Dr. Ita Wegman to take this transcendentalist world view to a personal practical level. They offer salves and solutions for human afflictions ranging from stretch marks to dental plaque, all derived from some of the two hundred species of plants cultivated in their medical plants garden.

Pink Grapefruit Body Lotion / Linen Spray / Botanical Facial Moisturizer, Facial Wash / Shea Body Butter Bamboo / Green Tea Facial Scrub

I am, obviously, pro-choice. And if you are similarly inclined to an abundance of options in personal products as well as personal life, I recommend a visit to Dancing Dingo. They offer unctions and salves for all members of your family, including the four-legged. Dancing Dingo lotions, moisturizers, oils, scrubs, and sprays are paraben, formaldehyde, mineral oil, sulphates, SLS, and phthalate free. Their 'Dog De-funkifier' and other products are approved by Leaping Bunny and PETA.

Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil

The pomegranate has a long history as a helping, healthy fruit. No less an authority than the (seventeenth century) Dr. Fothergill described as it among the plant species “most salutiferous to mankind.” Queen Hatshepsut's butler, Djehuty, attempted to pack one along in his journey to the afterlife. Its red, leathery hide, floral ends, and core of pulp-encased juicy purple kernels fascinated me as a child, although it struck me as a bit labor-intensive for a snack. I had no objection to grenadine in Shirley Temples at the same age.

Baby Care Gift Set

Everyone likes good shampoo. Even though I am neither a baby nor an African American, I am delighted to use pure organic hair cleansers with a fragrant blend of rose petal, rosemary, and sage. African American Baby Care offers a full range of infant care products made from pure organics, natural botanicals, and rare herbs.

Eco Lips Gold / Vegan Eco Lips / Eco Tints

The founding of Eco Lips is a charming romantic tale: a lone female balm-brewer gave out samples of her homemade lip tonic to friends, and an appreciative recipient sought her out, asked her hand, and upon their marriage, the couple invested her life's savings in the production of the limp balm “Hemp Lip Buzz.” I am happy to report that they're still at it, and that with the energetic assistance of their premier marketer, over two hundred competing lip balms were examined prior to the formulation of Eco Lips.

Rosehip & Hibiscus Facial Lotion / Tea Tree and Vinegar Toner

Rosehips and hibiscus have long been combined in teas. Rosehips provide vitamin C and are also a source of A, D and E. Rosehip tea is said to prevent bladder infections and ease headaches. Hibiscus tea contains phenolic compounds, reportedly a positive in preventing heart disease and promoting arterial health. A 2008 study linked hibiscus tea to decreasing hypertension. In India, hibiscus is used in medicinal Ayurvedic preparations and hair care. This is my first topical experience with the combination, and it is positive. Truly organic natural lotions are at least half plant-based.

Rosemary Body Lotion

A Spanish proverb states, "Where rosemary thrives the mistress is master." I've had to give up gardening, but perhaps I should keep a pot of rosemary in the kitchen. Folklore states that it's an aid to memory, with a half-dozen antioxidant compounds. An abortifacient in high doses, it mitigates capillary weakness and rosemary leaf was approved for dyspepsia, high blood pressure, and rheumatism by the German Commission E at doses of four to six grams a day.

Mandarin Maximum Moisture / Sweet Orange & Silk Protein Styling Gel

'Orange' is an unrhymable word. Of course, you can get around this by utilizing some poetic license. Willard Espy's “The Unrhymable Word: Orange” jams with enjambment by informing us that: "The four eng-/ineers/Wore orange/brassieres." I don't own an orange brassiere, but I am fortunate to own both a rhyming dictionary and some fine John Masters Organics products. Admittedly, I go for orange because I like the scent.

Bitchin' Kitchen Cookbook: Rock Your Kitchen-And Let the Boys Clean Up the Mess

The cliché don’t judge a book by its cover doesn’t hold true in regards to the Bitchin' Kitchen Cookbook, which depicts a glistening topless guy next to a meat cleaver wielding tattooed woman wearing a beehive hairdo and a leather apron.

Slate T-shirt

George Carlin once observed that a house is where you keep all your stuff, until you have too much stuff, and then you get a bigger house so that you have enough space for your stuff. I appreciated the Annie Leonard digital video The Story of Stuff.

Organic Maple Syrup

Perusing vegan cookbooks recently, I've noticed a tendency to recommend maple syrup as a sweetener. Yes, it's sucrose, but perhaps tree juice is ahead of refined cane sugar and the demon corn. And it also has flavor. I cannot abide most artificial flavorings, and although some faux maple comes from the authentic spice fenugreek, there's nothing like the real thing. Coombs Family Farms' maple syrup is very real.

Chipotle Habanero Hot Sauce

“Healthy, wealthy, and wise.” I was hoping to achieve three out of three, but it now appears that I'd be lucky to hit one. However, you want to make a choice that is smart, economical, and health-conscious, it is time to consider the lowly legume.  Everyone's on the lookout for cheap protein. Some favor black beans—my favorite version is a Cuban-style soup garnished with diced red onions and sour cream. Michael's Uptown Café of Bloomington, Indiana always got the cumin just right.

Travel Pack

“The essential foundation of beauty is health.” - Dr. Alkaitis Sociobiology makes me cringe. The realities of economics and aesthetics are frequently politically uncomfortable. There appear to be some basic principles that all humans operate by—for example, that everyone likes money and beauty. Money is intrinsically meaningless and worthless: a bale of Benjamins won't do you much good in the middle of Antarctica except as tinder. Pot shards, metal disks, cocoa beans—all have done service as manifestations of worth, tokens of sweat and time.

Organic Original Rice Nectar

A gift box arrived at my home several weeks ago, origin unknown until my partner came staggering through the door, trying to balance the behemoth shipment he’d fetched from the post office. “It’s from Jaimie and Sabrina!” My kind, thoughtful acupuncturist and psychiatrist back in Boston—who share an office space, an affinity for holistic treatment, and unending support for my international move—had sent a care package after receiving a card from us.

Pure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple Recipes

Tart is no longer a four letter word, thanks to bakery chef extraordinaire (and three-time cookbook award winner) Alice Medrich. The most amazing thing about her sublime dessert concoctions is that she has whipped up her pastries using fresh, organic ingredients combined in stunningly elegant and inventive ways.

The Flower Farmer: An Organic Grower's Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers

As far as dream jobs go, being an organic flower farmer ranks right up there with travel writer, cake baker, and rock star. As Lynn Byczynski thoroughly explains in The Flower Farmer, growing organic flowers for profit is a completely reasonable and realistic career choice that anyone can accomplish. Byczynski, who has been growing flowers commercially for 20 years, takes the reader step-by-step through the beginner stages of flower farming.


Take everything you love about Tom Waits’ junykard orchestra and combine it with the elegance and beauty of Icelandic folk music. This is Amiina, the female quartet who will make you wonder why more musicians don’t learn to play the saw. Their debut album, Kurr, (the Icelandic word for a bird’s coo), is a 12-song lullaby on acid. It employs twenty instruments, each woman taking a turn at playing each instrument to achieve a multitude of unique sounds.