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Amaranth: Efficient Native Grain

by Justin Thomas •

Amaranth is an ancient plant whose seeds can be ground or popped — they have a sweet, nutty flavor. The ancient Aztecs considered Amaranth a “super food”. It was an important part of the empire’s crop base, and was fed to runners and warriors because of its reputation for providing large bursts of energy and improving athletic performance.

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Biodegradable Dish Scrubbers and Brushes

by Justin Thomas •

Made from thin ribbons of fine-grit sandpaper, these biodegradable scrubbers come from Japan. They are called “Sandclean Scrubbers” and they are said to outperform regular sponges and steel wool. They are quite durable and do not beak apart. They work well on tea or coffee stains in teapots and cups. Also shown here is a Tawashi Brush — it’s a …

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Ceramic Japanese Soaking Tubs

by Justin Thomas •

A company called Aquapal imports these authentic tubs from Shigaraki region of Japan. The tubs are hand-made ceramic sculptures. The clay and titanium oxide composition are naturally antibacterial. There are no prices posted on the Aquapal web site, the company says can call for custom pricing.

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LED-Flex: An Efficient Substitute For Neon

by Justin Thomas •

How many times have you seen a broken or flickering neon light? Durability is not one neon’s strengths. But now a new product, LED-Flex, has been introduced as a substitute for neon. The producer, Mule Lighting, has managed to make the flexible LEDs have the appearance and brightness of neon. The biggest advantage of this product is the efficiency level …

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New Sustainable Women’s Hemp T-Shirts

by Justin Thomas •

Fair Hemp has released some new women’s tees priced at $14.95. The shirt are made with 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton, and colored with eco-friendly dyes. They are soft, stylish and comfortable, and sweatshop and pesticide free. Fair Hemp says the fabric is pre-washed for broken-in softness and shrinkage control, so these shirts won’t shrink up and the side …

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Pure Aluminum Bottles By SIGG

by Justin Thomas •

If you are looking for a drink container which has a completely inert lining, you might try SIGG Bottles from Switzerland. These bottles are extruded from a single piece of pure (99.5%) aluminum. They are strong, lightweight, and do not contaminate their contents with phthalates, Bisphenol-A or other potential toxins. The liner is a food grade, water-based resin that is …

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Criollo Chocolate: Efficient Food of the Gods

by Justin Thomas •

In its pure state, chocolate, or cacao, is quite nutritious, and inspires eudaimonia. There are number of varieties of cacao. Almost all commercial chocolate is made using beans of the Forastero Group. Another more prized cultivar, Criollo, is used by the top chocolate makers around the world. It is less bitter and more aromatic than any other bean.

The Healing Powers of Peppers

by Justin Thomas •

Chile peppers contain one of the most effective curative substances in the world — capsaicin. While many people enjoy eating hot and spicy food they are not aware of the therapeutic properties of chile peppers. The authors of The Healing Powers of Peppers present a wealth of scientific and medical information, including personal testimonies about the healthful advantages of chile …

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The BeeBoard: A Cardboard Desk

by Justin Thomas •

This desk is made out of a recycled cardboard called “BeeBoard”, which is a low-impact construction material, but the acrylic used to coat it might be toxic. Here’s the description: BeeBoard is a layered cardboard with a honeycomb structure. By keeping the BeeBoard exposed, he lets the material provide a densely textured surface that contrasts with the structures’ surprising lightness. …

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Efficient Organic Rum

by Justin Thomas •

There are three organically produced rums on the market today. Currently, they are only available through dealers in the U.K. However, some specialty retailers in the U.S. are starting to offer these rums too. Papagayo Organic Rum comes from Paraguay, it has organic ingredients giving the rum flavors of vanilla, ginger and even a hint of chili. The sale of …