Drinks Entrepreneurship Sustainability Technology What's New

Eco-Friendly Tea Drops Dissolve Straight Into Hot Water, No Tea Bag Required

As everyone is looking to be more eco-friendly on a day to day basis, one spot to look at that you may not be thinking of is your tea bags. As more than half of all Americans are drinking a cup every day, that adds up to a lot of plastic, which is used to seal each bag of tea leaves.

While there are biodegradable packaging solutions and metallic loose leaf tea infusers you can use, one of the more creative solutions comes in what can be best described as miniature tea bath bombs.

Created by Tea Drops, these unique products dissolve into your hot water in mere moments. They come in different flavors, including turmeric or cardamom, and one is good enough to make an 8-12 ounce mug of strong, aromatic tea.

These come in a compostable packaging, which helps cut down on the traditional plastic and environmental footprint tea bags have. While there is still some waste involved, on average, you’re looking at cutting your waste down by 20-30% compared to conventional tea bags. That, and you don’t have a leftover wet bag of leaves to toss in the trash or get in the way of your sipping either.

You can purchase packs of the Tea Drops for $10, each one containing 10 of the mini bath bombs. That comes out to about a dollar per cup, which is 2-3 times more than the cost per tea bag in a package you can pick up at somewhere Target. Still, for the flavor, environmental awareness, and convenience these come at, it’s not too drastic of a price difference.

Tea Drops are available on the brand’s website, but can also be found in local and natural retailers across the nation.

Feel Good Grocery Restaurants What's New

IKEA Adds New Meatball Alternative Featuring Sustainably Sourced Salmon

IKEA’s newest alternative to their classic Swedish meatballs is made with sustainably sourced salmon, but also utilizes a unique process that helps fight against food waste.

Photo courtesy of IKEA

The furniture superstore already carries salmon filets in various forms across its product lineup, so adding a salmon meatball fits in naturally with their existing offerings. What stands out, though, is the process they went through developing the meatball.

IKEA uses salmon certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council as sustainably sourced, meaning they have restrictions on feed and pollution while encouraging biodiversity. They then worked with their suppliers to focus on obtaining the meat out of the parts of salmon that often don’t make it as filets. By using this spare meat, if you will, to make their meatballs, it helps to reduce waste in fish production and creates a product with a lower-carbon footprint.

From there, IKEA focused on taste, adding in ingredients like lemongrass and seaweed to produce a fragrant and tender salmon meatball that 80% of test consumers enjoyed. They debuted in Portugal as a test market earlier this year, and the feedback was positive enough to encourage a nationwide launch for the United States as a new sustainable meal option.

IKEA’s new salmon creation is now available in participating locations in the USA, where it joins the lineup of standard, chicken, and plant-based meatballs on the IKEA restaurant menu.

Animals Health News

This Upcoming Documentary Wants to Save Our World’s Food Supply

Let’s face it, America, we all know that there are problems and issues when it comes to the production of our food — whether its antibiotics, additives, sanitary conditions, quality of life, pesticides, or any of the other issues that are of concern when it comes to our food, be it produce or livestock.

Photo: Medium

If we continue to grow crops, raise livestock, and eat the way we do, we’re likely to use up the global food and fertile soil supplies by 2050. That means that within the next 35 years, we will lose the ability to adequately feed the entire planet.

One documentary wants to inspire us and our farmers to change the way we eat, grow, and produce our food.

This new documentary, called Sustainable, aims to alter our agricultural practices before irreversible damage is done. It calls for changes in how we use our soil and plant our crops, how we can conserve necessary water to grow enough food to feed everyone, and addresses other major topics like climate change and pesticide use.

Sustainable accomplishes this by telling the story of Marty Travis, a seventh-generation farmer who has pioneered Chicago’s sustainable food movement after “big ag” (Monsanto) ruined his land and the community around him through industrial farming practices. By switching to sustainable farming practices, he was able to revitalize his farm and restore his family’s legacy for his son to continue.

Of course, the issues of farming extend well beyond those of a single farm. Across the world, we are firsthand seeing what our food desires are doing to our climate and soil. Land consistently used to grow cash crops like corn, soy, and wheat are becoming nutrient-starved. Cattle are forced into poor living and sanitary conditions that lead to higher incidences of E.coli and other food-borne pathogen outbreaks. Fresh water for livestock, crops, and humans is seriously depleted every year to raise water-heavy crops and livestock at industrial scales.

It’s great to see an organized movement begin, because to ensure a secure future of food, it’s going to take a massive global effort, and one that Sustainable aims to inspire and launch through their film.

The film will officially be released to the public on VHX February 1st, and later available for purchase on Amazon Video mid-month. iTunes will also start carrying the film in April or May. Screenings of the film are also being organized across the country for a viewing and open discussion of the film.

Hopefully, this documentary is able to accomplish its goal and renew a movement to shape the way our food is grown. The future of our food supply — and the world — depends on their ability to do so.

Hit-Or-Miss News

Dock To Dish L.A. Wants To Eradicate Foreign Fishing For A Good Cause

Any ecologist will tell you that everything, from the tiniest shrimp in the ocean to the sunbathing sea lion, is connected in some way. For years now, it’s been well-documented that over fishing disrupts the natural order of the ocean and can lead to greater global issues.

Regardless, fishing is inevitable. That’s why Dock to Dish L.A. is working with local fishermen to ensure the distance between you and the fish you eat is kept to a minimum. Essentially, Dock to Dish wants to take your fish directly from local fishermen, straight into the kitchen of top local chefs.

“The U.S. imports 90% of its seafood from overseas.” – Dock To Dish L.A.

UPROXX spoke with the organizers behind Dock to Dish who are working to expose the dangers of commercial fishing on a global scale, primarily what is referred to as “illegal, unregulated, and unreported” foreign fishing.

It’s easy to see that fish is a highly demanded food source and has been a reliable practice for survival for centuries. However, due to decades of unregulated fishing practices, safeguards are needed in order to keep moderation in check.

“70 percent of seafood populations are in critical danger due to unsustainable fishing.”  — Dock to Dish

The question becomes, how do you establish a system of checks and balances in a place as vast and lawless as the world’s oceans? It’s impossible to say, but with companies like Dock to Dish working to stabilize local markets, sustainability may still be achievable.

While the selection of fish may be a bit unreliable, the system Dock to Dish is currently implementing may decrease the need for unregulated foreign fishing, hopefully leading to improved fish populations in local waters.


Bodoki Cutting Board Will Solve All Our First World Food Prep Problems

bodoki main

Cutting boards can be such a pain sometimes. You have to wash the whole damn thing to avoid cross contamination, they don’t clean themselves when juices get everywhere and you have to remember which side’s for meat and which side is for product. Lame.

Lucky for us a Kickstarter project is underway that will alleviate all our first world cutting board problems. Bodoki is a reversible cutting board that does it all. It’s marked on each side with a cow head for meat and a carrot for produce, its beveled edges helps force excess liquids into the food grade sealed basin and it’s made from a renewable resource, bamboo. The basin holds up to five cups of liquid ensuring your counters don’t end up soaked with meaty juices.

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The original project goal was $5000 which was raised in a single day. With 10 days remaining Bodoki has already raised four times that amount and currently sits at over $21,000 raised. Right now the only way to get your hands on a Bodoki board is by pledging $39 as part of their “Early Bird Special”. If you miss out on being one of the first 300 to snag the special you’ll have to pledge $55 to guarantee yourself this all-in-one cutting board.

H/T + PicThx Kickstarter

Fast Food

The Simple Pleasures of the New Grilled Chimichurri Salmon Dishes from Rubio’s


Working at a food blog, you come to understand what will and won’t do well on your site. You actively seek out the ostentatious, the bizarre, the HOLY SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS, BATMAN. Little by little, your writing becomes less about celebrating food and more about gawking at it (which is, of course, its own brand of fun). Every once in a while though, you find something that – while not bacon wrapped, nutella-stuffed or Sriracha-drizzled – nevertheless deserves to be shared, on no merit other than sounding absolutely incredible.

Say it with me now. Grilled. Salmon. Chimichurri. Is your mouth watering yet?

Rubio’s, the San Diego-based chain who brought $1 Fish Taco Tuesdays into the mainstream, is now offering new Sustainable Grilled Chimichurri Salmon burritos, tacos and salads for a limited time. As the press release details:

“. . . each item features sustainable, grilled Atlantic salmon topped with Rubio’s chimichurri sauce, a savory blend of chopped basil, parsley, chives, garlic and olive oil. The mouthwatering burrito and taco include fire-roasted corn and Fresno chiles. The burrito comes complete with black beans and salsa fresca, while the taco is topped with crunchy spring mix, butter lettuce and crema. Providing an even lighter option is the salad, made with fresh spring mix and butter lettuce tossed in a chimichurri balsamic vinaigrette dressing and topped with fresh sliced avocados, Fresno chiles, crema and fire-roasted corn.”

This summer, do yourself a favor, at least once. Put down the Waffle Taco and pick up something that sounds good and is kind of good for you. If nothing else, it’ll leave you feeling good about yourself, so you’re free to sneak in that extra Frosty cone for dessert.


College Student Runs Dumpster Diving Cafe with ‘Recycled’ Food


Tufts University student Maximus Thaler has taken frugality to a whole new level by opening up a “freegan” cafe in his apartment that operates on donations and exchanged services rather than price tags. The twist? All food served in the cafe is pulled directly from the trash.

Thaler and other members of The Gleaner’s Kitchen (a Tufts cooperative living house) make nighttime trips to garbage cans and dumpsters throughout the Boston area in search of discarded (but still edible) food to serve in their home-based cafe. Thaler acknowledges that the entire enterprise exists “in a grey area of legality” but insists that he is providing a necessary service to his community, “I eat better out of a dumpster than […] most Tufts students will ever be able to afford.

We’ll be honest: If you can get past the ick factor of dumpster diving, that’s a lot of good-looking free food. And we are all about free food. Props to Thaler for replacing the typical college student cheap dinner of ramen noodles with something environmentally sustainable and delicious. Oh, yum!

H/T + PicThx Kickstarter


McDonald’s Serving Sustainable Fish Now, Still Not Serving Sustainable Beef


McDonald’s USA gets an environmental pat on the back this week for making a move towards sustainability and serving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable fish at all of their U.S. eateries.