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Tuesday
Jun092009

Starbucks plans to remove hfcs and preservatives from bakery foods

Starbucks Corp. plans to revamp it's food offerings by selling baked goods without high-fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors and dyes, and will introduce salads and other items.

The new campaign -- which will be promoted with the tag "Real Food. Simply Delicious" -- follows last year's health and wellness push that added food like oatmeal, smoothies and a protein plate to Starbucks' repertoire.

The ingredient changes, which also include removing preservatives where possible, will affect about 90 percent of the baked goods Starbucks sells and are part of the coffee chain's ongoing efforts to appeal to increasingly health-conscious consumers as recession has damped spending on little luxuries like lattes.

Click to read full article
Tuesday
Jun092009

An Etsy Primer

Etsy.com is a virtual flea market of crafts, art, wearable designs and more. It is one of my favorite places to find interesting and different pieces of work that are unlike any that you will find in a traditional retail store. Think of it as a worldwide arts and crafts sale that never ends. Today I want to showcase just a few  of the MANY recycled or reclaimed craft items on the site. Enjoy!

Need to get rid of that wedding china?


Last week I featured gardening as a great activity to get you into the springtime mood. Now, get your garden organized with plant markers! I love these "upcylcled" ceramic plate markers for your garden. Old china and reused wood come together to create a crafty way to tell your Sage from your Beets. Check them out at Esther Coombs' Etsy shop here.


X-Ray Authors


Feel like jotting down some doctor's notes like they do on the TV? These macabre notebooks are made from X-rays and reused paper that has been printed on one side, making journaling in these sprial bound books a quite interesting experience.


Milk Money


These wallets are made from recycled milk cartons and will hold up just fine - after all they used to contain liquid. No two are alike!


Born Again Leather


Leather scraps, leftover from other projects and bound for the trashcan, have been reworked into these snazzy rings. Great for guys or gals. Even if you are a veg-head and don't eat or use animal products, you have to admit that reusing leather for fashion purposes is better than simply trashing it!


Will that be Cash or Charge?


I adore these bracelets made from old Cash Register keys. There are a variety of bracelets posted on Etsy from this jewelry designer. Each one is totally different.



Take some time and check out all the amazing art on Etsy. I could literally waste hours of my life scouring the site for innovative and interesting uses for old objects. Get inspired and get some original recycled art into your life!
Friday
Jun052009

Pizza Fusion selected as Green Building of America Award-Winning Project

As many of you know, Pizza Fusion is very sensetive to being as environmentally responsible in every aspect of our business.  One area that we really try and focus on is the build out of our restaurants.  We do our best to build every store to the highest standards possible particularly in the areas of energy & water efficiency, materials, natural lighting etc.  We build each restaurant to LEED Standards so that we have the least amount of impact on the planet.  From building our countertops from recycled glass soda and wine bottles to using only reclaimed and FSC certified wood for our tables.

We recently opened our location in Naperville, IL and I came across a nice write-up about that project.  They have been selected for a "Green Building of America Award-Winning Project" award.
Comprehensive Construction Services Inc. of Naperville has completed the construction of Pizza Fusion, an organic, Earth-friendly pizza restaurant at West 75th Street and Beebe Drive in Naperville. The restaurant was constructed using green construction technologies employed by CCSI such as use of recycled building materials, air filtration to keep HVAC units clean, installation of energy-efficient fixtures and equipment, and recycling of all construction waste.

You can read the full story here: http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/business/1607930,6_3_NA05_BIZBRIEFS_S1-090605.article
Thursday
Jun042009

Pizza "Wars" for a good cause!

So I was awoken this morning, not by my dogs or an alarm clock, but by my iPhone buzzing with a schlew of Twitter alerts.  As I reached for my phone I realized that there was also a couple of new text messages from a friend saying "Check out Twitter, you've been challenged to a bet by another pizza place... but they are in Los Angeles".   I must admit that I was in no mood to get into a "Pizza War" with another pizza place, especially at 6am.  When I finally pulled up our Twitter account, I realized that this was one war I was willing to wage. See the #pizzawar , as it is being coined on Twitter, was a great idea thought up by our (new) friends from Fresh Brothers Pizza where they would challenge a pizza joint in the city of the team that was currently playing their L.A. Lakers.   The bet is $500 for the overall series win... and here's the good part... the $500 goes to the charity of the choice of the winner.  How do you say no to a bet like that? (does anyone really lose?)

We gladly accepted their little wager and proudly named Autism Speaks as our charity of choice!   I've manifested a 4-3 victory by The Orlando Magic and can't wait to tell our new friends where to mail the check to Autism Speaks! Our good friends at Fresh Brothers' charity of choice is the 'South Bay Schools' in their local community.  We love working with other socially conscious businesses and it's obvious we've found one!

Check out some of the noise by following us on Twitter.com/pizzafusion

Since I am a busy eco-pizza-warrior, I must get back to work and start spreading the word about our Santa Monica, CA location opening in a couple of weeks!  I suppose we technically could end up donating money to a school in the backyard of one of our stores too... talk about "everyone wins"!

*** UPDATE ***
I want to give kudos to Abo's Pizza in Denver for getting this #pizzawar started!  They represented the Nugget's while playing the Laker's, so when we win, it will be an awesome display of "Paying it Forward"
Thursday
May282009

Gluten Free, Not Gluten Freaky: Some Scary News... and What to Do About It

Here's a scary piece of news for those of us on a gluten free diet: A recent Study suggests that the gluten free diet not only reduces the amount of beneficial bacteria in our guts, and increases the yucky bacteria like E Coli - but it also lowers our immune function!

GULP

So what's the solution?

Well, for non-vegans without a dairy intolerance, there's plenty of commercially available gut-health oriented yogurts. Eating one or two servings of some of these new probiotic wunderfinds should help clear up at least half of the problem.  You have to be careful, though. A few, like Activia Yogurt, are not gluten free, which would kind of be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire for our gut health.

Vegans or those of us with a dairy intolerance don't have to run about in despair, however - there are a ton of commercially available, vegan probiotic cultures and powders out there (supplements) that we can take straight or use to make our own nifty, dairy-free yogurts and sour creams.

In addition, I'd probably recommend using a high-quality supplement to boost immune function, eat lots and lots of fresh fruits and veggies (we're talking 10 servings a day, optimally!), making sure you get your full 8 hours of sleep, and reducing your refined sugar content. All of these courses of action should help your immune system function at its best.

So, what supplements would be helpful to boost immune function? There are a ton out there that claim to boost immune function. The ones I'd place my money on, though, are the ones that have shown some success in HIV/AIDS patients and people with cancer. I'm thinking of:

  • Viola yesdoensis

  • Mushroom derived immune enhancers

  • Vitamin A + a broad spectrum multivitamin containing B-complex vitamins, and vitamins C and E

  • Zinc

  • Selenium

  • DHEA


Hey - and before you run off and do any of this, remember that I'm not a medical professional and not giving official medical advice. Supplementation with any natural substance can be deadly if done wrong, especially in substaqnces like Vitamin A or selenium.  Be sure to check with your G.E. and nutritionist to ensure safe supplement dosing and to see if a nutritional protocol would be beneficial for you.