{NuVinci Cycling} NuVinci® Cycling Introduces New and Improved Harmony™ Automatic-Shifting Product

Much awaited new version of the product features robust hardware components and is now available to dealers and OEs

 ZWOLLE, NETHERLANDS / CEDAR PARK, TEXAS – October 18, 2016 – The upgraded

Harmony automatic-shifting product is a result of more than four years’ worth of usage data, reflected from field experience and analyses, combined with internal validation data. It includes new sensors which improve Harmony’s accuracy and reliability as well as the longevity of the entire system. While the product performance in general has been exceptional, the improvement of these components will make Harmony even more stable.

In the process of designing the new version of Harmony, NuVinci Cycling, a division of Fallbrook Technologies Inc., set an aggressive goal of zero failures for the new key components. As a result, the life expectancy of the new sensors, compared to the old ones, increased by an order of magnitude. “We completed all pre-launch product reliability testing with no failures, and were not able to induce any failures in the new sensors in any of our tests,” says Brian Sweet, Manager of Engineering Design at Fallbrook.

Harmony will again deliver on NuVinci Cycling’s mission “to move people better.” Benefits include continuous stepless and automatic shifting, effortless shifting even under load, greater gear ratio range than many conventional shifting systems as well as comfortable pedaling at your desired cadence.

The new version supersedes the existing version of Harmony and is identified by the serial number being located on the bottom of the unit instead of on the back. The overall branding and naming towards the end-user will stay the same.

A video with instructions on how to install the new Harmony interface is available by visiting: www.nuvincicycling.com/en/video-gallery/installation-of-harmony-hubinterface.html. In case more support is needed, the technical service team can be contacted on +31 38 7200711.

With the new and upgraded Harmony, NuVinci Cycling is looking forward to once again enable the unique NuVinci Optimized™ riding experience that riders have come to love.


 About NuVinci® Cycling

NuVinci Cycling, a division of Fallbrook Technologies Inc., moves people better through its product portfolio of smooth, stepless, automatic and integrated shifting products for bicycles and eBikes. The NuVinci technology incorporated in continuously variable transmissions (CVT) for bicycles has been providing the best rider experiences since 2006. NuVinci Optimized cycling products include the Nfinity and Harmony group sets, utilizing the latest versions of the transmissions and controllers. Products from NuVinci Cycling, the leader in CVTs for bikes and eBIkes, are available globally in over 100 bicycle brands. For more information, visit www.nuvincicycling.com.

 About Fallbrook Technologies

Fallbrook Technologies is the inventor of the revolutionary NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) technology, which enables performance and efficiency improvements for any machine that uses geared transmission systems – from urban mobility vehicles to cars and trucks and from industrial equipment to marine applications. Fallbrook has a unique collective development model and community through which NuVinci technology licensees share enhancements, which adds to the value of the technology and accelerates product development. This approach enables forward-looking companies, who wish to create visionary new products with NuVinci technology, to move quickly from concept to market commercialization. Fallbrook is based in Cedar Park near Austin, Texas, USA and holds rights to over 800 patents and patent applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.fallbrooktech.com.

By Anne Guethoff for NuVinci Cycling and Trammie Anderson for Fallbrook Technologies, Inc.

(Techcrunch.com} BrightFarms raises $30.1 million to set up futuristic greenhouses across the U.S.

Agriculture tech startup BrightFarms has raised $30.1 million in Series C funding to bring its high-tech greenhouses, and fresh produce, across the U.S.

The company is on a mission to make all fresh fruit and vegetables locally, rather than require them to be hauled from long distances or imported from overseas before they are sold at groceries.

Taking a page from the playbook of solar power providers in the U.S., BrightFarms offers customers a long-term, fixed rate on the salad greens and tomatoes it grows in its greenhouses to grocers.

The startup’s CEO Paul Lightfoot explained that after BrightFarms locks in a “produce purchasing agreement,” it raises funds from various sources including economic development programs and different banks or equity firms to build a new greenhouse.

In effect, a big chunk of the company’s cost of goods is already committed revenue before they open up a greenhouse’s doors and start growing.

The new round of funding was led by Catalyst Investors, and joined by BrightFarms earlier backers WP Global Partners and NGEN.

Catalyst’s Tyler Newton said his firm backed BrightFarms largely due to its business model innovation and ability to “out-execute” other food producers in the U.S.

Consumers definitely want to buy groceries made by local businesses, and to help support jobs that pay a local living wage in their own back yard. According to research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, local food sales totaled $12 billion in 2014 and are expected to grow to $20 billion by 2019.

“Where the seasons don’t cooperate, we just didn’t have the option to buy local before. So that feels good. But when you taste a tomato or some arugula from BrightFarms, and compare it to something that’s been shipped from out West, there is an obvious taste advantage, too. That’s what grocers want,” Newton said.

BrightFarms is going after a huge market that doesn’t have a lot of competition outside of the states of California and Arizona, today.

America’s farms contribute $177.2 billion, or about 1 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product each year according to the most recent available calculations also from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


And 90% of the salad greens consumed in the U.S. are produced in California and Arizona, then shipped across the country or exported out of it.

Other agriculture tech startups like AeroFarms or FreightFarms are building out indoor and container-based farms, in urban areas to meet rising consumer demands for locally-produced, and delicious fresh foods.

But Lightfoot believes that his company’s greenhouses – which take advantage of natural sunlight, obviously—can prove more environmentally sustainable and cost-efficient than indoor farms, and produce more supply than container-based and rooftop farms.

He says that’s because BrightFarms controlled environment greenhouses don’t need to use as much electricity for grow lights and temperature controls than indoor farms. Both are significantly more water efficient than traditional farms, even those using precise irrigation systems.

So far, BrightFarms operates three greenhouses, each employing 25 full-time workers, in the greater Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Chicago metro areas.

If drought conditions continue, Lightfood said, the company could someday move into the “salad bowl” state of California, or other agricultural hubs, displacing traditional, and often water-intensive, farms.

But for now it will focus on metro areas where demand for fresh produce is high but there isn’t a lot of arable land or weather to support traditional farms.

BrightFarms’ customers and partners have so far included grocers like Kroger, Ahold USA, Wegmans and ShopRite.

Besides using the new Series C capital to build out additional greenhouses, Lightfoot says the company will explore new crops and is likely to start growing peppers and strawberries in the near future.

By Lora Kolodny for Techcrunch.com

{NEXTracker.com} NEXTracker Delivers India’s Largest Solar Tracker Plant for Adani

FREMONT, CA, USA & AHMEDABAD, INDIA, SEPTEMBER 1, 2016 — NEXTracker™, a Flex company, announced today it has delivered its award-winning PV technology to India’s largest solar tracker power plant, in collaboration with its customer, Adani Power Ltd. Located in the State of Punjab, the project is 105 MW and is already 50% installed and commissioned. This is the first phase of a strategic agreement between Adani and NEXTracker to supply tracker technology, design consultation, installation and commissioning support to Adani’s PV power plant deployments in India and around the world.

“We are playing an active role in supporting India’s National Action Plan for Climate Change to help our country reach 100 GW by 2022 by deploying 10 GW of solar in that time,” said Jayant Parimal, CEO of Adani Green Energy. “We’re very pleased to be incorporating NEXTracker’s advanced solar tracking system into our utility-scale PV projects; their high quality components and solid financial backing by Flex are important aspects of our solar strategy. After evaluating NEXTracker’s technology, we found the system’s balanced design and robust wind capability are ideal for our environmental and soil conditions, and will help maximize energy yield and cost savings.”

“Adani is a visionary energy and infrastructure firm that’s focused on ensuring that development – especially in emerging economies – is sustainable; their leadership has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to deploying clean technologies to meet the world’s growing energy needs,” noted NEXTracker CEO Dan Shugar. “We’re honored to be partnering with Adani to design and deploy high-performance utility-scale solar power projects.

India is poised for intensive ground mount solar deployment over the next decade according to a recent report by Deutche Bank Market Research, with 100-fold solar industry growth over the last five years. As a more modest figure, Greentech Media estimates that ground mount solar installations with solar trackers will reach 3GW by 2020, or 25%[1] of total installed ground mount installations (estimated at 11.7GW).  Regardless, demand for solar is increasing at an aggressive pace and the prospects for wider PV adoption in India are promising thanks to favorable government policies and the region’s high irradiance.

NEXTracker’s balanced design, advanced wind capabilities, and rapid stowing features are ideal for this region known for its high winds and desert soil conditions. NEXTracker also has fewer foundations and assembly points, helping mitigate geotechnical risk and accelerate project construction schedules. With over 4 GW of tracker systems delivered to date, NEXTracker’s PV system technology, coupled with Adani’s extensive experience in energy infrastructure projects, aims to serve as a model for deployment of solar in India.

About NEXTracker

NEXTracker, a Flex company, advances the power plant of the future with advanced PV system innovations that empower solar power plants of all sizes to increase performance and reduce costs. With over 4GW of PV tracker delivered, NEXTracker is globally recognized for delivering the most advanced solar solutions for hundreds of projects across five continents. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, NEXTracker has offices in India, China, Chile, Brazil, and Australia. Power on with us at nextracker.com and follow us on Twitter @NEXTracker. 

About Adani Group

The Adani Group is one of India’s leading companies with revenue of over $10 billion. Founded in 1988, Adani has grown to become a global integrated infrastructure player with businesses in key industry verticals – resources, logistics, energy and agriculture. The Group’s integrated model is well adapted to the infrastructure challenges of operating in emerging economies.

In renewable energy sector, Adani has close to 800 MW renewable energy projects in operation. Solar capacity includes a 648 MW solar power project at Ramanathapuram district in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which is currently world’s largest single location solar power plant. The company has a pipeline of 1.2GW Solar PV and 300 MW Wind Power Projects in India and is set to become the largest renewable power generation company in India.

By Kristan Kirsh for NEXTracker

{Prweb.com} HYLA Wins 2nd Compass Intelligence Award for Recycling/Reclamation Innovation & Support Vendor

HYLA Mobile has announced it has been awarded the Compass Intelligence award for the second time for top company in Recycling/Reclamation Innovation & Support.


HYLA Mobile has announced it has been awarded the Compass Intelligence award for the second time for top company in Recycling/Reclamation Innovation & Support, which is part of the Bamboo Mobile awards honoring the top vendors and companies in recycling, green technology, building sustainable technology, and improving the environment. HYLA also won this top honor for the 2015 year. The Compass Intelligence awards are selected and voted on by industry-leading press, editors, and analysts who cover the mobile and wireless market.

HYLA Mobile is a global leader in collecting and re-distributing used mobile devices on behalf of operators, retailers, OEMs and insurance companies around the world. From an environmental and sustainability perspective, the growth in the used device market can only be great news. HYLA Mobile is the world’s largest developer of technology and services that enable sustainable reuse of mobile devices and generate new revenue streams for the entire mobile ecosystem. It has collected more than 39 million devices since its inception seven years ago.

“HYLA Mobile’s breadth of carrier and electronics retailer customers showcase its dominance in this market,” said Stephanie Atkinson, CEO of Compass Intelligence. “Their commitment to ongoing improvements and the focus on sustainability in the device reclamation ecosystem further illustrates their exceptional best-in-class services.”

“We are honored to be among the great innovators to win the Compass Intelligence award,” said HYLA Mobile President & CEO Biju Nair. “This confirms our dedication to improving the mobile technology industry while it is going through a very important transformation and adopting new business models. Our solutions help pave the way for large new revenue streams for our customers and much improved customer experience along with reduced churn.”

HYLA Mobile is also currently managing the device recycling and trade-in program for Facebook: https://smartphonerecycling.hylamobile.com. The key driver for Facebook is to create sustainability awareness, reduce electronic waste, and provide emerging markets with an affordable alternatives to new smartphones. Facebook is keen to connect the unconnected and to ensure that those subscribers who connect for the first time receive the best possible experience.

About HYLA Mobile
HYLA Mobile is one of the world's leading providers of products and services that capture, extend and optimize the life and value of used mobile devices. Backed by Venture Capital firms Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Silver Lake, OpenAir Equity Partners, RRE Ventures and others, HYLA is transforming the wireless ecosystem by helping consumers realize and immediately take advantage of the residual value of their used electronic devices, and is providing carriers, OEMs, retailers, insurers and online brands with a reliable and responsible way of collecting, processing and distributing these devices. HYLA Mobile's approach delivers economic, environmental and social benefits to the partners, consumers, and communities it serves. Since its founding in 2009, HYLA Mobile has completed more than 39 million mobile device trade-in transactions. To learn more about how HYLA Mobile is changing the way people think about used mobile devices, visit http://www.HYLAMobile.com.

By Sandia Bratt for Hyla Mobile

{Encycle Press Release} Encycle’s EASE™ reduces stress and utility costs for Harkins Theaters

Encycle optimizes HVAC energy savings for facility managers, and provides valuable insights to service technicians

San Marcos, CA, September 1, 2016 – Harkins Theaters is a family owned and operated business, based in Arizona since 1933. With thirty locations in five states, Harkins Theaters is one of the largest family-owned theater chains in North America. Harkins Theaters’ Director of Facilities, Fred DiNapoli, who oversees all their locations, is faced with managing these facilities by himself. Thus, Fred has little time to optimize HVAC performance. Using EASE™ (Energy-as-a-Service by Encycle), he was able to substantially reduce Harkins’ utility costs with virtually no impact on his work load.

Mr. DiNapoli explains, “With Encycle’s controllers installed, my HVAC units are working smarter than ever, reducing our peak demand and consumption without the need for me to monitor or adjust settings. EASE frees up my time to concentrate on other facets of operations. Encycle also provides my service technicians with valuable real-time insight into HVAC performance. It just works!”

Encycle initially installed Swarm Logic™ controllers in Harkins’ theater complexes in Moreno Valley and Chino Hills (California). Through the use of various load management strategies, Encycle’s system smooths out daytime demand, lowering monthly peaks. Its sub-metering and scheduling capabilities are used to identify and implement consumption reduction strategies.

Encycle’s CEO, Bob Chiste, stated: “Using these strategies, Encycle provided Harkins Theaters with solid savings of over $25,000 per year at two locations, and we are now in discussions with Harkins about utilizing our EASE model across their entire chain. We provide our EASE service at several hundred facilities, including theaters, retail and mall operations, and distribution centers.”

About Encycle

Encycle (www.encycle.com) provides unique benefits to a number of Fortune 500 companies. The Energy as a Service by Encycle (“EASE”) solution maximizes the performance of HVAC systems to save commercial and industrial companies money while reducing their carbon footprint. Based on patented Swarm Logic technology, Encycle's platform uses biomimicry techniques to reduce HVAC energy costs, participate in Demand Response programs, and gain valuable insight into HVAC performance. EASE is simple and easy to install, optionally integrates with leading IoT solutions, and delivers ROIs that far exceed most solar, storage and lighting initiatives.

Encycle’s offices are located in Toronto (Canada), San Marcos (California), and Taunton (UK). Encycle, Swarm Logic, Swarm Energy Management, SwarmStat, OpenStat, and Swarm Logic Open are registered or pending trademarks of Encycle Corporation.

Encycle Press Release

{Fallbrook Technologies Press Release} NuVinci® Cycling Launches Web Platform To Enhance Support For Business Partners

Specific areas provide tailored support materials for OEMs, dealers, service partners, and media.

ZWOLLE, NL / CEDAR PARK, TX – August 31, 2016 – NuVinci® Cycling, a division of Fallbrook Technologies Inc. (Fallbrook), announced today the launch of a new web platform to expand support for business partners.

“The continued enhancement of our support organization and capabilities, both online and offline, has been a key part of our plan for NuVinci Cycling. We strive to be both a support and sales leader in the cycling industry,” said David Hancock, Fallbrook’s executive vice president for NuVinci Cycling. “Today’s announcements add to an already significant base and there is more to come.”

The NuVinci Cycling website now includes a login area with four different access levels, each with tailored content to meet the specific needs of the following groups: OEMS, dealers, service partners and media. To obtain access, register at www.nuvincicycling.com/en/registration.html.

The free registration provides exclusive information for each user group such as service documentation, warranty information, product manuals, price lists, marketing materials and media releases. In addition, new videos with up-to-date assembly and maintenance instructions are now available in English with Chinese, Dutch, English, French or German subtitles.

 About NuVinci® Cycling

NuVinci Cycling, a division of Fallbrook Technologies Inc., moves people better through its product portfolio of smooth, stepless, automatic and integrated shifting products for bicycles and eBikes. The NuVinci technology incorporated in continuously variable transmission (CVT) for bicycles have been providing the best rider experiences since 2006. NuVinci Optimized cycling products include the Nfinity and Harmony group sets, utilizing the latest versions of the transmissions and controllers. Products from NuVinci Cycling, the leader in CVT’s for bikes and ebikes, are available globally in over 100 bicycle brands. For more information, visit www.nuvincicycling.com.

 About Fallbrook Technologies

Fallbrook Technologies is the inventor of the revolutionary NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) technology, which enables performance and efficiency improvements for any machine that uses geared transmission systems – from cars and trucks to industrial equipment to marine applications. Fallbrook, with its unique collective development model and community, enables forward-looking companies to quickly move from concept to market commercialization. NuVinci Cycling, a division of Fallbrook, has supplied products to the bicycle industry for over a decade. Fallbrook is based in Cedar Park near Austin, Texas, USA and holds rights to over 800 patents and patent applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.fallbrooktech.com.

Fallbrook Technologies, Inc. Press Release

{Fallbrook Technologies Press Release} NuVinci Cycling Introduces N380se Transmission and Nfinity One-Turn Controller


- Products launched at Eurobike 2016 showcase extension of product relevance to more suportive and non-eBike models - 

ZWOLLE, NETHERLANDS / CEDAR PARK, TEXAS – August 30, 2016 – NuVinci Cycling, a division of Fallbrook Technologies Inc., announced today two new products, the N380SE transmission and the Nfinity one-turn controller, to be launched at EUROBIKE 2016 (31 August - 4 September) in Friedrichschafen, Germany.

NuVinci Cycling, known for creating an enhanced and unique rider experience through its NuVinci Optimized™ cycling products, is now expanding on its segment-leading product lines. These products include stepless manual or automatic transmissions and controllers for bikes and eBikes.


The new N380SE transmission features an upgraded finish and is a “Special Edition” version of the very successful N380. The N380 was launched in 2015 and is included in the Nfinity™ and Harmony™ group sets.

The upgraded finish on the N380SE replaces decals with pad printing and utilizes a minimalist black paint combination of matte and glossy. With its modern design aesthetic, the product will be attractive for use on a wide range of eBikes and bicycles, especially for models designed with a younger and more sportive market in mind. The N380SE matches the technical specifications of the N380. It offers a comfortable 380% ratio range and can shift under loads of up to 80Nm continuous torque, 200kg vehicle weight. It can be used with standard and 350W speed pedelecs. The N380SE transmission is available in disc or rim brake configurations.

 Nfinity One-Turn Controller

The new Nfinity one-turn controller offers a quick response to a small shifting movement. For the rider, this means shifting through the whole ratio range becomes possible with “one turn,” without having to take one’s hand off the handlebar. This is particularly important in sportive environments and delivers on NuVinci Cycling’s mission “to move people better.” The Nfinity one-turn controller is compatible with all three currently offered controllers: C3™, C8™ and C8s™. The grip turn ratio is reduced by 60% in comparison to the standard Nfinity shifter and a snap retainer is included as a security feature.

“Our products are very established in the higher-end eBike market: our technology can already be found in over 100 bicycle brands,” says Richard Hilgart, product manager at NuVinci Cycling. “Our new product launches at EUROBIKE 2016, and others planned in our medium-term roadmap, are expanding our relevance to non-eBike models, as well as to the more sportive and volume-oriented market segments.” NuVinci Cycling invites retailers, OEMs and end-users to see and demo its new products at EUROBIKE 2016 at booth number A2-314.

 About NuVinci® Cycling

NuVinci Cycling, a division of Fallbrook Technologies Inc., moves people better through its product portfolio of smooth, stepless, automatic and integrated shifting products for bicycles and eBikes. The NuVinci technology incorporated in continuously variable transmission (CVT) for bicycles have been providing the best rider experiences since 2006. NuVinci Optimized cycling products include the Nfinity and Harmony group sets, utilizing the latest versions of the transmissions and controllers. Products from NuVinci Cycling, the leader in CVT’s for bikes and ebikes, are available globally in over 100 bicycle brands. For more information, visit www.nuvincicycling.com.

 About Fallbrook Technologies

Fallbrook Technologies is the inventor of the revolutionary NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) technology, which enables performance and efficiency improvements for any machine that uses geared transmission systems – from cars and trucks to industrial equipment to marine applications. Fallbrook, with its unique collective development model and community enables forward looking companies to quickly move from concept to market commercialization. NuVinci Cycling, a division of Fallbrook, has supplied products to the bicycle industry for over a decade. Fallbrook is based in Cedar Park near Austin, Texas, USA and holds rights to over 800 patents and patent applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.fallbrooktech.com.

Press Release by Fallbrook Technologies, Inc.

{Encycle Press Release} Allen Theatres uses EASE as its cross-portfolio HVAC Management System

Encycle Corp. simplifies HVAC operations, saving valuable time while reducing utility bills

San Marcos, CA, Aug 30, 2016 -- Allen Theatres, established in 1912, owns cinemas across New Mexico and Colorado. They were seeking simple solutions to reduce their utility costs and the time required to manage their buildings.

Before Encycle™, Allen Theatres’ IT Department Manager Charles Green drove out to each of the 3 locations near their head office when updating HVAC schedules for special events. Each site used a different HVAC control system, none of which provided remote web access. At some sites, he even had to set thermostats individually.

 In 2010, Allen Theatres installed Encycle at three locations in Las Cruces, NM. Encycle’s EASE (Energy-as-a-Service by Encycle™) provided Mr. Green with more visibility into his HVAC performance than ever before. He now enjoys using EASE’s portal to remotely manage his sites, regardless of variations in HVAC control systems at each site.

 “EASE makes HVAC operation quick and painless while adding thousands of dollars to our bottom line. Encycle’s easy-to-use portal allows me to focus my time on core theatre operations,” said Charles. This past summer, New Mexico experienced over 25 days of +100°F weather. EASE continued to maintain comfort while achieving substantial savings.

 “Theaters continue to be an excellent vertical for EASE, where we consistently demonstrate exceptional IRRs for our customers,” said Bob Chiste, Encycle’s CEO. Due to the success of the initial installations, Allen Theatres rolled out Encycle at eight additional locations. With the most recent full-year savings nearing $50,000, Allen Theaters projects at least a quarter of a million dollars in savings over the next five years.

 About Encycle

 Encycle (www.encycle.com) provides unique benefits to a number of Fortune 500 companies. The Energy-as-a-Service by Encycle (“EASE”) solution maximizes the performance of HVAC systems to save commercial and industrial companies money while reducing their carbon footprint. Based on patented Swarm Logic™ technology, Encycle uses biomimicry techniques to reduce HVAC energy costs, participate in Demand Response programs and gain valuable insight into HVAC performance. EASE is simple and easy to install, optionally integrates with leading IoT solutions, and delivers ROIs that exceed most solar, storage and lighting initiatives.

Encycle's offices are located in Toronto (Canada), San Marcos (California), and Taunton (UK). Encycle, Energy-as-a-Service by Encycle, Swarm Logic, Swarm Energy Management, SwarmStat, and Swarm Logic Open are registered or pending trademarks of Encycle Corporation.

Press Release by Encycle Corporation

{Sustainable Food News} Organic, raw snacks maker launches new brand

Two Moms in the Raw, Inc. has launched a new brand of certified-organic snacks made with raw ingredients called Soul Sprout.

Based in Longmont, Colo., the company's snacks, including organic granola bars, nut bars, almond butter truffles, grain-free cereal and almond crackers, are made with organic, sprouted nuts, seeds and grains that have been soaked in water to activate nutrition-boosting enzymes and make them easier to absorb in the bloodstream.

The snacks also contain organic blueberries, cranberries, golden berries and goji berries, as well as herbs and spices.

The company said sprouted foods are "considered to be gentler on the digestive tract, making them a potentially better option for people who are managing certain health conditions through nutrition." The snacks do not contain gluten, wheat, soy, dairy and sugar.

The variety of products, sold at natural grocers nationwide, Amazon.com and the company's website, include:

  • Sprouted Granola Bars ($5.99 per box of six): Bring on the Blueberry, Cacao Nib Crunch, Cranberry Chia Crunch, Gojiberry Triple Yum-Yum, Sweet-N-Tart Goldenberry
  • Sprouted Nut Bars ($2.39 - $2.69 per bar): Charming Cherry Chocolate, Cranberry Crush, Gotta Getta Gojiberry, Go For Goldenberry, Blueberry Burst, Wow Cacao Nib
  • Sprouted Almond Butter Truffles ($3.39 – $3.69 per unit): Cacao Almond, Cayenne Cacao, Cinnamon-ilicious, Green Tea Vanilla
  • Sprouted Almond Crackers ($6.99 per box): Jive’N Chive & Onion, Sweet on You Graham, Spicy Chipotle Pepper, Zesty Italian Herb
  • Sprouted Grain Free Cereal ($9.99 per box): Original

By Sustainable Food News

{datacenternews.asia} Data center management via single pane-of-glass

Nlyte Software’s new offering provides a single pane-of-glass view across all data center operations including ITSM processes and data center asset management.

The company says Nlyte 8 aims to further bridge the operation gap between IT and facility needs, by providing both organisations a single portal view to share information.

In doing so, Nlyte Software says it optimizes the physical infrastructure and lays the foundation for software defined data centers.

Nlyte 8 enables users to seamlessly move between ITSM solutions, asset lifecycle management details and facilities resources, while viewing historical or live information for current or predictive planning needs.

Other new functionality includes broader and deeper integration with ITSM systems, expanded location metadata, improved data center audit compliance capabilities and improved multi-tenancy.

Nlyte says that software defined data centers create highly virtualized IT environments that depend on the underlying data center infrastructure to be consistent and highly available.

The company adds that without accurate visibility of the assets within the data center, the resources those assets consume, and the changes being made to the overall environment, outages can occur which can negatively affect software defined data center.

Robert Neave, co-founder and CTO of Nlyte Software, says mission-critical facility operators are seeking fully automated software defined data centers, but find it difficult to achieve.

“Nlyte 8 addresses this issue by providing access to all data sources, historically or in real time, that relate to data center operations,” he explains.

“By doing so, Nlyte 8 increases organizations’ operational agility, while meeting the criteria for software defined data centers.”

By Sam Worthington for datacenternews.asia

{Fortune.com} 7 World-Changing Companies to Watch

Startups and small businesses with great problem-solving ideas.

A company doesn’t have to be especially big to have a big impact on the planet. Our On the Cusp list honors smaller companies, creative subsidiaries of bigger ones, and newer ­initiatives—spotting some worthy corporate efforts that may someday change the way you do business. See the companies that did make our Change the World list here.

 West Elm (U.S.)

The Brooklyn-based home-decor company, a unit of Williams-­Sonoma, has made “impact sourcing” its mantra. That means ensuring a living wage—plus a premium for each item they produce—to its global network of artisans and factory workers. West Elm has pledged to make 40% of its product assortment Fair Trade Certified by 2019.

CJ Group (South Korea)

In 2013 the conglomerate gambled that Korean ideals of empowering communities economically would go over well overseas. It focused on Vietnam’s Ninh Thuan village, where CJ taught farmers to grow Korean red chili and refurbished the irrigation system. The result: a great crop and a nearly fivefold increase in farmers’ income.

Revolution Foods (U.S.)

It’s a culinary miracle: Revolution Foods makes school lunches that are junk-free, freshly prepared, and locally made, while staying within public school ­districts’ ultra-tight budgets. The Oakland-based company is now a $125 million business operating in 1,600 schools, and its packaged meals sell in grocery stores in 44 states and via Amazon.

H&M (Sweden)

Earlier this year the retailer and fast-fashion pioneer articulated a startling vision: “100% circularity,” doing business exclusively with renewable energy and materials. Skeptics laughed, but H&M, which has already reduced its environmental footprint, has the size, scale, and cachet to change the clothing industry’s planet-punishing style.

Bit Source (U.S.)

Coal mining and coding have a lot in common, says Bit Source cofounder Charles “Rusty” Justice: “You can’t have bad habits or take shortcuts.” The Pikeville, Ky., company has trained 10 jobless mining veterans in website design and management. It recently landed its first Fortune 500 client—a hopeful sign in hard-pressed Appalachia.

TerraCycle (U.S.)

This Trenton company runs recycling programs for major corporations, turning seemingly unrecyclable goods—Brita filters, cigarette butts, Sharpie pens—into finished products or salable plastics. The $18.8 million business operates in 20 countries and boasts clients like L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, and Colgate.

Coyote Logistics (U.S.)

It’s the Uber of logistics: The Chicago company’s software connects shippers with a network of 40,000 truckers across North America. The result is more efficient use of vehicles and lower carbon emissions. Now that Coyote has been acquired by UPS, of which it’s now a subsidiary, its impact is likely to be supersized. 

By Matthew Heimer, Erika Fry and Jonathan Chew for Fortune.com

{Project Nosh} Two Moms Gives Birth to Soul Sprout

As competition ratchets up for many of the niche brands founded in the early wave of natural products, the choice today is either innovate or become irrelevant. Such is the case with snack brand Two Moms in the Raw, which after 10 years is relaunching as Soul Sprout.

It’s not just a new name, however: the brand also has new leadership team, new formulation and new goal of appealing to a more mainstream consumer.

Matt Fuller, the former president of Bare Snacks, is now running the company as CEO. Fuller joined as an advisor in Spring 2015 at the behest of then-minority investor NGEN and the leadership team (which has since mostly departed). In the fourth quarter, NGEN also increased its investment in the company, becoming the majority shareholder.

The former husband and wife team that started the brand, Shari and Greg Leidich, are no longer involved in day-to-day operations but remain as minority shareholders. Shari Leidich departed the brand early this year before Expo West.

“I was very excited to remain part of the company, but the company was just going in a different direction and vision,” Leidich said. “It was time for me to step down and start a new venture.”

The recent changes started roughly two years ago, when the company decided to cut product sizes in order to drop the unit price. The resulting stocking issues (due to new UPC codes) and loss of sales were a struggle for the brand to overcome.

The decision was made to grow sales by changing the company direction. Now the brand is ready to make its new debut — no longer as a gluten-free specialty brand, but a brand for all health conscious consumers.

“My intention was really to fill in a niche and it just happened that this niche crossed over into conventional and a mainstream palate. But it was always a niche,” said Leidich. “This team wants to make it much more mainstream and accessible…which is very exciting.”

The new name, said Fuller, conveys the sprouted benefits and should appeal to a broader range of consumers. Unlike its previous moniker which was found to be confusing and alienated some male consumers.

“What we really wanted to focus on was what was really impactful,” said Fuller. “The fact that we are plant-powered, organic, great tasting snacks that are sprouted, that’s the real powerful message.”

Choosing to focus on sprouted and plant-based was a strategic choice. “There are a lot of health benefits that get bandied about in the natural world,” Rosemary Ripley, Managing Director at NGEN said, “We wanted to make sure, as we invested more into their new brand, that there were real, not just perceived, health benefits in sprouted.”

With a new focus, the product is also shifting where it’s merchandised. Several retailers, including Whole Foods, have done away with their raw sets and Soul Sprout will now be on shelf in traditional sets. There will be more competition for the brand, but also more exposure.

Although there have been formulation and processing changes to improve taste and texture, the brand is staying true to using “low and slow” heat to remove moisture but keep nutritional benefits.

Soul Sprout is launching with all of the same product skus that were under the Two Moms brand. Because pack size and products aren’t changing, the brand was also able to keep the same retailers and UPC codes to avoid more stocking issues.

The shift, said Fuller, has been met with a positive response, and that it has landed retailers that wouldn’t have stocked the older brand. If ”One of the new retailers is Barnes and Noble College bookstores, where Fuller says the brand will be able to get in front of millennial consumers.

For its loyal fans though, Fuller says not to worry, it’s just the next evolution of their beloved brand. 

“We’re continuing on the mission that was started 10 years ago,” Fuller said. “That nutritional component, we’re not going away from that. That legacy doesn’t go away just because the business is evolving. We’re true to that.”

By Carol Ortenberg for Project Nosh

{businesswire.com} Soul Sprout™ Feeds the Growing Need for Plant-Powered Organic and Sprouted Snacks

LONGMONT, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Originally founded as Two Moms in the Raw, Soul Sprout™ launches as the next generation, offering great-tasting snacks made with organic, non-GMO sprouted and raw ingredients that nourish the body and soul. Soul Sprout snacks are packed with plant-based nutrition from organic nuts, seeds, grains, vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices, and they’re free of gluten, wheat, soy, dairy and sugar.

“More and more people are discovering the power of eating a plant-based diet, particularly one that centers on organic and sprouted ingredients,” said Matt Fuller, CEO of Soul Sprout. “At Soul Sprout, we craft delicious organic snacks packed with lively, sprouted ingredients to help you feel great, heal yourself when things get out of balance and function at your highest level. We call that Accelerated Nutrition.”

Soul Sprout uses sprouted nuts, seeds and grains, which have been soaked in water to activate beneficial enzymes that give the food its nutritional boost. Fruits like organic blueberries, cranberries, golden berries and goji berries, often referred to as “superfoods”, are among the main ingredients in the brand’s organic granola bars, nut bars, almond butter truffles, grain-free cereal and almond crackers. Flavors include:

·         Sprouted Granola Bars ($5.99 per box of six): Bring on the Blueberry, Cacao Nib Crunch, Cranberry Chia Crunch, Gojiberry Triple Yum-Yum, Sweet-N-Tart Goldenberry

·         Sprouted Nut Bars ($2.39 - $2.69 per bar): Charming Cherry Chocolate, Cranberry Crush, Gotta Getta Gojiberry, Go For Goldenberry, Blueberry Burst, Wow Cacao Nib

·         Sprouted Almond Butter Truffles ($3.39 – $3.69 per unit): Cacao Almond, Cayenne Cacao, Cinnamon-ilicious, Green Tea Vanilla

·         Sprouted Almond Crackers ($6.99 per box): Jive’N Chive & Onion, Sweet on You Graham, Spicy Chipotle Pepper, Zesty Italian Herb

·         Sprouted Grain Free Cereal ($9.99 per box): Original

“Sprouting unlocks the nutrients in seeds, nuts and grains, so you can absorb them into your bloodstream more easily and more effectively,” said Erin Fray, CMO of Soul Sprout. “The more readily your body can release nutrients from food, the more efficiently it performs. You get more from your food, faster. We call this high bioavailability.”

Many experts believe that sprouted foods offer more readily available amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals than raw or roasted varieties. Sprouted foods are also considered to be gentler on your digestive tract, making them a potentially better option for people who are managing certain health conditions through nutrition.

All Soul Sprout products are USDA certified organic. Soul Sprout is also Certified C.L.E.A.N.™ (Conscious, Live, Ethical, Active, Nourishing) and Certified R.A.W.™ (Real, Alive, Whole) by the International Center for Integrative Systems, the acknowledged global certification authority based on food safety, processing and nutrient bioavailability. Soul Sprout snacks can be found at natural grocers nationwide, Amazon.com or SoulSprout.com.

By Soul Sprout for Businesswire.com

{Forbes.com} Revolutionizing An Industry By Building An Empire Based On Values

When I went to school, the last thing I wanted to do was eat lunch prepared there. Yuck!

It’s different now. Revolution Foods has changed the system. It provides delicious and nutritious meals to schools at an affordable price. Food for schools is a $16 billion industry. Because it targets free or reduced-price meal programs subsidized by federal funding, Revolution Foods’ price point must be low. It is $3 per meal. The company donates 1% of retail product sales to a “Feeding Good Fund” that provides grants to schools who need equipment to serve freshly prepared meals to their students.

A chance meeting leads to the creation of a $100 million business

It was kismet that Kristin Groos Richmond met Kirsten Saenz Tobey in 2006 when they both went back to school to get their MBAs at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business. Both were educators who believed that for kids to do well in school, they needed the right fuel – fresh nutritious food. Richmond saw the impact good food made when she founded a school in Nairobi. Kids were more engaged and focused, and their ability to learn improved.

Nutritious food won’t do kids any good if they won’t eat it.  Revolution Food is kid-inspired and chef-crafted. “We listen, learn and iterate,” said Richmond. Surveys and focus groups are conducted regularly by Revolution Foods. Chefs also sit down with students at school. Menus are customized to reflect regional taste differences – serving jambalaya in New Orleans and tamales in San Francisco.

Many students rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition. Not just lunch but breakfast, supper and snack time. Revolution Foods provides 1.5 million meals per week to students in 1,000 schools in 30 cities nationwide.

Parents and kids started asking if they could get Revolution Foods meals at home. “We wanted to provide a solution for families that makes life easier,” said Richmond.  Revolution Foods now sells a growing line of meals and snacks in 4,000 groceries including Safeway, Whole Foods, Walmart and Target.

The company generates more than $100 million in revenues per year.

The opportunity to make impact and a high return on investment attracted investors

Most investors don’t get that you can make an impact and get a high return on investment. “It was very difficult for the founders to attract investment because the company’s purpose was ‘off-spec’ from traditional venture business models,” says Nancy Pfund, founder and managing partner ofDBL was attracted by the opportunity to address health problems in low-income communities as well as to provide jobs in those communities. DBL was an early seed invest as wasRSF Social Finance.

“Take the time to find the right investors,” said Richmond. “When you do, magic happens.” “Smart investors” understand the challenges you face and may have the expertise to help or know of others who can. They provide additional funding as you scale and can connect you to other money as well. They also provide referrals to top talent and suppliers. Others investors include Oak Investment Partners Catamount Ventures,Revolution Growth,  The Westly Group, Emerson Collective and New School Venture Fund.These VCs may also sit on your board, like Steve Case, AOL co-founder, of Revolution Ventures. Revolution Foods is proof that the right matches can be found. It has raised nearly $100 million. 

Creating jobs in low income areas

Revolution Foods employs more than 2,000 people in hubs that are near the schools it serves. In 2013, it ranked the #2 fastest growing, inner-city company in America for the second year in a row, according to the initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).

“You are only as successful as your team,” says Richmond. “Our mission has given us a real advantage in recruiting talent.” It’s not just millennials who are drawn to this values-based business. People of every generation – including older more seasoned executives – are.

Expanding through acquisition

Revolution Foods is acquiring companies/products that need infrastructure to scale. “Entrepreneurs can build their own or join a like-minded team,” said Richmond. Companies don’t have to be mom-founded but the first two – Batter World and Lunch Bundles – are.

By Geri Stengel for Forbes.com

{Fastcompany.com} Exclusive: Revolution Foods Takes Aim At The Grocery Store Ready-Meal Aisle

Revolution Foods cofounders Kristin Groos Richmond and Kirsten Saenz Tobey understand the challenges that working parents face when it comes to finding nutritious meals and snacks.

"Noodles are always at the top of the list for what kids love to eat. And yet when we’re packing our kids’ lunch boxes, noodles are the hardest thing," says Tobey, alluding to options like mac 'n' cheese and instant ramen. So she and Richmond decided to head to the test kitchen and create a noodle product of their own, one that would meet the company's stringent nutrition guidelines. "We’re trying to disrupt that idea that noodles that have to be in a styrofoam cup and full of sodium."

The result is a new product called "In a Cup," soon on its way to retail partners including Target and Safeway. It retails for under $4, and comes in three flavors: spaghetti marinara, sesame noodles, and Thai satay rice noodles, which are gluten-free.

"We are really focused on trying to solve the hard problems that families have in terms of feeding their families food that kids will eat but that meet families’ needs in terms of convenience and nutrition," Tobey says. "We’ve wanted to focus on making sure that the food that we create is not just kids’ food, but food that the whole family can eat."

"We want to take this delicious comfort food that the world has always loved and make it healthy," Richmond adds.

"In a Cup" marks a shift for Revolution Foods, which got its start providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner to public schools in search of balanced meals made with natural ingredients, rather than the standard lineup of pizza and French fries. The company continues to grow its presence in cafeterias around the country—it now operates in 30 major cities—but sees the grocery aisle at big-box retailers as an important way to achieve its business goals and its mission.

Revolution Foods already offers a grocery store alternative to the iconic Lunchables of childhoods past, made with the "real food" ingredients that are core to its brand (popcorn chicken is its most popular flavor). With "In a Cup," the company signals its growing interest in developing prepared foods that can serve families with little time to spare for planning and cooking meals.

"The food industry is a $5 trillion industry that is ripe for disruption," says investor Steve Case, founder of AOL and venture capital firm Revolution Growth. "As more people realize that health begins at the end of the fork, we expect Revolution Foods to emerge as one of the great new 'next gen' consumer brands."

Case also backs fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen, and recently raised an additional $525 million to further the firm's investments in food, health, and education.

By Ainsley O’Connell for Fastcompany.com

{PR Newswire} Zevia Introduces Zero-Calorie, Naturally Sweetened Energy and Sparkling Water Product Lines

Adding to Zevia's 15-flavor natural diet soda line, the brand will offer seven new zero-calorie natural flavors of Energy and Sparkling Water

LOS ANGELES, June 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Zevia, the leading zero-calorie, naturally sweetened soda brand, has announced its evolution from a soda company to a beverage company with the addition of two new product lines to its portfolio: Energy and Sparkling Water.  The new lines will complement the brand's existing 90-percent share of the natural zero-calorie soda market inthe United States*.

Reducing sugar is one of the largest dietary shifts occurring in the U.S., and Zevia sees familiar beverage categories as an easy place to start.  Both product lines present an opportunity for the company to offer new beverage alternatives as consumers around the world are becoming increasingly aware of the health risks associated with excess sugar consumption.

Energy: "We all love the boost we get from caffeine, but current energy drinks on the market are loaded with either sugar or artificial sweeteners, as well as a bunch of exotic supplements," said Paddy Spence, CEO of Zevia. "We created a line with zero calories, 120mg of caffeine from coffee extract, sweetened with stevia, and no additional supplementation. It's a better-for-you option in a category that has not been known for healthy ingredients."

Sparkling Water: "Flavored sparkling water has become very popular, but for many of us, these unsweetened products just don't deliver from a taste perspective," added Spence. "A little sweetness, from stevia, along with zero calories, no sugar, and Non-GMO Project Verified flavors, makes sparkling water come to life."

Zevia Energy will feature single-serve, 12-ounce slim cans with 120 mg of natural caffeine, with a suggested retail price of $1.99per can. Zevia Energy will be available in three flavors: Mango Ginger, Raspberry Lime and Grapefruit.  Zevia Sparkling Water, to be sold in eight packs with a suggested retail price of $5.99, will include four flavors: Lime, Blackberry, Cucumber Lemon and Mandarin Orange.  Both lines are Non-GMO Project Verified, zero calories and sweetened with stevia.

Zevia Energy and Zevia Sparking Water will be available in the United States in Sprouts Farmers Markets, Amazon.com, Puget Natural Markets in Seattle, and Woodman's Foods in Wisconsin.  

"Our experience building the first mainstream zero-calorie, naturally sweetened soda brand has been that consumers are looking for better-for-you versions across the beverage category," said Spence.  "We're looking to address obvious consumer needs as we expand natural diet beverage options – energy with clean ingredients and flavored sparkling water with a bit of sweetness were a good next step."

In addition to their new product lines, Zevia is celebrating its role as the first soda sponsor of the Reebok CrossFit Games, to be held at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles from July 22-24.  The brand is also in its third year as the only natural diet soda in Major League Baseball, with its sponsorship of the Oakland A's. 

About ZeviaZevia is the first beverage brand exclusively focused on offering naturally sweetened, zero-calorie beverages.  With formulas that are Non-GMO Project Verified, and certified Vegan, Kosher and Gluten Free, Zevia is sold at more than 35,000 grocery, natural and specialty food stores in the United States and Canada, including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Safeway, Kroger, and Target. 

Please visit www.ZEVIA.com to learn more about Zevia.  Follow Zevia on Twitter http://twitter.com/ZEVIA, Instagram http://www.instagram.com/ZEVIA and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ZEVIA.

{PR Newswire} Alterra Power Acquires 200 MW Flat Top Wind Development Project

VANCOUVER, June 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Alterra Power Corp. ("Alterra") is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Flat Top wind project, a 200 MW wind farm under development in Comanche County and Mills County, Texas. Concurrently with closing, Alterra placed a US$1.6 million security deposit with the local transmission provider.

Paul Rapp, Alterra's VP of Wind Operations, said "This project builds on our recent success financing and constructing the nearby 204 MW Shannon wind farm in Texas and, like the Shannon project, takes advantage of the recent extension of renewable energy tax incentives in the United States. The Flat Top project has a strong resource, clean transmission story and proximity to growing power demand in Texas, and is well-suited for long-term service under either a power purchase agreement or power hedge."

Alterra acquired the Flat Top wind project from Pioneer Green Energy, LLC, and Lavaca Wind, LLC, each of whom have extensive experience in the development of wind energy projects that are currently operating. As part of the project development program, Alterra will undertake certain construction activities to ensure the Flat Top project will qualify for the U.S. production tax credit. Alterra forecasts this project to be completed and in service by the end of 2017.

About Alterra Power Corp.

Alterra Power Corp. is a leading global renewable energy company, operating six power plants totaling 757 MW of generation capacity including the Shannon wind project in Texas, British Columbia's largest run-of-river hydro facility and largest wind farm, and two geothermal facilities in Iceland. Alterra owns a 349 MW share of this capacity, generating over 1,600 GWh of clean power annually. Following completion of the 62 MW Jimmie Creek hydro facility, expected in August, Alterra will operate 819 MW of capacity with net ownership of 381 MW, generating over 1,700 GWh of clean power annually. Alterra has an extensive portfolio of exploration and development projects and a skilled international team of developers, builders and operators to support its growth plans.

The company trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol AXY and OTC in the United States as MGMXF. "Click her to read the rest of the article in PR Newswire."

By Alterra Power Corp.

{BakeryandSnacks.com} Bare Snacks set for organic launch as it aims to expand distribution

Bare Snacks is about to launch a range of organic coconut chips as it sets its sights on expanding its distribution.

Bare is the number three player in the vegetable and fruit chips category, and has grown its market share by almost a third compared to the previous year, to just over 6%, CEO Santosh Padki told BakeryandSnacks. "Click her to read the rest of the article in BakeryandSnacks."

By Douglas Yu for BakeryandSnacks

{Washington City Paper} Chartwells Era Ends As DCPS Selects New Food Providers

Farewell, Chartwells.

The school-food provider at the heart of a whistleblower lawsuit in 2015 that revealed substandard food quality and fraud will not serve D.C. Public Schools students next academic year. DCPS announced in a statement on Friday that it has chosen DC Central Kitchen and SodexoMagic, with Revolution Foods as a subcontractor, to provide meals at more than 110 facilities.

"We look forward to working with these organizations to provide students with high-quality and healthy food options," DCPS said, noting that the D.C. Council and Office of the Attorney General must still review the new contracts in the coming weeks.

The announcement follows a request for proposals DCPS posted in December, featuring a one year contract with four options years to renew. Still, which entities applied for the RFP won't be publicly available until the contracts are approved because of procurement rules. Under the proposal, 12 schools in Ward 7 would be served by DC Central Kitchen, while the rest would be served by SodexoMagic and Revolution Foods. DC Central and Revolutionserved hundreds of thousands of meals last year.

In a statement on Monday, Sodexo and Revolution said their partnership with DCPS "would provide an innovative program that will bring cutting edge-food concepts, state-of-the-art menu creation and adherence to the highest nutrition standards," come August. But as Jeffrey Anderson reported, the former "settled a $20 million False Claims Act case in New York in 2010 and repeatedly has sustained findings of spoiled or expired food and employee safety violations in various states since 2010."

It was not immediately clear how much DCPS has proposed awarding the three contractors for their services. The system has more than 48,000 students.

One company which was left out in the process was Genuine Foods, run by Jeff Mills, the former DCPS food chief who blew the whistle on Chartwells. 

By Andrew Glambrone for the Washington City Paper

{Examiner.com} Alter Eco Foods and Bare Snacks are heart healthy food and snack choices

May 19, 2016 | 2:50 PM

Committed to a healthier lifestyle means adding exercise, positive attitude changes, healthy food choices, and surrounding yourself with beautiful things. When you feel better you can make better choices, pretty simple or so it seems. But think of it this way, when you're down, depressed and feeling dejected do you put your running shoes on and go witness the beauty of nature around you? Or do you slip into your baggy clothes, plop in front of the television with a bag of chips and stay there for hours, sometimes days? Many of us have a bad day and allow it to consume our thinking, food choices, and keep us away from friends, family and social events.

When you start committing yourself to a healthier lifestyle one big obstacle can be what's in your cupboards and refrigerator. For that reason, one of the best things you can do is dump the junk. If the first ingredient is sugar, trash it. If you don't, it will eventually trash you. And those excuses like I need to keep that bag of cookies in the house for guests, or the grandkids, need to stop. You're lying to yourself. None of live too far from a store that we can't run out and grab those goodies when company surprises us. And better yet, introduce those healthy snacks to your grandkids early on. Make your adult kids frustrated when they open your refrigerator and see nothing but good choices. What greater compliment than for someone to say, "Geez you only have healthy food in this house."

However this is an innate part of us that wants that snap, crackle and pop. For that we have Bare. Yummy it up with the new banana chips. Bare has peeled back the perfect banana crunch. They come in three flavors: Simply, Cinnamon, and Cocoa. These chips have a crunchy like no other and half a bag is only 6 points if you are counting points on Weight Watchers, and low in calories, and high in all the right nutrition for a healthy lifestyle diet. Easy to grab and go is one of the best features.

Bare snacks start with real fruit picked at its ripest and sliced just right. Then slowly oven-bake each batch to a caramelized crunch. Now you can satisfy your craving for crunch with the goodness of fruit. Bare doesn't stop at bananas, they have Apple Chips that are crispy, crunchy and filled with wholesome goodness. These come in three flavors, Fuji & Reds, Granny Smith, and Cinnamon. Of course all organic. Still craving crunch, try crunchy coconut in four fantastic flavors. Toasted, Honey, Sweet & Heat, and Cocoa.

Here are a few of Bare values and what they mean for all of us.

·         Simplicity: less is more, in snacking and beyond

·         Goodness: our snacks must taste good and be good for you, and it matters that we respect the earth and others in the process

·         Being real: we bake what nature makes without trying to ‘fix’ imperfections, and everything you need to know is on the bag

·         Living life fully: it’s the little things that bring the most joy to everyday life

·         Our chips are a reflection of who we are

·         We’re committed to simplicity both in our products and life outside of the bag

Okay we have the snap, crackle pop down, but we all know chocolate is a basic staple in our diets. And for that important need we can all rest assured we can have our chocolate fix and stay committed to a healthy heart lifestyle. Chocolate is good for the heart, or so we're heard. But all chocolate is not created equal. Heart health conscious foodies love Alter Eco. Alter Eco is a pioneer of globally crafted organic foods, including delicious Swiss-made chocolate bars and truffles, Bolivian Royal quinoa, heirloom Thai rice and Mascobado cane sugar. (As food bloggers have pointed out, some of our chocolate bars have as few as four ingredients). Alter Eco quinoa s uses heirloom varietals, many of which are disappearing in the face of industrial agriculture. Beyond their environmental boon (crop diversification and long term biodiversity), these ancestral foods have unique flavors and rich cultural histories that connect eaters across time and continents. Their Royal Black Quinoa, Mascobado Sugar and Purple Sticky Rice are flavors you won’t find anywhere else, specific to the terroir in which they are grown.

Terroir, which in French literally means soil or land, is more generally referred in regards to food, as a small region or area with soils and microclimates which have profound impacts on the flavors and nutritional values of a product. Alter Eco Foods believe terroir can be one of the single most important players in the flavors and quality of food — as do many of their partner producers who work incredibly hard to create the highest quality ingredients. At the heart of sustainability is a very basic idea: perpetuity. If a food is to be sustainable, then by its very definition it must be: 1) delicious enough that you’ll want to eat it over and over again and 2) nutritious enough to contribute to your continued health and well-being. Through direct relationships with our partner co-ops, careful audits of our entire supply chain and a focus on heirloom varietals, we are able to ensure that Alter Eco foods are always reliably delicious.

Alter Eco Foods doesn't stop at quinoa and chocolate, in fact, it's just one of their products. Chocolates, Truffles, Quinoa, Rice and Sugar are part of this Alter Eco Foods family. There are too many flavors of each to mention in this article, so pop over to their product page and take a look.
Why Alter Eco was mentioned with
Bare Snacks is simple. Alter Eco believes the flavors of food can be wholesome and just as delicious without loads of highly processed ingredients and additional additives. They stand whole-heartedly by this idea and believe that even something as delicious and indulgent as chocolate can be simple and carefully crafted with a clean list of ingredients! With seven steps from start to finish, chocolates retain the purest flavors of the Alto Huyabamba of Peru and the forests of the Ecuadorian coast, even after the cacao is delicately crafted into bars and truffles by master Swiss chocolatiers.

Alter Eco has never produced foods with the use of synthetic pesticides or emulsifiers and has always had a zero tolerance GMO policy since the day of inception. Our Organic certifications and non-GMO verifications are due to the high quality production and farming techniques used in our cooperatives. We are committed to using only the cleanest, wholesome, traditional and delicious ingredients for all our products. To further guarantee the quality of Alter Eco products, every detail of our supply chain is monitored. B Corp certification allows us to quantify our impact, policies and practices, and gives you a chance to learn more about how our business works.

When we make positive choices, we reap the benefits. You know that healthy habits make sense, but did you ever stop to think why you practice them? Research shows that the impact of good health on your quality of life is far-reaching, regardless of your age, sex, or physical ability. Eating right and exercising regularly can help you avoid excess weight gain and maintain a healthy weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can obtain benefits of exercise by being active in simple ways throughout the day. For example, walk instead of driving or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Eating a balanced, calorie-managed diet can also help control weight. When you start the day with a healthy breakfast, you may avoid becoming overly hungry later, which could send you running to get fast food before lunch, says the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The ADA also recommends incorporating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day—which are low in calories and high in nutrients—in to your diet to help with weight control.

Doing right by your body pays off for your mind as well. The Mayo Clinic notes that physical activity stimulates brain chemicals that often leave you feeling both happier and more relaxed. Eating a healthy diet as well as exercising can lead to a better physique, so you may also feel better about your appearance, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem. The American Council on Exercise reports that the short-term benefits of exercise include decreased stress and ability to think better.

It's not just diet and exercise that lead to improved mood. According to a study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior, another healthy habit that leads to better mental health is making social connections. Whether it's volunteering, joining a club, or attending a movie, communal activities help improve mood and mental functioning by keeping the mind active and serotonin levels balanced, says the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Healthy habits can help prevent certain health conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—by helping to keep certain biomarkers, such as cholesterol and blood pressure, within their targets. This combination keeps your blood flowing smoothly, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. The Mayo Clinic says that regular physical activity and proper diet can help you prevent or manage a wide range of other health problems, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, and arthritis.

We've all experienced that lethargic feeling we get after eating too much unhealthy food. When you eat a balanced diet including whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and fruits and vegetables, your body has the fuel that it needs to manage your energy level. Regular physical exercise also improves muscle strength and boosts endurance, giving you more energy, says the Mayo Clinic. Exercise helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and gets your cardiovascular system working more efficiently so that you have more energy to go about your daily activities. It also helps boost energy by promoting better sleep--helping you fall asleep faster and deepening your sleep.

And finally when you practice healthy habits, you boost your chances of a longer life. The American Council on Exercise reported on an eight-year study of 13,000 people. The study showed that those who walked just 30 minutes each day significantly reduced their chances of dying prematurely, compared with those who exercised infrequently. Looking forward to more time with loved ones is reason enough to keep walking, eating right, making positive choices and most of all becoming your own best advocate.

By Lois Trader for Examiner.com