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Most Innovative Organic Products from Natural Products Expo East 2013

This award is something that I started at Natural Products Expo West 2013 several months ago when Little Duck Organics took home the inaugural prize.

At Natural Products Expo East 2013, three companies really impressed me with their innovation.


Every time I see Pete Overgaag, President of Hollandia Produce (the parent company of Grower Pete’s), at an organic trade show, I always run over to him with great excitement. I repeatedly remind him of the time that I discovered his lettuce growing in an actual pot at my local supermarket. After a few years, my enthusiasm for his product still hasn’t waned.

Well, at Expo East last week, I saw something nearly as compelling but more practical – his Organic Living Butter Lettuce. The pot was gone but the roots were still there.

Due to the fact that the roots are still attached to the head of the lettuce, the product is still alive……and it shows.

Just take a look at how glowing the leaves are. They were absolutely gorgeous and weren’t wilting at all.

Grower Pete’s Organic Living Butter Lettuce is grown hydroponically in a California greenhouse, and nutrients are constantly being added back into the recirculated water in a state-of-the-art facility.

When do you ever go to a supermarket and buy a head of lettuce with the roots still attached to it?

Super cool, Pete!


With kale chips exploding in popularity over the last few years (they were one of my Top 5 Organic Food Trends in 2011), it seems that many other vegetables are getting deyhdrated and packaged for store shelves – onion rings, tomato chips, zucchini chips, to name a few.

However, when I passed by the Wonderfully Raw booth at Expo East, I did a double take. Dehydrated brussels sprouts? Dehydrated parsnips?

I had never heard of these vegetables being dehydrated. Quite original – I was impressed.


Everyone knows that quinoa is all the rage these days.

Aside from the great taste and texture, quinoa is a complete source of protein, contains 8 essential amino acids, and has concentrated amounts of two key flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol.

So, engineers in Colombia have spent the last five years developing a form of instant quinoa called Quinoasure.

The company claims that its proprietary process delivers a quinoa that offers better digestibility and solubility than quinoa grain and quinoa flour (microbiologically and bacteriologically), and provides 82% absorption of protein and amino acid nutrients vs. 62% for quinoa in grain and flour form.

Additionally, Quinoasure has developed a partnership with Nurturme, one of my favorite organic baby food brands, where its quinoa will be used in some of its products.

Quinoasure is certified organic, made from 100% non-GMO quinoa seeds, and is the first ready-to-use, instant quinoa powder.

Very, very interesting.

A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink