Electrolux is taking cooking to a whole new level

Electrolux is planning a whole new way to use your stove.  Electronics are taking over and why not add a bit of intelligence to your cooktop?  Electrolux is looking at ways to make pots and pans obsolete.  They want people who enjoy cooking and those without any cooking experience to operate the same stove.  Forget getting sauce splattered all over your cookbook, it’s not even a necessity in the kitchen anymore. 

Henrik  Otto, director of Global Design for Electrolux in Sweden has come up with  smart kitchens of 2050. Otto and his team at Electrolux believe in energy efficient appliances as well as appliances that can serve many different functions.

Here is what they think it would look like.  Electrolux Design Concept “Heart of the home” animation

Heart of the home is a shape shifting cooktop that is directly on your countertop that responds to touch as well as a built in cookbook that responds to touch as well.  Ideally they will design this with a simple touch of the hand able to outline the size of the pot or pan you wish to use, the temperature as well as the texture of the pot or pan.  You will also be able to press down your hand to determine the depth of the pot or pan.  You will be able to move around your pots with a simple touch in order to have what you need in front of you. 

The countertop will also provide holes that allow you to place food or herbs in them and the built in cookbook will pop up recipes.  Otto thinks this will be a great way for people to try new flavors that they wouldn’t have imagined together.  I am hoping this will be coming out before 2050!

Posted by Kate Kiselka, Follow me on Twitter


Abby’s Blog: Yummy and Organic Hot Chocolate for Winter Time!

My family and I have been doing lots of skiing this winter – even my little brother Max gets to ski this year because he is finally big enough.  When we are done playing outside in the snow, we love to come in for some yummy hot chocolate.   Mom likes to buy organic snacks and stuff for us and for hot chocolate, she sometimes buys Boulevards.  It is super yummy and good for us!

Posted by: Abby age 6

The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to Be Fabulously Green

The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to be fabulously Green is a great read for anyone looking to green up there life!   It is available on the Kindle and also printed on recycled paper for those of us who like to read old school style.  And to be more eco-fabulous you can order a used copy off Amazon! 

The author Starre Vartan does a great job making looking like an eco chick, easy!  She gives tons of ideas on how to eco friendly and still stay stylish.  Vartan shows us where to shop for vintage and recycled jewelry, where to find shoes made from recycled materials, and how important it is to wear organic and vintage clothing. 

Another great find in this book for those of us who like to have a good time is being able to throw and eco chic party.  Buying organic drinks and shopping the farmers market for food and flowers!

This book is insightful as well as fun to read.  Vartan shares with her readers some great recipes, she even tries to convince you to switch back to your grandmothers cast iron pans for their health benefits.  Making your own cleaners out of baking soda and other products already in your cupboards, she even tells you how to make your own toothpaste! 

Posted by Kate Kiselka, follow me on twitter

Some no-no’s of taking it to go

The other night while sorting through the mounds of bills and junk-mail one glassine window in an envelope sparked a discussion about how such things including to-go containers can now be recycled and composted thanks to companies developing materials from plant fibers, sugar cane waste, and corn.

It dawned on me that since I eat, breathe, and live as green as I possibly can maybe it’s not as common knowledge as I thought that there have been great advances in the worlds to-go options.

I am always amazed when eating out when my leftovers are brought to me in some kind of awful Styrofoam container…in fact many U.S. cities like Seattle and Oakland have begun to ban the use of Styrofoam in restaurants and grocery stores. It’s like come on people it’s time to get with it and use an environmentally friendly package, it not only becomes a permanent part of our universe, but according to the EPA it’s a hazard to your health! It makes me think twice about bringing my own container with me the next time I visit that restaurant, or asking them to just wrap my leftovers in foil—if it won’t make a huge mess on the ride or walk home.

I’ll admit that it does slip my mind quite often to ask what kind of containers they package to-go items in, but it’s something I’m trying to get better at and be more conscious of. It’s being more away of little things like this that can help you reduce your footprint and tread a little lighter.

Posted by Amanda | follow me on Twitter

Coffee, more than a pick me up

Coffee is a part of 1.4 billion people’s morning rituals.  Little do all these people know that the coffee grounds used to make their coffee have many more uses!   You can use the coffee grounds in your garden around your house and even on your skin. 

You can use the coffee grinds around your house, by using them to clean soap scum in your bathroom shower as well as to get caked on food off your pots and pans.  They are also a great use in getting that awful smell of garlic or onions off your hands.  Just like baking soda, coffee grinds also have the capability to take out the lingering smells from your fridge and freezer, just put them in an old nylon or sock and place it in the back.  Why spend money on baking soda when you have used coffee grinds?

Using them in the garden is also very easy.  By sprinkling them on your vegetable garden and flower bed’s it acts as a natural fertilizer and also repels unwanted pests.  If you have a compost pile you can use coffee grinds to restore nitrogen levels.  Coffee grinds are also food for worm’s which helps out your compost pile as well as your garden. 

Lastly coffee grinds can be used as a natural exfoliate for your skin.  The best way is by adding an egg white to ¼ cup coffee grounds for a facial mask.  You can also take it right in the shower and use it on dry skin.  Why you are in there, remember that it can be used to wash away soap scum.

Who thought a simple must have every morning had so many other useful jobs!  It wakes you up and cleans the house, now only if you could sit there and let it do the work without you!  Remember making your own cup of Joe in the morning saves you money as well as saving many unwanted disposable cups from the local landfill! 

Posted by Kate Kiselka, follow me on Twitter

Vote for The Organic Center¹s ŒMission Organic 2010¹ and help raise $10K

Happy New Year! I wanted to share with you about The Organic Center’s resolution for a healthier, happier 2010 and hope that you’ll help us spread the organic seeds of change. A leading research institute on the science of organic food and farming, The Organic Center recently launched Mission Organic 2010, an ambitious campaign with an exciting goal: to increase the current market for organic foods from 3 to 10 percent by the end of 2010.

Supporting the Mission Organic 2010, Whole Foods Market has selected The Organic Center as one of three non-profit organizations to be featured in its first ever Facebook application, entitled “This Is My Year To…” By downloading the app at facebook you and your readers can make it a resolution to choose organic and vote for Mission Organic 2010. At the end of January, the non-profit with the most votes receives an additional $10K donation from Whole Foods Market to help fund its vision.

We hope you will share this app with your readers. And to help educate on the benefits of organic foods, we would also like to offer you 50 of The Organic Center’s Organic Essentials Pocket Guides, a handy tool showing the most important fruits and vegetable to choose organic. Here is a link to download an electronic version:


Thank you for supporting healthy living for the planet and its people. I look forward to your interest.

Until then, warm wishes for 2010!

Kara Vorhes

Neighbor Agency


About The Organic Center

The Organic Center’s unique mission is to advance scientific research on the health and environmental benefits of organic foods, and to communicate those benefits to the public. As an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education organization, we envision improved health for the earth and its inhabitants through conversion of agriculture to organic methods. All of The Organic Center’s research reports, publications, consumer guides and videos are available free of charge on our website, http://www.organic-center.org.

Organic beer is the smarter choice

When I think of Beer, I think of a nice glass of Newport Storm or maybe a blueberry beer from Coddingtons.  With an older brother who brews his own and another who likes to consume it, I was taught to appreciate beer and to stay away from bud light!  Although I prefer wine with my meals, on a summer night nothing is as good as a Hefeweizen with a slice of lemon.

I have been noticing many  organic brews available at the local package store.  Organic beer is part of a growing industry and with it are some really great organic wines.  When drinking a beer or wine labeled organic you can rest assure that the U.S. department of agriculture has checked it out.  You can expect the hops and barley to be organically grown, no toxic pesticides and no artificial fertilizers.

There are some key ways to make sure the beer you are consuming is done in an environmentally fashionable way.  First off when out at a restaurant or pub opt for a beer on tap, this saves hundreds of beer bottles and cans from being produced.  Also opt for re-using your glass.  This too will save on water that you would normal use to wash each glass.  If you do buy a case from the local packy down the street for you and some friends, make sure one of you is sober enough to get it into the blue recycling bin, aluminum can be recycled and repurpose into a new one fairly quickly.  And who knows it may end up holding your next beer!

Drinking locally brewed beer is another important choice as it saves money in gas and helps cut emissions caused by shipping of imported beers.  Also consider taking home a growler from your local brewery, they are reusable and save on individual packaging and recycling costs.


Posted by: Kate Kiselka, follow me on Twitter