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  • NCW Editor

Best in Healthy Food & Drink 2018

Below is a list of winners from the 2018 Eco Excellence Awards in the Food & Drink category. They have all showcased excellence in a form of sustainability, safety, social responsibility, and health and wellness. For the full list of our 2018 Eco Excellence Winners please refer to this page.

Beverages - Mooala Chocolate Bananamilk

Dairy is no longer necessary when it comes to milk. There are so many alternative milks from cashew to coconut, almond to soy the options exist. However, we believe the alternative milk that is going to make a splash in 2019 is bananamilk. YOU CAN DRINK BANANAS?!? Of course, and Mooala is leading the way with its Chocolate bananamilk. Made with simple, organic ingredients, Mooala’s plant-based, dairy-free products give those with lactose intolerance diets delicious options with uncompromised quality. Mooala’s iconic Bananamilk is a first-to-market nut- and dairy-free beverage with only 3 grams of sugar per serving, all natural from the bananas themselves. You have to try it!

Check it out here

Why we love it: As we continue to apply science behind nutrition we are beginning to learn that what we have been told to eat has not always been sage advice. Thus, creating a new market of healthy and exciting alternatives like this bananamilk from Mooala. It's a great option for those who are avoiding nuts or soy and don't want to compromise on taste.

Healthy Bars - Thunderbird

Thunderbird bars were founded in Austin TX and are starting to make waves in your favorite grocers. Thunderbird bars allow you ton indulge your cravings, while elevating your health. Just check the ingredient list on the back of the bar shown above - Dates, Cashews, Figs, Carrots, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Himalayan Sea Salt. Delicious and simple. The mission of Thunderbird was to create an alternative to "energy" bars by relying on 100% all-natural and simply fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices. These bars are a hit out of the park. Check it out here

Why we love it: How many times have you picked up a bar inspired by its front package labels, turned it over, and immediately had to put it back on the shelf? From addiditives to sugar content, it seems manufacturers don't have our best interest.

Vegan - Pan's Mushroom Jerky

Jerky is a polarizing meal, some love it, some prefer another snack, but this jerky is something that I think we can all agree on. Michael Pan has taken an old family recipe and turned it a delicious, alternative snack overnight. Not quite overnight, several year's in the making, but well worth it. Offering four very different flavors there is a taste for everyone. No meat, no problem. Mushrooms are the future, and these Shiitake Mushrooms are packed with protein and antioxidants making you feel good about your snack choice. Check it out here

Why we love it: What a great idea for a snack or meal. All of the flavors knock it out of the park. The texture of the mushrooms are meaty and fibrous like the other popular meat alternative (jackfruit), and you won't miss real jerky at all. Eat more Mushrooms!

Snack - Bare Sea Salt Beet Chips

Bare’s new Beet, Carrot and Sweet Potato Chips are the first line of baked, never fried, no oil veggie chips on the market. Remaining true to the brand philosophy of “less is more,” bare’s new veggie chips are made with real vegetables that are simply sliced and baked with no preservatives and nothing artificial – unlike other veggie snacks, which are often fried or made with starch powders, fillers and oils. Our chips offer consumers an easy and delicious alternative to get more whole veggies into their diets every day.

Bare Beet, Carrot and Sweet Potato Chips start with real vegetables that are sliced, lightly seasoned, and baked using a unique baking process that delivers exceptional crunch and flavor without adding oil. The new snack is also Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, vegan and a good source of fiber. Check them out

Why we love it: They are good for us. No really, take any chip or snack in the category and compare the ingredients. Bare delivers the delicious taste while allowing us to feel good about what we snack on.

Gluten-Free - Organic Red Lentil Penne

TOLERANT takes legumes to a whole new level making them fun to eat without losing any of natural goodness. It all started with a desire to help people feel great, age gracefully and never be embarrassed about what they couldn’t eat. Using one of the most universally friendly, nutritionally sound food sources on the planet are legumes (beans, lentils, garbanzos and peas), they crafted a great pasta alternative. They only source the best raw ingredients for their certified organic, gluten-free, NON-GMO, one-of-a- kind products without compromise.

Why we love it: Going gluten-free isn't easy. There are a lot of universally loved meals that will become compromised and not able to be enjoyed when you do go gluten-free. Tolerant has your back. They truly created a nutritious alternative to traditional pasta. Offering a variety of options so you can cook all of your favorite pasta dishes without harming your body.

Gluten-Free - Nature's Path Golden Turmeric Cereal

The new Nature’s Path Golden Turmeric Cereal is the first cereal to have turmeric, a spice used for centuries in Eastern cultures for its health benefits, as a feature ingredient. The organic and gluten-free cereal features a delightful blend of organic flakes coated with turmeric, cinnamon, and honey, and mixed with large coconut pieces. When milk (or a plant-based alternative) is added to the bowl, it turns into a beautiful golden milk beverage that further enhances the breakfast experience. Check it out here

Why we love it: These are addicting! Great for a quick breakfast or snack on-the-go, with low sugar and favorable ingredients. More importantly, the company behind the cereal is great. In 1985, the company has continued its commitment to making great-tasting certified organic foods through its investment in over 11,000 acres of organic farmland and the purchasing of over 190,000 tons of certified organic ingredients for its products. Nature’s Path also produces all of its products in zero-waste facilities and is working towards a goal of being carbon neutral by 2020.

Gluten-Free - The Good Bean Balsamic Herb Crispy Favas & Peas

Sarah Wallace, The Good Bean CEO, grew up in India crunching on roasted chickpeas as a child and she realized people needed a healthier, smarter choice for snacking. The idea for the Good Bean was born and the company launched in September 2010 with a line of all-natural roasted chickpea snacks in four flavors. The chickpea snacks are protein-packed, high in fiber, gluten-free, and low-fat. Since then, she has introduced the Fava and Pea based snacks in three flavor varieties. The Balsamic Herb Crisps are packed with 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving, this tasty bite also offers a nutritious punch that matches the sweet, spicy kick of flavor. Check them out here

Why we love it: Snacking just got a whole lot better! These Balsamic Herb Crispy Favas & Peas are addicting. We can finish a bag in one sitting and we don't have to feel guilty about it... I mean, a little guilty. We want more GOOD BEANS!

Subscription Boxes - Raised Real

Raised Real is baby food without the judgment. Their flash frozen, flexible food delivery comes in pre portioned packets, with whole organically sourced ingredients parents can see. Their aren’t prescriptive, so their superfood meals aren’t either. Each packet is ready to be puréed, mashed, or served as finger foods depending on the parent’s preference. Mealtime with babies is hard, prepping it shouldn’t be. “Raised Real is redefining baby food because parents are," says Santiago Merea, CEO at Raised Real. The service is now available nationwide. Check them out at

Why we love it: The future of healing is with nutrition. Raised Real's mission is to develop your baby's immune system, brain, digestive track, through the right nutrition so they can battle inflammation and illnesses that might appear.Raised real pairs superfoods, that you may not think to give your baby, such as hemp hearts and turmeric that equate to a balanced and very healthy diet.

Protein Powders - Nuzest Clean Lean Protein

The days of reading the back of protein powder packaging and seeing ingredients that make you second guess whether you should really ingest it are over. Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is made using pea protein isolate processed in Belgium, and it is regarded by many as the finest quality in the world. There is nothing to hide in the ingredient list. If you look at the back of their base natural flavor powder you will find one ingredient: Pea Protein Isolate. Peas have been chosen as the protein source because of their sustainability as a crop and their much lower use of water and land compared with other plant protein sources and animal protein production. The process of producing this product is highly controlled and the final raw material is tested for all allergens, heavy metals and pesticides. The result is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids consisting of a very fine powder with little taste or smell of pea: the sign of very high-quality isolate. Check them out here:

Why we love them: Firstly, their harvesting and producing process is sustainable, controlled, and has a low carbon footprint. They have thought through all the steps to make sure to reduce their waste as much as possible during production. Secondly, the powder tastes good, and doesn't leave you feeling bloated like most protein powders on the market do. So say goodbye to artificial ingredients, ingredients you can't pronounce, stomach discomfort, and say hello to the new wave of pure protein.

Raw & Fermented Foods - SBS America Propolis Raw Honey

Food Scientist, Asli Elif Tanugur stumbled upon the foundations of what would be the company Bee & You while searching for a natural way to boost her child's immune system after he had developed an intolerance to antibiotics. She came across Propolis in her research and decided to put it to the test. Propolis, although not edible in its raw form (it must be extract), is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal property. After several servings of the propolis her son had not become sick for months. Making this raw food a must-own for those cold seasons. Check them out here

Why we love it: Besides it's healing qualities, the company practices responsible and sustainable beekeeping practices. They currently have 100,000 “Contracted Beehives” where product quality is assured by enforcing appropriate beekeeping practices at all steps of production in the apiary. Their beekeeping experts and agricultural engineers give free training and education to our beekeepers twice a year. As well, we also provide free production equipment to our beekeepers. Additionally, each time a product is sold, $0.3 goes directly to our beekeepers by means of beehives, equipment, etc. to guarantee that they have a profitable business for sustainable growth.

Reusable Bottles - Aquasana Clean Water Filter Bottle

This is a travel must-have; Aquasana's new Clean Water Bottle is the first filter bottle to remove over 99% of lead, bacteria, chlorine, cryptosporidium, and giardia from tap water – whether filling up from the water fountain at school, on family vacation, camping, at the airport, park, yoga or gym .  The innovative new insulated stainless steel filter bottles were designed to address everything a mom would worry about when drinking from a public water fountain (e.g., lead from old pipes (a growing problem at schools across the country!), whether a dog or another kid has licked the drinking spout, etc!), reduce plastic waste in the environment and be sleek and stylish to boot. Each long-lasting filter replaces over 600 plastic bottles of water and provides instant access to clean and healthy water on the go.

Selective filtration preserves water's healthy naturally occurring minerals including calcium, potassium and magnesium, and each filter replaces over 600 bottles of plastic bottled water from entering the environment. Plus, longer filter life means less cost per gallon ($0.18), which saves hundreds of dollars versus bottled water Check it out here

Why we love it: The setup is easy, the design is nice, and it really works. If you live in a city that has lead, copper, high levels of chlorine, etc, this is a must own. If you love the outdoors, or are simply going on a vacation where you are concerned about the water quality, you must have this product.

Tea - Republic of Tea Organic Daily Greens Single Sips

Don't have time to juice in the morning? Don't think your local juicer is using the ingredients you really want? Republic of Tea has your back. Get your daily fix of cleansing and revitalizing greens anywhere you go. This instant superfood blend of energizing matcha, healthy moringa, spirulina, chlorella and prebiotic agave inulin and probiotic Ganeden BC30® (1 billion CFU’s) is a nutritious way to boost your day. This delicious blend is elevated with the refreshing flavors of lemon, mint and coconut with monk fruit for a touch of sweetness. Check it out here

Why we love it: Republic of Tea works with the international nonprofit, the Ethical Tea Partnership, and a local nonprofit, the PALM Foundation, were they have crafted a program in Sri Lanka focused on nutrition, hygiene, and financial literacy, with the goal of elevating thousands of women and their families. Together with our Citizens, they are starting to bring prosperity to women and their families, helping transform teatime into a more positive force for good.

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