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Magic Mushrooms: Chaga, Reishi, and Lion's Mane

Fungi get a bad rap. Many people are off-put by the idea of yeasts and mold, but most plants in existence require some sort of fungal symbiosis to flourish. Fungi are also hugely important in creating the oxygen that we breathe, as well as their part in breaking up organic debris and recycling them back into soil. Needless to say, they are much more important than they are given credit for.

More recent uses include taking advantage of fungi's medicinal properties, though certain Asian cultures have been incorporating specific strains into their daily lives for centuries now. Specifically, reishi, lion's mane, and chaga have become more and more popular over the years.
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5 Impressive Herbaceous Cocktails Perfect for Summer

Summertime is here, which means it's time to mix up a cocktail, kick back, and relax. If you're tired of the same old, same old, we've got some exciting herbaceous cocktails for you to try. Featuring some delectable herbs, these will really leave an impression while tantalizing your tastebuds.

Here are five impressive herbaceous cocktails that are perfect for summer.
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Learn About... Kelp

Kelp makes the ocean look beautiful, creating underwater forests, but they're so much more than just plants that exist in the sea. Kelp, also known as seaweed, is brown algae seaweed. There are 30 different types in existence, and is believed to have existed anywhere from five to 23 million years ago.
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Plant-Based Meats: The What, Why, How, Where, and When

For some vegans and vegetarians who gave up meat, a juicy burger is a faint memory of the past. While there are a number of vegetable patties widely available, not many brands have been able to perfectly mimic the way a meat burger tastes and feels in your mouth.

Thankfully, two California-based companies have come up with incredible solutions to your burger woes: Beyond Meat of Los Angeles and Impossible Foods from the Silicon Valley.

Created in an effort to improve human health and animal welfare, address global resource constraints, and positively impact climate change, these flavorful and convincing alternatives have taken the world by storm. Here's what the companies are all about.


Beyond Meat


Using pea-protein, this burger is packed with protein: 20 grams of protein is in each patty, and red beets are used to give it a meaty look and mouthfeel. Beyond Meat is available at Whole Foods, Ralph's, Amazon, and a number of other retailers. Two patties cost about $5.99, and the company also offer other plant-based alternatives like sausages, chicken strips, and more.

For a full list of their retailers and restaurants that carry Beyond Meat, visit their website.


Impossible Meats


Impossible Foods' Founder Dr. Patrick O. Brown (M.D., Ph.D) was simple: make the global food system more sustainable. Guided by the question, "why does meat taste like meat?" Brown and his team spent years researching and answering this question. Using only plants, they managed to recreate the impossible: meat.

According to their website, an Impossible Meats burger uses only "1/20th the land, 1/4th the water, and produces 1/8th the greenhouse gas emissions" when compared to a burger made from cows.

The patties consist of wheat protein, potatio protein, coconut oil, and heme. Heme is a molecule that contains iron and is what gives beef burgers their distinctive taste, look, and scent. The patties actually "bleed" when you cook them, too, and the flavors are so similar to that of meat, even omnivores are fooled by Impossible Burgers!

Each patty contains 20 grams of protein and is currently not available at retailers, but can be enjoyed in dishes at restaurants throughout New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Texas.

See where you can try it here.

Another way of helping reduce your carbon footprint is to grow in an Urban Cultivator. Offering a wide variety of seeds for you to grow at home, it offers not only convenience and flavor, but also encourages a healthier lifestyle and positively impact climate change.

Have you ever tried one of these plant-based meat alternatives? What did you think? Let us know in the comments section!

A Heck of a Year: Urban Cultivator's 2017 in Review

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This past year has been one heck of a ride. We've learned a lot, and through this, we've been able to further develop our Urban Cultivator appliances so that they can better serve you. Our goal has never changed since we launched Urban Cultivator. We want to be able to provide every household access to fresh and nutritious food.

Without further ado, here are some of highlights from this past year.

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What's in Season Right Now? (Winter 2017)

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Seasonality of what you consume is more important than ever. Not only are restaurants adopting the practice of creating dishes that use ingredients that are in season, but many grocery stores are also beginning to do the same.

One of the most important things you can do is to arm yourself with the knowledge of what's in season during certain months so you can make the most out of the produce.

In-season produce not only tastes better, but you're also supporting the local farmers and eliminating your carbon footprint by minimizing orders for items that aren't available in your area, but are grown across the world and have to be shipped.

Here's what's in season during Winter 2017. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Winter 2017)” »

As It Turns Out, Coconut Oil Isn't That Good For You

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Coconut oil has been lauded as one of the most impressive health products for years now. From being a moisturizer to the preferred cooking oil, coconut oil boasts many benefits and reigns supreme as top health food. That is, until now.

In June, the American Heart Association (AHA) re-emphasized their long-standing recommendation to limit food sources of saturated fat, and in it, they specifically single out coconut oil as one of the worst sources. According to the statement, coconut oil is just as bad as beef fat and butter because it's mostly saturated fats.

Saturated fats are known to raise LDL cholesterol, which is the "bad" cholesterol that's often linked to animal plants. LDL is also found in tropical plant oils, such as coconut. Its makeup, according to the AHA, is about 82% saturated fat. Comparatively, butter is only 63% saturated fat and, perhaps even more surprising, beef is only 50%.

An even stranger statistic gathered by the AHA shows that about 72% of Americans believe that coconut oil is a healthy source of oil, whereas only 37% of nutritionists suggest so.

Of course, this raises the question as to how coconut oil gained its reputation. One important takeaway is to always research what the latest food trend is and rely on reputable sources like actual nutritionists as opposed to your favorite health guru on Instagram.

Read more on the American Heart Association's findings over at Huffington Post.

Everything You Need to Know About Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera, has many names. Indian ginseng, padalsingh, and winter cherry are just a few of the titles that it also carries. As its most common moniker, Indian ginseng, implies, ashwagandha has certain rejuvenating properties that make it one of the most beloved herbs in the health world.
Continue reading “Everything You Need to Know About Ashwagandha” »

What's in Season Right Now? (Summer 2017)

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Seasonality of what you consume is more important than ever. Not only are restaurants adopting the practice of creating dishes that use ingredients that are in season, but many grocery stores are also beginning to do the same.

In-season produce not only tastes better, but you're also supporting the local farmers and eliminating your carbon footprint by minimizing orders for items that aren't available in your area, but are grown across the world and have to be shipped.

Here's what's in season during Summer 2017. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Summer 2017)” »

We Were on The Marilyn Denis Show!

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Earlier this week, the Urban Cultivator Residential made its debut on CTV's The Marilyn Denis Show. Featured as one of the household appliances that you should be investing in, Marlyn and Ramsin Khachi, renowned design-build contractor, the two explore the benefits of some of the best kitchen appliances in the game right now.

"This is the way of things to come," Khachi tells Marilyn in the segment. "The cost savings in this are just buying food—you're growing your own herbs for salads and meals. They're so efficient, growing from days to weeks."

Watch the clip over at The Marilyn Denis Show site!

From Marilyn
"Easily grow Fresh herbs and microgreens right in your kitchen in as little as 5 days. Requires no effort- automatic lights and watering makes the process easy and effortless. We provide the seed and everything you need to grow.

The Urban Cultivator Residential lets you control what you eat- grow fresh, nutrient dense, organic microgreens year round. Microgreens can be used in salads, smoothies, juices and cooking."

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