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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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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!

Mind Over Matcha: Learn All About the Delicious Tea

Certainly, you've heard of matcha before. It's widely available at almost every coffee shop, it's for purchase at a number of groceries, and you've seen it on more than one dessert menu.

In addition to its complex, mildly bitter flavor and caffeine kick, matcha provides a number of other benefits.
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What's in Season Right Now? (Summer 2018)

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 Summer 2018. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Summer 2018)” »

These Spring Dishes Has us Sprung

Spring is one of our favorite times of the year thanks to its abundance of fresh produce. The weather is warming up and we're retiring squash vegetables, so it's a great time to embrace bright and colorful dishes.

To celebrate our favorite season, we've compiled a couple of our favorite spring recipes for you to try out. Throw on a record and get cooking!
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10 Foods That Will Help You Keep Hydrated This Summer

Summer is right around the corner, and by the looks of it, the next few months are going to be some hot ones! You're most likely going to be outside to soak up the sun a lot, but don't forget to hydrate. Leaving your body without one of its most important components can leave you tired, your skin dry, and at worst, give you heatstroke.

Since water can be a bit boring, here are some tasty foods that will keep you hydrated all summer long.
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How to Re-grow Vegetables From Cuttings

According to a study as per an article in The Atlantic, single-family households in Toronto discard about 275 kilograms of food waste per year. Food waste is becoming a serious problem that has been contributing to global warming, which is one of the reasons as to why Urban Cultivator came to be.

With this in mind, it's important to make the most out of your produce—which is where vegetable cuttings come in. If you haven't done this before, now is a good of a time as ever. Here's how to grow some of your favorite vegetables out of their cuttings.
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What Are Microgreens?

You've seen these little greens-formally known as microgreens-stylishly topping your meal as garnishes or dressed in vinaigrette as a salad. But what exactly are microgreens, other than the obvious fact that they are very small in size? Continue reading “What Are Microgreens?” »

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.

Continue reading “A Heck of a Year: Urban Cultivator's 2017 in Review” »

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