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Lafe’s Natural BodyCare Recognized with Presidential-Level Export Award

A consumer goods company here was recognized, together with 31 other companies and organizations, as recipients of the President’s “E” Award and “E Star” Award for exporting excellence during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., May 22.

Lafe’s Natural BodyCare, a manufacturer of natural and organic personal care products, to include deodorants, hair care, baby care and bug repellents, won the “E” Award for Exports.

Lafe's CEO and wife accept award
Lafe Larson (center, left), CEO and Founder of Austin, Texas-based Lafe’s Natural BodyCare, together with his wife Denise Fleming, accepts the 2017 “E” Award from Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (far left) and Acting Under Secretary for International Trade Kenneth Hyatt in Washington D.C., May 22. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Commerce.

Both the “E” Award for Exports and Export Service is given for demonstrating a sustained increase in export sales over a four-year period.

Each company was presented the award from Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross for their significant contributions to increasing America’s overall exports into more than 200 global markets.

“Job creation is a top priority for the Trump administration,” Ross said. “As we kick off World Trade Week, it is a pleasure to honor these companies who increase our domestic exports and create good-paying jobs for the American people. Congratulations on this exceptional achievement.”

Lafe’s was noted by the secretary for its focus on trade shows to support its export growth model. Additionally, Lafe’s was highlighted for its ability to modify products and packaging to support international sales.

Karen Parker, Director of CS Austin, said this type of recognition highlights how hard businesses in the Austin area and Texas as a whole work to be successful in a globalized economy.

“The “E” Award is one the most prestigious business awards given out each year, and to have one from right here in Austin is very significant,” Parker said. “This type of recognition shows that Texas companies are taking advantage of overseas opportunities to expand their reach, remaining competitive in our globalized economy.”

For more information on Lafe’s Natural BodyCare winning the “E” Award, contact Stephen Collier at (303) 489-0414.

The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. U.S. Commercial Service trade professionals in over 100 U.S. cities and in more than 75 countries help U.S. companies get started in exporting or increase sales to global markets. For more information on the U.S. Commercial Service visit

This press release is presented without editing for your information. Mother Earth Living does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

A Visit to Gaia Herbs' Organic Herb Farm

Photo by Fotolia

BREVARD, NC—The sky looks foreboding as I head out to the ’Gaia Cares’ benefit but when I get there Ric Scalzo (herbalist, Gaia founder and CEO) assures us that the weather will cooperate. As we make our way to our seats, we are first gifted a Gaia Herb tote bag filled with supplements.

The event starts by Ric telling us Gaia’s mission to give back to the community. Every year they sponsor Golden Courage International, an organization run by Dr. Yun Lu, which aims to provide education to children living in China who are affected by extreme poverty.

Dr. Lu stands before us. He has a soft-spoken voice that belies a strong presence of dignity, humility and intelligence. He tells us that the early work of his organization supported children who have been orphaned because of AIDS (in addition to that work, the organization now provides education and nutrition to vulnerable children in China, and support to families and communities in need of micro-loans, government support and job training). He tells us that the name “Golden Courage” was coined by a girl who was disillusioned until the organization stepped in and helped her with her education. She has since finished college and is now a nurse.

After a brief slideshow, we hear about Dr. Lu’s clinic in Michigan. He reviews with us five items of vital importance for health, such as “Sleep, necessary for detoxification and rejuvenation” and, “Pooping…what are your poops like?”  Dr. Lu mentions the toxic nature of constipation and the importance of regularity.  “When I go to Ann Arbor and see all the angry drivers, I think THE LIVER! They need more greens.”

The next is stress—“I see a six-year-old and they say to me, ‘Dr. Lu, I am stressed.’  Why are six-year-olds stressed?”  Finally, he discusses overindulgences—our addictions, not just what we eat, but how and when we eat, and the need for detoxing.

As my stomach audibly rumbles, Ric steps in to conclude the talk by going over the nine-course dinner awaiting us. We’re offered polenta, an herb-encrusted ricotta appetizer, a fermented bitter melon dish, salad from Gaia’s mammoth organic garden, vegetable/egg stir fry, red chicken, salmon fished by local fishermen in Alaska, and fruit for dessert. Bitter melon, we later learn, is an acquired taste. Since it supports the pancreas and is incredibly healthy, we nibble on it tentatively during the meal.

We go outside and make our way up to a barn. As part of their wellness benefits, Gaia employees are served two meals per week, and supplied vegetables from their company CSA. Gaia also donates veggies to a nearby food pantry from their 15-acre organic vegetable garden.

We gather in the now parting clouds and settling sun, sipping lemonade infused with holy basil extract. Ric tells us that Gaia is the only herbal company that can trace their goods from seed to end product.  Most of their herbs are grown right in Brevard and that their area of Transylvania County is one of the most bio-diverse sites in the country. 

More Information Ric imparts about Gaia’s herbs:

• Their Ginkgo Trees (an herb used for memory and cognition) are intentionally grown with many supporting trunks to give proliferation to their abundant leaves. Ric tells us that Gaia is a company doesn’t use any toxic solvents in their extraction of Ginkgo).
• Hawthorne has cardio health properties, and the trees on site are intentionally planted near the Ginkgo for a heart/mind balance.
• Ashwagandha is an herb used to balance night time cortisol levels
• Before we even get to the Echinacea we see its plentiful purple flowers swaying in the almost stilled air. We are asked, “did you know symptoms of a cold usually don’t start until four days after exposure?”
• Astragalus—“tastes good in soups and works in a deep way on our immune system.”
• Stinging Nettle is one of the healthiest herbs we can eat (and we are served some)
• Feverfew works medicinally for pelvic and migraine pain
• Lemon balm- “Wave your hands over it and smell it,” Ric instructs us. It smells divine.

Learn more about Golden Courage and the work of Dr. Lu.

Brigit True Organics Line Awarded Organic Certification

Organic Soaps And Balm LLC, a Charlottesville-based, woman-owned manufacturer of organic olive oil based skincare products, was recently awarded certification as a USDA National Organic Program (NOP) certified organic handler and producer.

To achieve the certification, Organic Soaps And Balm passed a stringent audit by Oregon Tilth Certified organic (OTCO), qualifying in all areas, including sourcing, formulation and production procedures,  sanitizing and cleaning processes, tracking of all in-and outgoing products.

organic soaps and balm llc skincare line 

“As the formulator, my primary goal has always been to find the purest materials and highest quality organic ingredients available,” said Organic Soaps and Balms co-owner and founding partner, Brigitte Rau. “We have followed organic practices since we began in 2001, and are grateful for our loyal customers who appreciate our commitment to quality and purity standards.”  

Certified organic skin care can carry the green NOP seal, which is well-recognized from the organic food aisles. All organic processed products, from food to beverages to body care, go through the same rigorous certification process, regardless of whether they will be ingested or applied to the body.  This process assures the consumer that all organic products contain no synthetic toxins, pesticides/herbicides, or genetically modified organisms (gmo), and are free from synthetic preservatives, colors, and artificial flavors. 

“When we started in 2001, organic body care was a niche market”, said Rau.  “Now that all mainstream cosmetic companies want a piece of the eco-market, the integrity of organic is being clouded by fake seals and hollow marketing phrases that deceive consumers. By going through the certification process, we are recognized as one of the very few true organic body care producers.

We continue to offer healthy, synthetic-free products for the whole family, with special focus on people with allergies. By avoiding even natural ingredients that can cause allergies like tree-nuts, peanuts, gluten, and soy, we created a specialty line of skincare products that have created grateful and dedicated customers, all over the world.”

Because Organic certification began with food production, most organic operations today are farms and food handlers, but other producers are also listed.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture's Integrity Database, there are 233 certified organic operations in the Commonwealth of Virginia, of which only 3 are skin care companies. 

Brigitte Rau touches deeper on the company's mission: “Our philosophy goes beyond product. We understand that we are part of a global community, that there are consequences for our every action. By using organic ingredients we reduce our 'footprint' on the environment, and by supporting sustainable agriculture and green production methods, we join a growing movement of people and companies committed to putting Earth first.”

About Brigit’s True Organics:  

Brigit True Organics (BTO) is a skin care company based in Charlottesville Virginia. We offer a complete line of natural body care crafted freshly, in-house with herbal formulations that reflect both scientific research and traditional healing wisdom. All of BTO's products are 100% Natural and 81% - 99% Organic, using the highest quality ingredients: organic virgin olive oil, organic herbs, and organic plant essences. We do not use any tree nut oils and we are of course cruelty free. For maximum support and protection of delicate skin BTO uses food grade ingredients wherever possible, making all of our products edible. We never resort to mineral oil, fillers, artificial scents, parabens, synthetic preservatives, or chemical colorings.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. Mother Earth Living does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

Climate Ride Northeast: Hundreds to Bike for a Better Environment

This fall, up to 200 cyclists, ranging in age from 12 to 80 and hailing from across the U.S., will ride in the inaugural Climate Ride Northeast - Bar Harbor to Boston. Set for Thursday, September 17 through Monday, September 21, 2015, the five-day, 320-mile charitable bike-a-thon takes riders down the New England coast and raises funds and awareness for sustainability, cycling advocacy, active transportation and environmental causes. The event expects to raise $400,000 to support more than 120 regional and national nonprofits.

New England Coast 

What is Climate Ride?

Climate Ride was the first bike-a-thon to support environmental causes and cycling advocacy, not only by raising money but also through advocating for government change and educating participants as part of the experience. It was the first adventure travel nonprofit to raise funds for environmental causes and awareness about the importance of bike safety and advocacy, thus making the connection that an increase in active transportation will reduce carbon emissions that plague the environment. It remains today the largest of its kind in terms of its national scope and money raised with its choose-your-own beneficiary model. In 2014, 390 Climate Riders raised $725,000, which was granted to more than 100 beneficiaries. To date, Climate Ride has raised and contributed $2.28 million.

Climate Ride Northeast - Bar Harbor to Boston 

Climate Ride Northeast - Bar Harbor to Boston is one of three charitable multi-day rides hosted by Climate Ride: Climate Ride Northeast, Climate Ride California, and Climate Ride Midwest. The organization hosts Climate Hikes in Glacier National Park and Bryce-Zion and a DIY program: Independent Challenges.

“Climate Rides are unique in that they are designed for the riders to explore the beauty of the landscape through which they pedal, while providing them with education and direct contact with environmental and cycling advocacy leaders,” says Caeli Quinn, co-founder and executive director. “Today, less than three percent of charitable giving in the country goes to support the environment, despite the effects of climate change and carbon emissions on public health. We are working to combat this issue and we are very excited to bring this event to the Northeast.”

Climate Ride Northeast - Bar Harbor to Boston is a fully-supported bike-a-thon which provides meals, snacks, bike support, luggage transport and lodging for participants along the route. On the road, the Climate Ride support team assists riders to each day’s final destination. Participants embark upon an experience of a lifetime, pedaling through some of America’s most beautiful coastal towns and Acadia National Park. Each night, business, policy, public health and science experts engage riders in conversations about the latest conservation and sustainability issues.

The multi-day event is broken down into five legs: Day 1: 76 miles Bar Harbor, ME to Hope, ME; Day 2: 61 miles Hope, ME to Jefferson, ME; Day 3: 65 or 83 miles Jefferson, ME to Ocean Park, ME; Day 4: 50 miles Ocean Park, ME to Amesbury, MA; Day 5: 62 miles Amesbury, MA to Boston, MA.

All riders commit to raise a minimum of $2,800 by September 11 in order to participate. All participants have the power to direct grants to the beneficiaries of their choice, which they select from Climate Ride's extensive list of beneficiaries

On the afternoon of September 21, there will be a celebration when riders arrive in Boston during which they will be honored during a brief welcome event. Group photos will follow.

To register to ride or to support a cyclist or team, visit Climate Ride or call (406) 552-0708. Participants can enter the discount code climateride2015 for $25 off their registration fee. Join the conversation and follow Climate Ride on Facebook, Twitter using #ClimateRide, and on Instagram using #ClimateRide.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. Mother Earth Living does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

Announcing ‘XTC Get Wet’ Hemp-Based Lubricant

Get Wet a brand new line of personal lubricants, is the first of its kind to utilize all-natural ingredients such as hemp seed oil and slippery elm, which are better for your body, the environment and your sex life. Their non-toxic formulation is also vegan, gluten- and cruelty-free eliminating harmful ingredients that can get in the way.

The line includes 5 flavor profiles — Berry Moist, Mint Lime Squirt, Juicy Melon, Cinnamon Sugar Drizzle and an unflavored option — all derived from natural ingredients, and free from propylene glycol, parabens, PEG’s, or dimethicone, common toxic ingredients found in other personal lubricants that studies have shown may cause uncomfortable irritations, inflammation, pH imbalance and cancer.

XTC Get Wet Lubricant

The Benefits of Get Wet's All-Natural Ingredients:

Hemp Seed Oil Hemp Extract: Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which are moisturizing and soothing to the skin. Known to stimulate the release of nitric oxide (critical for optimal performance).

Slippery Elm: A healthy, sustainable substitute for silicone, Native Americans have used slippery elm for centuries in healing salves for wounds, burns, and skin inflammation. It contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water.

pH balance: When vaginal pH is unbalanced, odor causing microorganisms can flourish. The harmful chemicals found in other lubricants throw our bodies pH way off balance! Those intimate areas have their own special pH for a reason, so every sexual product you use should match it, which is why Get Wet Chemists carefully selected healthy ingredients that would result in the perfect pH for intimate areas.

Water based: We created a water-based lube, which is smooth and long lasting without being sticky, gooey, or downright icky like other oil- or silicone-based products on the market.

Safe for condoms and toys: You can feel at ease knowing that Get Wet lubricants are safe for condoms and will not deteriorate sex toys.

For more information, or to purchase products, please visit us online.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. Mother Earth Living does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

Nordic Naturals Inspires Support for Paws for Veterans

Nordic Naturals Paws for Veterans 

Nordic Naturals is kicking off a fall initiative to benefit a very special cause. The campaign—“Buy One Bottle. Help Two Heroes.”—will raise awareness and support for Paws for Veterans, a nonprofit organization that helps rebuild the lives of combat-wounded veterans, while also rescuing shelter dogs that would otherwise face euthanasia. From October through December 2014, purchases of featured products will support monthly donations of Nordic Naturals omega-3s to veterans and their adopted service dogs, as well as a donation of funds toward a new training facility, for a total contribution of up to $30,000. Nordic Naturals has produced a short video that tells the story of Paws for Veterans and the people whose lives have been changed as a result of their transformative work. View this video online.

Qualifying products include all bottle sizes of Baby’s DHA, Children’s DHA™, Nordic Berries™, Omega-3, Complete Omega™, Ultimate Omega®, Pet Cod Liver Oil, and Omega-3 Pet™.

“Veterans frequently return from active duty with neurological and physical disabilities that make daily life incredibly challenging,” said Joar Opheim, Founder and CEO of Nordic Naturals. “Medical service dogs offer amazing support that really changes the lives of these men and women.”

Crystal Ayala, CEO and Lead Trainer for Paws for Veterans, describes their work as “life saving,” noting that 22 veteran suicides are reported every day, and 1.2 million dogs are euthanized annually. Paws for Veterans rescues shelter dogs facing euthanasia. According to Ayala, “Each dog is rehabilitated, trained, and given a home with a veteran who needs and loves them. Veterans help train their adopted dog to perform tasks related to their specific disability. These can include waking them from nightmares, reminding them to take medications, finding lost objects, and physically interrupting panic attacks.”

“We hope this unique promotion will raise awareness about this issue and this organization,” adds Opheim. “We have been supporting the work of Paws for Veterans for more than a year, and we’re excited to give our customers an opportunity to give back as well.”

About Paws for Veterans: Paws for Veterans is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Florida that provides combat-wounded U.S. veterans with the support of specially trained service dogs, while simultaneously saving the lives of dogs that would otherwise face euthanasia. To learn more, see Paws for Veterans.

About Nordic Naturals: Based in Watsonville, CA, Nordic Naturals is committed to delivering the world’s safest, most effective omega oils to help further its mission of correcting the global omega-3 deficiency. Distributing to more than 35 countries, Nordic Naturals offers over 200 products in a variety of flavors and formulations for adults, kids, athletes, and pets. As the number one fish oil in the United States, Nordic Naturals has revolutionized omega-3s, pioneering a new definition of fish oil quality as it relates to purity, freshness, taste, and dosage. Further information is available at Nordic Naturals.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. Mother Earth Living does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

derma e Wins 2014 Trailblazer Award

derma e natural skincare

derma e, the pioneer of vitamin-rich, high-performance antioxidant skincare products, was honored with a 2014 Selling Wellness Trailblazer Award from Grocery Headquarters magazine. This is the fourth time derma e has received this award that recognizes the company’s perseverance and innovation as a top natural health and wellness influencer. 

“As a company that has always championed natural ingredient technology, eco-sustainability and triple-bottom line fundamentals, derma e is so delighted to have won this award,” said Jennifer Norman, Vice President of Marketing at derma e. “We look forward to continuing to give consumers what they want – skin-friendly, earth-friendly, highly effective natural skincare at affordable prices.”   

Dedicated to helping retailers choose the best natural health and wellness brands, the 2014 Selling Wellness Trailblazer Awards honored 19 companies that are making a significant impact in the industry. Winners were selected based on a range of criteria including product innovation, uniqueness and integrity, social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

A complete list of winners can be found on the Grocery Headquarters website and in the January 2014 print issue.


Family owned and operated for 30 years, derma e has pioneered the development of vitamin-rich, high-performance antioxidant skincare solutions.  The award-winning line features over 80 products that are free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil and petrolatum.  derma e products are cruelty-free and 100 percent vegan.  Manufacturing and operations are offset 100 percent by wind power.  derma e can be found in over 8,000 retail outlets across the U.S. with additional distribution in 25 countries internationally and on derma e.  For more information, visit derma e online, call (800) 933-9344, follow on Facebook or Twitter.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. Mother Earth Living does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

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