I attended the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) trade show last weekend in Toronto which is Canada's largest trade show dedicated to natural health supplements and organic products. I look forward to this show every year in both Toronto and Vancouver because it showcases many amazing products both new and old. It's a holistic nutritionist dream really, to attend a show like this - hundreds of incredible products all under one roof.
And Vienna came for a visit on Sunday as you can see in this photo, here. She was playing with her little Playmobil unicorns on the comfy Genuine Health carpet.
In this post, I wanted to share some stand out products that I saw at the show plus the biggest stand out trend. But before I get to that, I wanted to let you know that the CHFA has just launched a brand new online resource for you with recipes, natural beauty and healthy living inspiration for your home: Healthier By Nature. A resource you'll definitely want to check out!
The stand out trend of the entire show was brands focused on products or packaging (sometimes both) that are sustainable. This is good news for our planet.
Specifically, in regards to packaging, I saw a lot of brands with unique packaging that was truly biodegradable, as in biodegrades under 3 months, not in 500 years. This brand here is Patch.
They are natural bamboo bandages that are totally hypoallergenic and breathable. Plus they biodegrade if put in compost in just 10 weeks!
I chatted with the founder, James Dutton and he showed me a photo of his son's arm when he used a regular bandage. There was a red rash-like welt and he was determined to find something better. Oddly enough, the exact same thing happens to Vienna's skin with certain bandages and this is because it's made of petrochemical-based ingredients not meant to be directly applied to your skin, especially a wound!
And just as important is that bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource that grows many times faster than trees, uses much less water and doesn't require pesticides or herbicides. Be sure to check out Patch here.
I've been a fan of Wholly Veggie for a while now but the fact that their veggies pizza crusts are going to be made from Green House Juice veggie pulp makes me want to buy them even more!! This means less waste and a far more sustainable product.
Next up is Loop. I was very impressed with their sustainability story. Approximately a third of the world's food goes to waste. That's 1.3 billion tonnes of food that goes to waste or gets lost according to the United Nations. That's nuts!! But they are making a difference because they use perfectly imperfect produce that would otherwise be discarded to make their juices.
And that's not all. Not only do they make fresh juice, but they make beer out of day-old bread and soap (not yet launched) that is made from rejected cooking oils from the vegetarian food chain. Less waste going to landfills - awesome, awesome!
Another brand that is totally awesome is Wok Fresh. They are meals in completely compostable packaging! Essentially you just add water and voila! You have a plant-based meal perfect for travel or camping when you can't bring along your refrigerator and oven but you want something quick and easy in the most sustainable packaging possible.
Thank you so much to Jenn - The Planted One on Instagram for sharing this photo and telling me about this awesome brand!
And my last brand with an awesome sustainability story is Station Cold Brew Coffee. They are coming out with an effervescent iced tea made from the husk of the coffee bean which is called Cascara. This means less waste from their amazing other product that my hubs Walker loves, Cold Brew Coffee. I don't think this tea is out on the market yet because I couldn't find it on their website.
I also loved seeing silicone reusable food containers and silicone snack bags instead of plastic.
Healthy and Yummy Snack Bars
First up is Made with Local. Founder and creator Sheena is a super cool East Coast gal who started making these delicious and hearty bars at farmers markets and has now grown to a national company. Made with no weird ingredients and nothing artificial. These are snacks I feel confident giving to my daughter Vienna because they are nourishing and yummy. She also sells her mix so you can make bars or balls by just adding some nut butter and honey - love that! You can watch a video about her inspiring story and see her adorable family!
Next is Mid-Day Squares they are so damn tasty, you think you're eating a chocolate bar. Since I'm a chocolate lover and true to their name, they definitely give me my mid-day fix! A family-run, Canadian company (Montreal born) -- husband and wife, plus the brother bringing real food to the masses.
There was definitely a chocolate trend at CHFA too. From Hu Kitchen to Nobo -- unfortunately, I didn't get any photos but I certainly enjoyed their treats.
As per usual, at the show, there are always plenty of natural beauty brands (some cleaner than others) but many new brands and new products this year. I loved this brand "THIRSTY NATURALS" and its focus on teens' face and body care. They've done an awesome job creating gender-neutral branding and scents in their products. They are clean and free from any hormone-disrupting ingredients.
Green Beaver was one of the first natural and green-beauty brands I ever used when I became a nutritionist 10 years ago. I've always been a fan. And I was very happy to see they are launching a natural toothpaste for kids too!
I can't wait to try it out on Vienna when it hits the store shelves soon.
I was so happy to see many brands focussed on sustainability because its essential for the health of our planet. Every little change will have a positive impact on our planet. At joyous health, this is always something top of our mind as well which is why when we recently launched a new product (our dry shampoo) we put it in recycled cardboard.
ps. Don't forget to check out the CHFA's new website: Healthier By Nature!