Companies Display Green Food, Drinks at UCen Fair

A collection of eco-friendly and health conscious food companies doled out varieties of organic natural, green, vegetarian, vegan and foods at the Organic Food Fair yesterday in the UCen.

The campus is making renewed efforts to develop more environmentally sustainable business and administrative practices, in light of many campus stores and restaurants receiving Green Business Santa Barbara County’s official Green Business certification — including the Courtyard Café, the Coral Tree Café, The Central Kitchen, UCen Catering, The Arbor, The Store at Buchanan, The Corner Store and Nicoletti’s. All the food featured in the food fair will be sold at on-campus dining stores and restaurants.

The Organic Food Fair featured everything from snacking items like string cheese, granola bars, fruit bars, popcorn and vegan gelatin as well as unique takes on traditional beverages like tea, organic coffee and energy drinks.

One such beverage is Iced Bhakti Chai — an organic, free trade, non-genetically modified, gluten-free vegan chai beverage that is made using a variety of ingredients rooted in Indian Ayurvedic healing practices. The aptly-named Steaz drink — an all-natural, organic and fair trade iced tea — was also featured, with the brand showcasing its varieties of sparkling green teas and energy drinks.

The fair also displayed 100 percent raw, organic coconut water as well as organic blend Peerless Coffee, a fair trade brand that includes such flavors as French Roast, Balthazar Organic Blend and Organic Italian Roast.

The event also included locally-sourced Nika Purified Water, which comes from local waters and is specially processed, with 100 percent of its profits going toward funding of clean water, education and sanitation projects in impoverished and developing countries.

Additionally, one of many organic snacks given out at the fair included was the GMO-free snack bar: That’s It. With frankly named flavors such as “Apples + Cherries,” “Apples + Apricots,” and “Apples + Pears,” each That’s It bar is made of nothing but two servings of fruit.

A version of this article appeared on page 1 of February 21st 2013′s print edition of the Daily Nexus.