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Thumbs Off! A simple sanitary silicon grip tool was launched by former Atlanta area restaurant owner, Christian Valvo, who saw a need to keep fingers off plates, in general, and especially in the height of the pandemic. While gloves need to be changed several times throughout the day and contribute to excessive and unnecessary waste, Thumbs Off! Is reusable, dishwasher-safe and designed for dinnerware.

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Gentleman Forager presents a fun and interesting booth at this year’s Minnesota State Fair, inside the Lower Grandstand shopping complex. New and unique food products, including a Lion's Mane Mushroom-Infused Nut Butter and Wild Black Walnut Candy Roll will be for available for sale. Both brain-healthy options, the wild foraged black walnut candy bar is produced by an unnamed national candy company in St. Paul, known for a popular nut roll. The Wild Black Walnut Candy Roll is an "adult version" of an old favorite, and black walnuts are also a brain healthy food with a very unique flavor profile unlike traditional walnuts. Fairgoers can also shop for home-grow mushroom kits, fresh wild/specialty packaged mushrooms, packaged wild black walnuts, flavored cricket snacks, mushroom soap, foraging tools, knick-knacks and more.

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Minnesota Farmers Union has created Cucumber Jalapeno Limeade, currently debuting at the Minnesota State Fair. Additionally, MFU will be selling Maple Cream Nitro Cold Press Coffee and the full coffee bar. The limeade is made with juiced Minnesota-grown cucumbers and jalapeno syrup, served with a cucumber slice. The Cucumber Jalapeno Limeade was among 26 foods featured on the 2021 Minnesota State Fair New Foods list. Minnesota Farmers Union has had a strong presence at the Minnesota State Fair since the 1950s, with a building on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street. It became the Farmers Union Coffee Shop in 2003 and has remained a destination for fairgoers to learn about Minnesota’s family farmers.

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Black woman spirits educator Shannon Mustipher released Holy Tyger liquor, a whiskey sour spin off with bourbon, coconut, lime, lemongrass, Rockey’s liqueur, and Bittercube Jamaican No. 1 Bitters. Holy Tyger is a collaboration between LiveWire Cocktail Company and Musipher. The bottle is 33% ABV and ready-to-serve, containing six drinks per bottle. FMI: livewiredrinks.com/products/holy-tyger

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Caliwater, a California cactus water containing antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, five types of electrolytes and 200mg of Prickly Pear Extract, goes beyond basic hydration. Co-founded by Vanessa Hudgens and Oliver Trevena, the two began their efforts following conversation over mutual love for eco-friendly activism and prickly pear margaritas. Prickly Pear Cactus has shown to lower cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar levels. Found in abundance in the California dessert, it seems a fitting feature of the beverage. Each can contains just 25 calories, and is kosher, vegan and non-GMO. Caliwater also serves as a mixer for alcoholic beverages, and apparently helps to prevent dreaded hangovers. Currently, Caliwater comes in two flavors: Organic Prickly Pear and Organic Prickly Pear with Ginger and Lime.

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US Foods has launched Tender by Design™, a packaging, vacuum-sealing and freezing process which brags, “frozen beef can be just as high quality and tender as fresh beef.” The unpredictability and variance in the quality of beef driven by the time of year and pricing fluctuations makes it hard for restaurant operators to consistently offer high-quality steak. With 35 percent of restaurant operators claiming the short shelf life of fresh, raw meat is their biggest challenge, Tender By Design offers operators the convenience of shelf stable and cost-fixed meat year-round.

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