The (Environmental) Horror!

By Eddie Kirsch

Gulf Sounds flier
Happy Halloween!

Sustain Mizzou is hosting a benefit concert at the Blue Fugue called Gulf Sounds. Here is a little information regarding the concert:

When: Wednesday, November 3 — 8:30pm to 1:00am
Location: The Blue Fugue, 120 S 9th St., Columbia, MO
What to expect: People will pay $5 at the door and spend the rest of the evening dancing, chilling and having a good time.  Volunteers will sell raffle tickets to win gift certificates to all sorts of sweet places in the district (including a $50 gift card to Flat Branch Pub and Brewery).  They will also sell t-shirts and poster prints.  All of the money raised throughout the night will be donated to an organization of your choice:

1. National Wildlife Federation (wildlife)
2. Environmental Defense Fund (environment)
3. Greater New Orleans Foundation (community)”

If you need a little refresher on why the Gulf Oil Spill, here are five scary & interesting facts, in the spirit of Halloween:

1. According to the most recent data, a total of 6104 birds, 609 Sea Turtles and 100 mammals have been found dead.

2. According to, BP was celebrating safety on the Deepwater Horizon exactly when it exploded.From the website:
“In a curious twist, BP chose April 20 as the date for an onboard party to commemorate “Deepwater Horizon going for seven years without an accident.” A number of company executives reportedly flew out to the rig to take part in the festivities. The natural gas explosion that killed 11 crew members and eventually sank the rig ‘blew out the wall leading to the galley, where [the] party was being held.'”

3. According to, “205 million gallons spewed into the gulf over 87 days”.

4. From, “Approximately 93 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline are currently experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts-approximately 86 miles in Louisiana, 6 miles in Mississippi and less than two miles in Alabama and Florida.”

5. According to USA Today, by Oct. 1, BP had spent $11.2 billion on the Gulf oil spill


Chipotle’s “Dress to Kill” starts in just one hour!

From their website:

“Come in after 6pm this Halloween dressed as a horrifying processed food product and we’ll give you a burrito, bowl, salad, or an order of tacos filled with freshly cooked, naturally raised ingredients for only $2.

Up to $1,000,000 of the proceeds from Chipotle’s Boorito promotion will be donated to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution — a non-profit campaign (part of America Gives Back, a registered 501(c)(3) charity).”

Be sure to check out the “horrors of processed food,” or just watch this video. It’s scarier than any creatures you’ll see wandering the streets tonight.


Tasty Fall Recipes

Every week at Sustain Mizzou we try to eat fresh, local, and/or whole food. This week Rachel Brunner made delicious soups from scratch. Try them yourself!

Chicken and Rice Soup!
Served at SM General Meeting on 27 Oct 2010


  • 1 chicken
  • 3 carrots- thinly sliced crossways
  • 1 white onion- chopped
  • Feel free to add any of your favorite vegetables!
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Boil water in a large pot.  Place chicken in boiling water, reduce heat and cook for at least 35 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool.  Strain chicken broth and discard solids in strainer. Pull chicken meat off bones in bite-size pieces; set aside. Discard bones and other extras.

Strain broth; discard solids in strainer. Pour 2 cups broth into heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Add rice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until broth is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Return remaining broth, sliced carrots, onions, and bay leaf to same large pot. Bring to medium heat while rice cooks.  Add chicken pieces.  Stir in cooked rice.  Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.


Modified from:

Squash Soup!
Served at SM General Meeting on 27 Oct 2010


  • 1 buttercup squash
  • 3 acorn squash
  • Apple juice
  • Ginger (fresh or powdered)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Halve the squashes and place face down in a glass pan with ¼ inch water.  Bake for about an hour, until soft.  Remove squash from oven.  Spoon out squash from skins and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Heat in a large pot.  Stir.  Add apple juice until squash is a soupy consistency.  Add ginger (we put in a lot of ginger), salt, and pepper to taste.


Weekend Event: Harvest Hootenanny

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture‘s hosting a great community event this Saturday.  The Footprint plans to take pictures, but hopefully you can experience it for yourself!

Who’s invited: Everyone. Seriously.
What this entails: Free food, music and fun!  Meet urban farmers and check out a sweet barn that Billy Froeschner made out of reclaimed wood.
When to hoot some nannies: Saturday, October 30 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Where we’ll dig shins: CCUA’s urban farm on the corner of Smith and Fay.
Why this? Why now? Why not?  It’s harvest season, and the community wants to celebrate!

Here’s what the CCUA has to say on their event page:

The Center is celebrating a successful growing season and wants to share the harvest with you. Volunteers will be giving tours, and information will be available about the Center’s programs. Event coordinator Billy Polansky says, “If you’ve heard about us, but haven’t been to any events, this is the opportunity to come meet your urban farmers. We want to celebrate this year’s harvest with you, down on the farm…in the city. Come on out for food, fun, and music, its gonna be a hootenanny!”

Fun fact: The CCUA’s garden on Ash and St. Joseph was started by Adam Saunders and Sustain Mizzou as a research farm.

Before the City: urban landscapes

This week everyone gets off easy — it’s midterm season, so we’ll watch a video. This TED talk looks at New York City: Before the City.

A few things to get you thinking:

  • How do we perceive urban environments? Do we often consider what the landscape might have been? What species might have been there?
  • Can information, in this case a map, help bring about a greater connection between people and their environment?
  • Imagine that you are walking down 9th Street 400 years ago. What do you see?

Everyone is welcome to bring their own environmental video favorites and we will discuss what you bring. Have a great week!

The Reading and Media Group meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the second floor lounge of Memorial Union. New readers are always welcome.

Trayless: more than a waste issue

by Monica Everett

Usually when the issue of trayless dining arises, the conversation is all about waste.

Waste is important, but I think there’s a more important issue here, one that we want promote instead of discourage: connectedness.

My experience in the dining halls was, in a word, rushed. Grab as much food as possible, as quickly as possible, scarf down what’s edible  and throw the rest away.

I was usually left with a feeling of emptiness, and a longing for dinner around the table back home, and not just because the food tasted better there.

Alvina Lopez, a journalism student at Ashford College, touched on this yesterday in a blog posted to Wasted Food. You can read the full post there, but here’s my favorite part:

“I myself was at first cynical about traylessness. I didn’t think it would make much of difference, regardless of the intentions behind the initiative. But then after a week or two, I noticed substantive changes in my own behavior and my fellow diners’.  People stayed at meals longer. We ate more slowly, since those who wanted seconds waited until the foot traffic slowed down. The whole experience just became more enjoyable and relaxed. And, being someone who was raised to be sensitive about food waste, I noticed specifically that trashcans were not overflowing when I left the cafeteria.

Eventually the grumbling about the lack of trays subsided, grumbling that I suspect comes with adjusting to pretty much any change from the normal routine…Having made the trayless transition, I firmly believe that all schools should try it out, and not simply give up after a few weeks of student complaints.  It’s really such a simple idea, one that encourages more mindful dining.”

I am coming to realize that mindfulness, after awareness, is the next step to a sustainable society. Mindfulness of the cycle, the connections that bring food, products, and people to and away from us, is essential. Today, those connections are often invisible, allowing our minds to focus only on the immediate circumstances instead of on the complex consequences of our actions.

In November I will be attending a conference at UC Davis through the Agricultural Sustainability Institute that will focus on “Making the Invisible Visible” I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, think about where you go, what you buy, and what you eat. How are these things made possible?

For a look at consumerism and what it’s doing to our psyches, watch Shop Til you Drop. Don’t let the cheesy title scare you away.

KOMU’s “8 Goes Green” blogs about Tiger Tailgate Recycling

One of the local broadcast stations, KOMU, runs a blog called “8 Goes Green.”  Today, they ran a post about Tiger Tailgate Recycling.  Our secretary and TTR leader, Maggie Holleman, wrote the article.  Our outreach table leader, Briney Bischof, took the photos.

tailgating by the tunnel

The Maneater also wrote about our project, in an article titled, “Sustain Mizzou keeps tailgating green.”

Beyond 10/10/10

Along with everyone who has a firm grasp on the obvious, I have realized the momentous date of October 10, 2010 has come and gone.  Celebrities (such as Ellen Page), organizations, and just plain old regular bums much like ourselves pledged earlier in the month to work towards climate change on 10/10/10… but did the expectations intersect with reality?

188 countries participated in over 7,000 sustainable events through, a global campaign striving to unite people under the quest to address the climate crisis.  Common success stories of the “global work day” include installing solar panels, tree planting, and litter pick-up. founder Bill McKibben stated, “People are discouraged [by the lack of progress] but they are taking out their frustrations in action. They have decided that we are going to have to show our leaders what leadership looks like.” Activists hope to create awareness for the impending United Nations summit on climate change on Nov. 29 in Cancun, Mexico.

Check out photos of 10/10/10 actions here

“Dark Horse” Discussion

Since Steve’s article deals with meat consumption, Tina wanted to include alternative meat consumption: horses.  “Dark Horse,” an article by Lisa Couturier in Orion Magazine is about kill buying in the United States. I read it last weekend on the way to Denver and can attest to its good reporting and emotional impact.  Here are a few questions:

  1. Do you think some companies and states should reinstate slaughterhouses for horses?  What would be the advantages of such a measure?  The disadvantages?
  2. Can in-state operations at least be better regulated than those in Canada and Mexico?  Is this a good enough argument for them?
  3. Would international laws work cross-culturally? Do we want them to?
  4. What do you think of this quote: “It all seems like the ultimate betrayal to a horse that likely served its owners for years and, at some point in its life, experienced human kindness.” Could we apply this to other animals?
  5. Keeping in mind the Willard article, do you think it’s significant that this piece was written by a woman?

The Reading and Media Group meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the second floor lounge of Memorial Union. New readers are always welcome.

American Story of Meat

American MeatSteve picked out an article for Thursday: Barbara Willard, in the Journal of Pop Culture, discusses the “American story” of meat consumption and how culture both shapes the meaning and gender connotations of eating meat. It’s a little dry and academic in the first few pages but I think it really picks up when she does begin discussing the cattle lobby and how they launched massive public relations campaigns to make beef consumption look environmentally friendly and the cattlemen who raise it responsible stewards of the earth.

Here are some questions:

1. Does eating meat have any cultural significance to you? Do you ever reconsider or question how much you eat? Have you ever consciously made efforts to try and reduce your consumption?

2. In the age of an Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food, Inc., do you think the American people still have a romantic image attached to how meat gets to the dinner table? What specifically makes the cattlemen’s lobby about being “stewards of the earth (pg. 111)” statement seem suspicious?

3. Is there a difference in how men and women view meat consumption?

Feel free to come up with your own and let us know how the reading goes since it is from an academic journal.

The Reading and Media Group meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the second floor lounge of Memorial Union. We come bearing cookies. New readers are always welcome.