Spooky Songs for your Halloween Weekend

Halloween is arguably the best day ever. It’s the one time of the year that it’s socially acceptable to eat candy non-stop, dress up like a freak and scare the socks off everyone around you. It’s also a time to dance. Here are some of my spooky song recommendations for the weekend.

  • Miss Aretha Franklin’s “Spirit in the Dark” will make your hair stand straight up.
  • Listen to Kanye’s “Monster” and get in touch with your inner villain. Tapping into your inner Nicki Minaj will help.

  • Afraid of spiders? The Black Lips remember the notorious spider that bit Peter Parker in “Spidey’s Curse.” Watch out!
  • Bruce Springsteen’s “Spirit in the Night” made me believe in ghosts…
  • Watching this video is 100% necessary for you to understand what this weekend is really about. Everyday is Halloween for Rick James.

Missouri Seasonal Beer — for partiers on the go

Hey, it’s Halloweekend. You don’t have time to read a meandering review, and I don’t have time to write one (the STL Hops blog and the Not So Professional Beer Blog’s “Great Pumpkin Beer Roundup” can give you more). Here’s the essential info based off my experience:

Schlafly Pumpkin Ale: This is my favorite I’ve tried so far this year. Nice, creamy body that’s robustly pumpkiney and a pleasing choice of spices.

Where to find it: fine grocers everywhere, on tap at Heidelberg, Shakespeare’s and probably others. Actually, Shakes ran out on Saturday night. Sad story.

Schlafly Oktoberfest: Not bad, but given a choice, I’d go for the pumpkin. It’s a lager; it’s a little hoppy, a little bitter. So if you’re into that, go nuts.

Where to find it: fine grocers everywhere, on tap at Heidelberg annnd…that’s where my Oktoberfest journey ended

Broadway Brewery Pumpkin: It’s a little lighter and a little more spiced than Schlafly. Still super delicious, a great contender for runner-up, AND you can fill your growler with it.

Where to find it: Broadway Brewery on … Broadway. Between 8th and 9th streets.

Flat Branch Great Pumpkin Ale: I DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS TASTES LIKE! It doesn’t come out until Halloween proper at 11 a.m., but I’ve heard great things about its malty body and full flavor.

Where to find it: Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, 115 S. 5th Street.

Boulevard Bob’s ’47 Oktoberfest: I haven’t tried it, but my friend John said, “It’s alright. It’s a beer. I’d drink it if somebody gave it to me. Nothing special.”

Where to find it: fine grocers everywhere

O’Fallon Pumpkin Beer: I also haven’t had this one yet, but I do have a story. My friend Paige and I went to HyVee specifically to get this beer. When they didn’t have it, Paige threw a fit and left, even though they had perfectly good Schlafly Pumpkin Ale in stock. I think this is a testament to O’Fallon’s taste. Apparently, it still exists somewhere because she found some later.

Where to find it: only the finest grocers

FRESH reveals bleak reality

Following the viewing of the documentary FRESH, a panel of local food gurus addressed questions from the audience pertaining to issues with the industrialized food system. From Left: Tim Gibbons of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, John Ikerd of the University of Missouri, Jake Davis of The Root Cellar.

Picture the fast-food hamburger you ate for lunch yesterday afternoon. Chances are that beef came from a major industrialized food producer, not a locally owned and operated farm. That label on the wrapper that reads “100% pure beef” does not say anything about the amount of antibiotics fed to the cattle. Nor does it boast any information about the conditions the animals were raised in, or the exploitation of the farmer whose livelihood depends on equitable treatment by industrial food businesses.

This lack of awareness and honesty is the current reality of our food system; something I learned on Monday night after viewing the documentary FRESH. The film, directed and produced by Ana Joanes, was shown at an event hosted by Sustain Mizzou as a part of National Food Day.

Before watching the documentary I did not really consider the sources of my food in great depth. Like many consumers I realized that something unnatural was occurring within the food system. I accepted that fresh, farm-raised poultry and beef taste significantly better than frozen, mass-produced foods, but I was not willing to go out of my way to procure them. I was not truly bothered enough by this reality to overhaul the way I eat, or to consider the other factors that come into play when producing meat in the industrialized food system.

FRESH opens with a scene of the type of farm I would like to envision my food coming from. Joel Salatin, a third-generation farmer in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, is the owner and operator of a farm called Polyface, Inc. A utopia settled in an area so rural that GPS and cell-phone coverage do not extend to their acreage. As Salatin takes viewers on a tour of his farm, explaining his methodologies and principles in an almost poetic manner, he details what he means when he says he is a “steward of the earth.” With the collaboration of other family members, and a commitment to sustainable farming, Salatin has implemented farming techniques that boast success on a large scale without the help of antibiotics, seeds, plows or synthetic fertilizers. Polyface, Inc. serves as a sustainable model for what can be the reality of the food system, if consumers would only take a participatory role in the local food movement and make greater demands of the industrialized food system.

In stark contrast to Salatin’s farming philosophy was the portrayal of industrialized food production. When juxtaposed with Polyface, Inc., the description of an industrialized chicken house is enough to put viewers off their lunch, quite literally. While watching the documentary, I was struck by the ­­images of pig houses that shelter hundreds of pigs at a time. Within these houses, animals are fed an unnatural diet chocked full of antibiotics to combat rampant disease outbreaks, and hormones to promote rapid growth at an unorthodox rate.

Another farmer profiled in FRESH, Russ Kremer of Osage County, Missouri told his compelling story on-screen. After making the transition to industrial pig farming techniques in the 1980s, including keeping hundreds of pigs inside concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)- essentially metal crates, Kremer sustained a life-threatening injury while handling one of his boars.

The boar speared Kremer in the kneecap with one of its tusks, resulting in a serious infection in Kremer’s leg. After countless indeterminate tests and ineffectual rounds of standard antibiotics, doctors concluded that Kremer was fighting a drug-resistant form of strep bacteria- the exact same bacteria he fought to ward off in his pig herd. The bacteria had mutated to become drug-resistant as a result of the massive amounts of antibiotics that he fed his pigs, and posed a serious risk to human health.

After his brush with drug-resistant bacteria, Kremer returned to his farm and exterminated his herd. He made a commitment to overhauling his farming practices, deciding not to use any industrial techniques, ruling out the use of antibiotics or confinement. According to Kremer, in his first year of traditional farming he saved $14,000 without drug expenses or veterinary bills. Kremer went on to found the Ozark Mountain Pork Cooperative and Heritage Acres label, a coalition of more than 50 family farmers raising pig herds sustainably; and notably, with monetary success.

Throughout the documentary, it became clear that the industrialized food system is currently in a dire situation, and needs the attention of the public to affect change. But there is hope.

Retired University of Missouri Professor Emeritus of Agricultural and Applied Economics John Ikerd was featured in the film, as well as during a panel discussion following the viewing on Monday night. Ikerd shared his unique opinions concerning the food system as it is now. As a man who lived during the year the first supermarket was introduced, Ikerd remembers a time when his family received all of the food from farms no more than 60 miles from his home.

Ikerd presented his conception of the big picture of the industrialized food system, and how to reconcile that with the local food movement. He called for a paradigm shift involving three steps. “People need to conclude that the current changes to the food system are not working- that it is not healthy and that there are still hungry people in this country. There also needs to be some concept of what changes will work; and finally, people need to believe that it is possible to make the transition to a healthier system,” Ikerd said.

For additional information about FRESH and the local food movement, check out the website below.


Who, me?

Every day we have two choices: the sustainable way or…the other way. It’s easy to want to help the planet, but tricky part is the who, me? question (followed by the inevitable yes, you! response). I’m convinced that if everyone started asking themselves who, me? a little more, our world would be a lot different. So every week I’m going to challenge you to start wondering more about the world around you and how you (yes, you!) can change it with small gestures. All it takes is some old-fashioned initiative, creativity and sometimes a little bit of spunk.

Don’t be a wasteoid.

Every day we throw things away. My challenge to you this week is to think about trash. Really meditate. Every piece of paper, every wrapper, every plastic bottle – dream about it. Get creative!

Review: Red and Moe

Photo by Steve Pan

A dual review in which Steve and Tina talk about their shared experience at Red & Moe.  Here’s Steve’s take:

It’s pretty difficult to get excited about pizza. As a basic American food, the concept of topping dough with sauce, cheese, and other ingredients before nuking it in an oven has been done to death.

I admit I’m pretty jaded. Red and Moe’s sustainability gimmick with their pizza seemed interesting enough for us at Footprint. I’m now glad we went to take a gander. Their pizza is fantastic.

Red and Moe, located at 21 North Ninth Street, is tastefully decorated, combining a hip, modern aesthetic with subtle, vintage charm. For example, the retro-looking tableside lamp at our table flickered whenever I banged on the table (not always on accident), bringing me much joy. In addition, water is brought to you in a highball glass, giving common Eau de Columbia a much more rarified presentation. You’d swear it tastes better too.

But the real show here is the pizza. In addition to the generic red sauce n’ cheese, Red and Moe has a rotating selection of specialty pizzas made exclusively with locally sourced ingredients. The apples that go into their apple and red onion marmalade pie, for example, are from the CCUA.

We chose JJR’s farm roasted chicken, which was probably one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.  It’s a glorious shitshow of various European cuisine archetypes plus good ol’ roasted chicken.  The roasted chicken topping was succulent and full of flavor. I I’ve probably eaten a henhouse’s worth of rubbery, flavorless chicken from a CAFO. This however, is the real deal. Additionally, the pizza is topped with escarole, a somewhat pretentious leafy green but wonderfully complementary with the roasted chicken and mozzarella/basil base. Also interesting is the dressing on the escarole, a garlic aioli (raw egg and garlic mayo) that lent a powerful, but not overwhelming flavor to the pizza. Overall, there was not much to be disappointed with. I thought the crust was a little underwhelming, and at $15, it’s pretty expensive.

If you’re just looking for a quick slice after class or drinking too much, Red and Moe may be an in appropriate choice. Those looking for sustainable take on an American favorite in a classy but casual environment will be rewarded.


I disagree with Steve. I get excited about pizza. It’s the energy currency of this whole campus, for goodness sake. Maybe that’s why I was already excited about Red and Moe.  Disregarding the fact that expanding this currency analogy presents some real-life logistic problems, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that cheaper pizza like Domino’s or Gumby’s is a dime a dozen for college students. Getting Red & Moe is like someone handing you a crisp $20 bill. Hel-lo, Andrew Jackson.

Red & Moe was legendary.  I had heard of its sustainable sourcing and tasty inventions, but was always too put off by the prices to go inside.

First off, it’s less snooty than the price tag makes it seem, which I guess makes sense because, well, it is a pizza joint. Our waitress was super helpful as she walked us through what exactly aioli sauce and escarole entails. After hearing her description, Steve and I didn’t need words to agree that we wanted that pizza.

My only regret is that I didn’t have room to finish it all. Thin, crispy crust, garlic mayonnaise and uncooked greens are best enjoyed fresh, so bring two friends if you’re going for lunch.

Know what else you can have at Red and Moe? Wine pairings with pizza. To-go options. A nice bout of the warm fuzzies.

Would I pick Red and Moe over Shakespeare’s? They’re too different to compare. I’d go to Shakespeare’s to hang out with a bunch of friends and have a lot of pizza that is instantly satisfying and delicious — comfort food and lots of noise. With a good friend like Steve, I’d go to Red and Moe, where we can talk about life and savor all the flavors of the food. I’m glad Columbia has options like this, so I can cash in on my pizza cravings no matter the mood.

What happens with your old phone once you’ve moved on to a snazzy new one?

A couple Thursdays ago I stayed up until 3:30 in the morning to pre-order the new iPhone 4S. It was a purchase I had been waiting nearly six months to make since my two year contract with AT&T had lapsed, and I could get a new phone. My parents and I had already discussed that we would give my old iPhone to mother, who has used a Motorola SLVR for the past 7 years and is ready to move into the age of the smartphone. But as I was sitting at my desk clicking “refresh” over and over on Apple’s online store page I couldn’t help but wonder what other people do with their old cell phones.

I found the thought rather distressing. Cell phones are chock-full of toxic substances that you can’t just toss into a landfill. They contain substances like lead, mercury, brominated flame retardants, and PVC just to name a few and that’s not even including the batteries. You might think that throwing out your phone, it being such a minuscule item and whatnot, wouldn’t be a big deal but think of the millions of cell phones that people throw out every year. Soon rain leaches these toxic substances into the ground and your water supply is undrinkable (unless of course you like heavy metal poisoning).

Needless to say, donating if your old phone is useable and recycling if it’s not is a no brainer. But how do I do this you may wonder? Well look no further! Here are some links to help you on your quest to save the world one phone at a time.

I decided to set about discovering what most people do with their old cell phones. Personally, I’m a bit of a technophile and a fan of nostalgia so I generally keep my old technology. In fact I still have my first iPod in its original box, an Apple IIc from 1980s, my lime green 1976 BMW despite having upgraded to one from the ’90s,  and when I bought my first iPhone I kept my motorola SLVR for when I go running and bicycling.

Sarah Kranau, a George Washington University student, said that, much like myself, she gave her old iPhone to her mother.

Emma Faist, a Mizzou student, said “I always keep my old cellphones and put them in my memory box. I think it’s cool to see the technology advances as I get new ones. Sometimes I look at them and just laugh because some of them are really silly looking. I would recycle them but that’s no fun because then they are just gone!”

When I asked Seth Amos, a student at UPenn, I got quite an interesting response. He said: “I kept it and I carry it with me when I run in case I need to throw it.”

“Wait,” I said, “so to be clear, you carry around your old cell phone on runs to throw at someone if they seem to have an intent to harm you?”

“Yes, exactly” he said.

Taylor Dukes, a Junior at Mizzou, said that she kept her old phone in case she ever had a problem with her iPhone.

So perhaps my worrying was unwarranted. If most people simply keep their old phones and put them to good use or save them for emergencies or to look at, then they aren’t really contributing to the growing issue of eWaste. Let’s just hope they recycle their phones when the time comes to get rid of them. I did, however, get a few other responses. One of which wasn’t particularly reassuring, but others certainly make the case that some people are conscious of the issue and trying to make a difference now.

Mizzou Sophomore Tracy Qin, said that she usually gets new phones because she loses them. While Mizzou Junior Laura Ebone said she placed her old phone in the electronics recycling box by the front desk of her residence hall. Which is what Matt Mazick, a Mizzou Sophomore, does unless “it’s still functional” he says “then I store it away as a backup or give it to one of my family members as an upgrade.”

Anna Valiavska had this to say on the topic: “A few years back I realized that there were a lot of cellphones that I acquired and I wanted to do something with them. There were a few programs that were available at the time. Two programs I have used for cell phones that were usable were cell phones for soldiers and cell phones for domestic violence survivors. Best Buy takes old cellphones in stores and recycles them.” She went on to say that her main motivation is “to not be wasteful. We have a lot of resources and it would be useful to reuse as many of them as we can.”

Opt Out of Your Next Phonebook

Photo by Lulu Vision

A few weeks ago, I walked into my apartment building and after stepping over the usual piles of pizza coupons, marketing mailers and miscellaneous unsolicited mail that littered the entryway, I started the climb up three flights of stairs to my place. To my enviro-horror, each floor greeted me with this scene: a two- or three-pound phone book individually wrapped in a plastic bag in front of every last door. An environmentally-minded person, I couldn’t help but privately rage. Once I made it to my floor, I mentally prepared myself for that sense of guilt I’d feel when I reached the book at my door.

Then I got there. No phone book. At first I thought, “But, but, everyone else got one, why not me? I’m so left out and alone!”Then I remembered that months prior I had registered with the website YellowPagesOptOut.com, which informs phone book companies that I’ve requested to not receive a book. I was relieved, but still felt bad thinking of the college students in my apartment building using a phone book to prop up a wobbly chair while using their smart phones to Google the delivery number for Hot Box Cookies.

In 2011, the yellow pages and white pages are of little use to most people because of access to the web on computers and smart phones. Though these directories still have utility for many people–especially those with financial or geographic barriers to internet access–activists, lawmakers and even some phone book publishers themselves are making noise in support of an opt-in plan. This would make it so anyone who wanted a phone book would have to call their local publisher and request one be delivered, as opposed to companies simply dumping them on every porch uniformly. That would be good news, considering an estimated 650,000 tons of phone books are delivered to doorsteps across the country every year, of which only about 17% ever ends up in a recycling bin (according to TreeHugger.)

So, while we might not be able to count on the disappearance of the phone book anytime soon, you can still do your part by registering with YellowPagesOptOut.com if you’d rather not see another phone book welcome you home.

However, there are some independent phone book publishers that will not accept a third-party opt-out request. To stop receiving their materials, you’ll have to call them directly.

Residence halls working to provide sustainable options in the laundry room

The Residence Hall Association (RHA) has recently begun to provide drying racks for the residence halls in order to provide more sustainable (and cheaper!) laundry options to students.

Sustainability Coordinator for RHA, Jordan Glasgow, has been working hard to provide drying racks to all the residence halls and, so far, everything is going as planned.

“I haven’t had any obstacles with the drying racks. Everyone seems very excited about the project,” Glasgow said. “It’s just about organizing everyone into one group at this point.”

Tina Casagrand, former Sustain Mizzou president and current Footprint Magazine editor, originally started the drying rack program in 2009. It was inspired by the efforts of Pomona College and an article in the New York Times titled, Rethinking Laundry in the 21st Century. The program purchased 20 drying racks for use in the residence halls using money from the Student Sustainable Initiatives Fund and the RHA.

Sustain Mizzou put out an excellent guide for students here Whites, Darks and Green. Drying racks are already available for free checkout in Schurz, Hatch, College Avenue, Excellence and South halls, and the program is experiencing su ccess in these places.

“I don’t have any specific numbers on usage. I do know that they have been very successful with proper advertising,” Glasgow said. RHA is now working to spread the program to the other halls.

“The goal right now [is] finding funding for everything,” Glasgow said. “Everything has to come from the sustainability budget.”

With each load of laundry costing $1.25, it is much more cost efficient for students to use drying racks instead. Most students save at least $5 a month when using drying racks instead of a dryer.

“I brought a drying rack because laundry here is v ery expensive and it saves me a lot of money,” Brandon Weiss, a freshman living in Schurz Hall, said. “It’s also nice when it rains and you can just hang your clothes to dry instead of having to go all the way downstairs to dry them,”

While air-drying clothes does take longer, many people are unaware of the other benefits that come from using drying racks.

“On move in day when everyone was moving in and I walked to Hearnes Center, It was pouring down rain and everything I was wearing was drenched, but I hung it up and it dried for free,” Weiss said.

Air-drying clothes reduces the chances of shrinking, keeps clothes less wrinkled and helps them last longer.

Sometimes clothes can seem less soft when air-dried, but this can generally be avoided by using less detergent.

For those not living in residence halls, drying racks can be purchased at almost any store. Some are available for off-campus students from the Sustainability Office.

Other Tips for Greener Laundry: -Use cold water -Only wash full loads -Clean out the lint screen -Lose the fabric softener and dryer sheets

It’s time to Eat Real, Mizzou

Food Day is a national grassroots campaign working for sustainable, affordable, healthy, and just food in America.

Join us in celebrating Food Day this Monday on October 24, 2011!

Mizzou will be taking part by hosting two events:

Fair Food Fair
Lower Bengal Lair, Memorial Union
Meet and greet with Mizzou’s students, faculty, and staff working on sustainable food issues. Learn about what’s already happening (did you know 15% of the food in the dining halls is local?!), what can be done to make positive changes, and how to get involved. Plus, enjoy free local produce from Missouri farmers!

FRESH Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion
7pm, Conservation Auditorium, ABNR
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. E Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Panel to follow FRESH featuring Dr. John Ikerd, root cellar owner Jake Davis, and Tim Gibbons from the Missouri Rural Crisis Center

Think of it as Earth Day for Food

**Interested in volunteering for Food Day? We have a cornucopia of ways to help out! (Vegetable costume, anyone?) Click this link to fill out a volunteer form. Feel free to contact Monica at meverett16@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or just to chat about food**

Show your support for Food Day at Mizzou and RSVP on our Facebook event HERE !