Category Archives: Environment

Sweet Potatoes and Lentils

So, here’s a recipe that appears to’ve originated with Alicia “Alisha” Silverstone. I found Silverstone’s original recipe and it did not include kale. Big mistake! However, in her recipe, she uses broth for precooking the onions instead of sautéing them. Might be good if you want to make it even less fatty. (I used a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil myself.)

Also, I would recommend slow-cooking some lentils beforehand, especially if you’re like me and you don’t like to babysit legumes and don’t want to worry about the sodium or .

After consuming only seven large bowls of this, I was able to race the fastest animal, walk along the longest path, and hold the hottest substance. I also wrote this great new song: “I’m strong as a quail ‘cause I eats me [sic] kale.”

2 Tbsp safflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown lentils
1 cup baby spinach or kale


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and saute onion for about 2 minutes, until soft.
  2. Stir in tomatoes and ginger, cooking an addition 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and salt and cook for 2 minutes, tasting to make sure its to your liking.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, broth and lentils.
  5. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and cover, allowing to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  6. Add spinach (or kale) and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
A recent study shows that canned food doesn’t lead to increased BPA in the blood:

TEEGUARDEN: So for bisphenol-A, for example, you may be exposed to relatively large amounts in the diet. But what matters most, is how much of the bioactive form actually reaches your blood and your tissues.

HAMIILTON: Teeguarden studied 20 men and women who spent a day on a diet loaded with BPA, from canned foods and juice in plastic containers. He wanted to know whether there is a lot of bioactive BPA in the blood of people who ingest large amounts of the chemical.

TEEGUARDEN: What we found was, no, there is not. At least if it is, it’s present in amounts that are below our limit of detection, which in this case was point three parts per billion.

HAMIILTON: Some studies that have found much, much higher levels of BPA in the blood. And that’s really surprising, Teeguarden says. The reason is that to get levels that high from food, a person would have to ingest hundreds or thousands of times more BPA than the typical American gets in their diet.

TEEGUARDEN: So the question is: Where did that bioactive bisphenol-A come from?

HAMIILTON: Teeguarden says one very real possibility is that it got into the blood accidentally after samples were drawn.

My Carbon Footprint for 2012

1.80 metric tons at 10,000 miles
1.62 metric tons at 9,000 miles
1.44 metric tons at 8,000 miles
1.26 metric tons at 7,000 miles

1.56 metric tons at 10,000 miles
1.41 metric tons at 9,000 miles
1.25 metric tons at 8,000 miles
1.09 metric tons at 7,000 miles

Secondary Measurements
2.91 metric tons with daily red meat
2.61 metric tons with white/red meat
2.30 metric tons with mainly white meat
2.00 metric tons with mainly fish
1.70 metric tons with mainly vegetarian diet
1.39 metric tons with vegan diet


Discussion Concerning Hurricane Sandy and the Environment

It’s odd that we get taken aback by things already predicted by scientists. As global warming progresses, the storms will also become progressively stronger and more frequent. As we pray for our brothers and sisters well-being, we should also think about the choices we make today and their effects on our children.

I’m surprised that Tracy Chapman says, “You know the sun shines hotter than ever before.”
People skeptical of human-caused climate change have argued that solar activity is the main cause (or one of the main, non-human, causes) of warming. I don’t think that many atmospheric scientists believe that, though:
Continue reading Discussion Concerning Hurricane Sandy and the Environment

Against the Personal Preference Diet

If our going-in belief is, “Meat-eating is morally acceptable as it is a personal decision,” this belief equates acceptable morality with personal preference: “I like to eat beef; therefore, it is acceptable to kill and eat cows.” This easily permits the equivalent expression, “I like to eat Soylent Green; therefore, it is acceptable to kill and eat people.”

However, if we use unnecessary suffering as our benchmark, we can easily defeat both arguments. We first grant that unnecessary suffering is bad. We then grant that the more unnecessary suffering our actions cause, the worse those actions are.

We know that eating animals causes suffering in at least one direct way and one indirect way.

Factory farming is a direct way in which animals suffer. Conditions in many large-scale meat production operations cause animals to suffer cramped quarters, little or no outdoor grazing ability, and inhumane slaughter. Continue reading Against the Personal Preference Diet

Report: Number of Animals Killed In US Increases in 2010: “~10 billion land animals were raised and killed for food in the United States in 2010.”
Farm Animal Rights Movement
Do Chickens Suffer in Wire Cages?: “Dawkins explains that if hens kept all their lives on wire floors are suddenly given access to a floor of wood-shavings or peat, they have ‘an immediate and strong preference for these more natural floors over the wire ones, which is all they have known until then.’ “
United Poultry Concerns
The Human Cost of Animal Suffering: “The sheer volume, scale and rate of killing, the way the animals form a continuous stream rather than individual creatures, makes it clear the animals are seen as raw material.”
Timothy Pachirat

Recycling Windowed Envelopes in Chandler, AZ


Dear The City of Chandler, Recycling Division,

I would like to know if it is possible to recycle window envelopes in Chandler or if I need to first remove the plastic.

Thank you,

Clifton –

Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding whether window envelopes can be recycled in Chandler’s program. Chandler accepts all junk mail, including window envelopes, in the blue recycle container. It is not necessary to remove the film from the envelopes. For more information, please visit our website at the following link Solid Waste Services. If you have any questions that can’t be found on our website, please give Solid Waste Customer Service a call at 480-782-3510.

Livestock Farming and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In a 2006 report, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) concluded that worldwide livestock farming generates 18% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions — by comparison, all the world’s cars, trains, planes and boats account for a combined 13% of greenhouse gas emissions. Much of livestock’s contribution to global warming come from deforestation, as the growing demand for meat results in trees being cut down to make space for pasture or farmland to grow animal feed. Livestock takes up a lot of space — nearly one-third of the earth’s entire landmass. In Latin America, the FAO estimates that some 70% of former forest cover has been converted for grazing. Lost forest cover heats the planet, because trees absorb CO2 while they’re alive — and when they’re burned or cut down, the greenhouse gas is released back into the atmosphere.