Make a change for Mother Earth

November 21, 2011 —

About three years ago, a group of DMU students began pushing the University to increase its sustainability practices. They wanted DMU to recycle more paper and plastic water bottles and reduce waste in other areas.

Now an official campus organization, the Conservation and Sustainability Committee succeeded in getting the University to install several water coolers that allow people to refill their bottles. In conjunction with Food Day 2011, in October the committee brought to campus the movie “Food Inc.,” a disturbing documentary about corporate food production in the United States. The group is also encouraging the campus community to observe Meatless Monday, a national movement to get people to eat meatless at least one day a week.

“My view is that if we get the planet’s population of seven billion people to make some positive change in their lives, doing what they can, that will make a difference,” says second-year osteopathic student Jessica Nokovic, committee leader this year.

In support of the group’s goals and in celebration of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday (and since I deprived you of a recipe on Friday), below I offer two seasonal selections from the Meatless Monday website.

Pick parsnips over the greasy bag.

Smoked Paprika Parsnip Chips

  • 3 large parsnips
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Salt

Preheat oven to 325. Scrub parsnips clean and trim both ends. Thinly slice into rounds. Toss with olive oil, vinegar and paprika. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes. They will crisp up more after being out of the oven for a few minutes.

Cranberry Avocado Guacamole

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 minced jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup halved cranberries, drained well on paper towels
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, jalapeno and onion. Add avocados, cranberries and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper; toss gently to combine.


Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.