Happy Earth Month…(sustainability, part 3)

Did you know that April is Earth Month, and Earth Day is April 22? Want to know what you and your school can do to help the planet?

You might have read about Moraine’s commitment to sustainability in recent foodblog posts about community gardening and Meatless Mondays. (Check out those posts to learn about your diet’s impact on the earth, to find meatless recipes, and to learn about community gardening!)

In fact, we have our own Center for Sustainability here at Moraine! Their awesome staff is responsible for our community garden, Meatless Monday, and other projects. Visit their site by clicking the above link to learn more about sustainability and ways you can become involved here on campus and in general.

Moraine is a member of the community college group Illinois Green Economy Network. Visit that site to read about local colleges’ sustainability practices and find information about green jobs and classes.

Moraine also belongs to The SEED center (sustainability education & economic development). Check out that site for information to learn about topics like sustainable gardening, agriculture, & careers and certifications. Find even more information about sustainability, permaculture, and more on the library’s sustainability research guide.

Sustainability is part of our campus in many ways, and new ideas are being postulated all the time! In fact, last month during Learning College Day, faculty and staff from the Center for Sustainability and other departments had a really interesting conversation about the community garden, composting, and incorporating these ideas into classes ranging from science/bio to culinary and childcare. Speak up if you’re interested in learning more or participating in any process of community gardening, and look for future foodblog posts discussing where food comes from and what’s in it (especially in light of the pink slime controversy)!

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Meatless Mondays (sustainability, pt 2)

Yesterday, did you happen to notice any vegetarian or vegan options in the cafeteria?   Moraine is participating in Meatless Mondays and will be offering more veg options on Mondays.

Do you know how eating less meat affects your health and your planet?

*Stop by the library to check out some books and dvds like: China Study, Food, Inc, and other materials by Michael Pollan.

*Borrow Forks Over Knives or other materials through interlibrary loan.

*Search GreenFILE, Academic Search Complete, and Expanded Academic ASAP databases using terms like “meat industry – environmental aspects” or “agriculture and environmental aspects” or “livestock – environmental aspects” to read articles such as:

Goodland, Robert; Anhang, Jeff. “Livestock and Climate Change.” World Watch; Nov/Dec2009, Vol. 22 Issue 6

Jacobson, Michael F. “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” Nutrition Action Health Letter; Jun2009, Vol. 36 Issue 5

Le Page, Michael. “Eat more plants.” New Scientist; 9/19/2009, Vol. 203 Issue 2726

Upton, Julie. “Meatless Mondays Are Good for You…and the Earth.” Environmental Nutrition; Jun2009, Vol. 32 Issue 6

Walsh, Bryan. “Skip the steak.” Time Magazine, 4/9/2007, Vol. 169 Issue 15

*For some tasty recipes, Moraine’s library has some cookbooks with meatless recipes. You can also come browse issues of Vegetarian Times magazine (current issue is by the coffeebar).

*Find recipes and more info online at these sites:


Vegetarian times

Vegetarian Resource Group

Happy Cow (Illinois and Chicago restaurants)

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Where does your garden grow? Sustainability, pt 1

Where does your food come from? Why does it matter, and how does it affect your health, wallet, and the environment?




Read about community gardening in this recent Chicago Tribune article.

In future foodblog posts, find out more about how local food sources contribute to sustainability. I will share info about community gardens, co-ops, farmers markets, transition groups, permaculture, and more.

For now, check out some local sustainability and urban gardening groups:

Naperville sustainability meetup group has upcoming meetings where you can learn about and discuss co-ops and meet local gardeners.

Chicagoland permaculture meetup group hosts meetups and classes on a variety of topics.

Transition Rogers Park meets to discuss urban agriculture and other topics. Find local resources on this site.

GreenNet Chicago has upcoming workshops and seed swaps.


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Junk food part 1

Soda. Candy. Chips.

Does this resemble your diet? Do you stop at the vending machine for lunch? Maybe you did in high school or even grade school. According to this New York Times article, new federal laws might change kids’ access to vending machines in school.


Want to learn about vending machines in Illinois schools? Search the Chicago Tribune database (use your Moraine ID barcode once you’ve registered it in the library)!

What do you think about the government’s role in food regulation and education?

Junk food part 1 Read More »

Finding Help for Hungry Students

Hunger is an issue people of all ages are facing in this tough economy – including American college students. Moraine students are responding to this need by researching food pantries on college and university campuses. Check out the links below to read about some college food pantries and to find out what other students have done to highlight and help fight the hunger problem.

Try Moraine databases! You will need your student ID barcode to search from home! (Remember to update your ID in student services S building and here in the library each semester!)

  • For news articles, search databases such as Chicago Tribune, New York Times, or Washington Post.
  • Try other databases such as SIRS, Academic Search Complete, or Expanded Academic ASAP. Try different combinations of search terms like “colleges and universities,” “college students,” “food production,” “food pantries,” “food pantry,” “food assistance,” “food relief,” “food banks,” “service learning,” “community food services,” or “services.” See below for examples of some articles found in these databases.
  • From SIRS you can find:

-Marcus, Jon. “Colleges Trying New Ways to Keep Students from Dropping Out.” McClatchy Newspapers. 27 Sep 2011

-Malkin, Whitney. “Students Are Hungry to Learn–And Now Are Just Hungry.” Washington Post (Washington, DC). Aug. 3 2008: A.12.

  • From Academic Search Complete, you’ll find:

-Bradley, Paul. “Feeding Academic Success.” Community College Week, 23(17), 6-7.

-“Financially Struggling College Students Turn To Food Banks.” Diverse: Issues In Higher Education 25.14 (2008): 15.

  • From Expanded Academic ASAP:

-Adelman, Deborah, and Shamili Sandiford. “Reflections from the garden: developing a critical literacy of food practices.” Radical Teacher Spring 2007: 5+

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Feed My Starving Children

Did last week’s foodblog whet your appetite for volunteer opportunities?  Next week, as a service learning class project, Moraine Valley students will pack meals for Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) which is a charity that ships donated food for malnourished children to more than 70 countries worldwide. Students will be volunteering at the  Aurora FMSC location on Tuesday, February 7th from 2:30-4:30 and Thursday, February 9th from 2:30-4:30. Anyone is welcome to join the class. To sign up, click on the link for the day you want to volunteer, and you will be taken to the FMSC site where you will be asked to register.

Want to learn more about world hunger? Visit the Moraine library to check out books, videos, and dvds about subjects including hunger,  the food supply, and food relief. Watch for upcoming posts discussing the world’s food supply.

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Food is making news: “Food stamp” president. Food deserts.

Food trucks.

Food is also a hot topic for collaboration, research, and study this year at Moraine Valley Community College. This spring, classes are discussing  Food, Inc. and researching service learning projects related to food banks and food pantries and food drives.

So how are food banks and pantries related? Food banks are repositories for food which is distributed to agencies such as pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens. At the national level, there is Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that has a network of 200 food banks. Visit Feeding America’s website to learn about hunger in America. Moraine Valley’s area food bank is the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD). Visit the GCFD site for information such as how to become a member agency and how to start a food program, hosting a virtual food drive, and to learn more about Chicago hunger. Also, search for resources and pantries to find food. Moraine’s local food pantry is Elsie’s Food Pantry. Last fall, Moraine Valley donated produce to this pantry from its community garden, and the library raised money for Chicago’s Zone 32 pantry with the Food for Fines program.

Stay tuned for more posts from this new foodblog series that will satiate your hunger for info about food, nutrition, agriculture, health, diet, community gardening, permaculture, sustainability, and related issues. Sources will include library books and dvds, articles found in library databases, credible websites, and more.

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