Sustainable Supper

VegetablesThe Master of Arts in Urban Sustainability program hosted a Sustainable Supper, a way of eating that does not deplete the environment. The supper kicked off the first day of the MA in Urban Sustainability’s residency. The evening included a vegan meal prepared by Seasonal, Organic, Local (SOL) Catering Cooperative, which used local produce grown by the South Central Farmers, and a panel discussion on Youth as the Protagonists of Transformation. The panel had speakers from the Community Rights Campaign, Dream Resource Center, and Youth Build Boyle Heights High School. The event was sponsored by the MA in Urban Sustainability program and the BA program.

Community members are encouraged to host their own Sustainable Suppers.  Below are tips from the MA in Urban Sustainability program to make it a success:

  1. Buy organic whenever possible. The best way to ensure you are getting organic produce is to subscribe to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). If the produce box contains too much food, share with a friend. Antioch University Los Angeles is a pick up location for a CSA box each Wednesday. Visit and click on locations.
  2. Be aware of where your food comes from. Become a locavore – shop seasonally and eat what’s grown locally. For a fun activity, make a map of where all of the supper ingredients came from, beverages included.
  3. Try to use alternative transportation to buy supper ingredients; walk, bike, metro, or carpool with a neighbor.
  4. Take your own grocery bags to the store.
  5. Read the labels on the packaged goods.  If there are more than ten ingredients, put it back on the shelf.
  6. Start a vegetable garden wherever you are, no matter how large or small, and include worms and compost if possible
  7. Scrutinize any animal products you may be consuming. Look for labels like organic, free-range, grass-fed and antibiotic-free. Vegan is the most sustainable, but starting by eliminating any products that come from cows is also a good step; use almond milk or buy Earth Balance butter.
  8. Try not to waste. Use as much of the food product as possible. If you can’t use everything now, freeze what you can for later.
  9. When possible, buy staples (beans, rice, oatmeal, etc.) in bulk. You will save on packaging.
  10. Use cloth napkins. Try not to use anything disposable or meant for one-time use. Use eco-friendly detergents to wash dishes and cloth napkins.
  11. Add a side of beans and rice to whatever dish you are making. Build awareness with your family that a side of beans and rice, a staple in cultures the world over, might be more than many people will have to eat all week.
  12. Talk to others about what you are doing and share your enthusiasm.

Sample Recipe for a Sustainable Supper (Recipe courtesy of SOL Catering.)


3-4 medium-size beets


1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

2 tsp. dry basil (or 1 TBSP. fresh basil)

1 clove garlic, crushed or minced

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 TBSP. lemon juice

6 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Chop beet tops off (and put aside for juicing or stock) Place beets in 3 qt. of water and bring to a boil.

While waiting for beets to cook prepare dressing. Mix all ingredients and whisk until well combined.

Allow beets to cook until a knife pokes through smoothly. Pour out hot water and cover beets with cold water. When beets are cool enough to touch (about 1 minute) remove skins

Slice beets once through the middle then cut into half-moon slices. Mix with dressing and enjoy.