St. Louis ARTful Happenings


Green Dining Alliance Brings Sustainability to St. Louis Restaurant Scene Membership Grows To More Than 100

Green Dining Alliance

By Jenn Derose and Aspen Steiner

The Green Dining Alliance (GDA) is a nonprofit program of St. Louis Earth Day that provides sustainability certification for restaurants and helps them set goals to reduce their environmental impact over time.

Our 100 + member restaurants are provided with tools and strategies to improve sustainable practices throughout their operation. The certification process begins when member restaurants commit to our core concepts: banning Styrofoam, implementing single stream recycling and phasing in energy efficient lighting. From there, an audit is scheduled to evaluate other areas of sustainability including: recycling and waste reduction, sourcing ingredients, water conservation, energy efficiency, chemical usage, awareness and education, and innovation. Member restaurants are granted a rating for each category and then given an overall rating ranging from two to five stars. Whether a restaurant receives a 2-star rating or a 5-star rating, they are granted the same support and types of resources necessary to improve year after year.

The GDA believes it’s important that sustainability is accessible for everyone- that’s why our program is personalized. We meet restaurants where they are and provide practical, pragmatic, cost-effective solutions. The GDA believes that when a restaurant makes simple changes to address sustainability, it can have an outsized impact. Restaurants use more resources and create more waste than similarly sized small businesses. For example, restaurants use 5-7 times more energy than commercial buildings of a similar size – fast service restaurants use up to 10 times more energy, and buildings in general account for nearly 40% of energy emissions. If multiple restaurants reduce their energy consumption a little bit, it can make a big dent in St. Louis’s collective emissions.

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Guide to Green Dining in the St. Louis Area

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Earthworms’ Castings: KDHX is 30! A Person-Powered History

KDHX Jean Ponzi

With Jean Ponzi
I wasn’t tuned in to earliest days of KDHX, but my best friend Sarah Linquist was. She understood the momentous achievement of ordinary voices broadcasting on the frequency 88.1 FM. “You should get involved with this, Jean,” she said. She was a very smart friend.

Sarah had been one of many blithe spirit volunteers who literally camped out in the Free-Form Radio digs of KDNA (1969-72), the counterculture ancestor of KDHX. FM attracted creative types: the KDNA license holders welcomed people off the street on the air, upstairs from the Crystal Palace nightclub in legendary Gaslight Square.

Frequency Modulation broadcasting was an upstart challenge to hugely popular and deeply commercial AM. Would a new radio medium make it?

Down on the low-number end of the dial, where the FCC reserved a limited number of frequencies for non-commercial, “educational” FM stations, the concept of independent Community Radio sprouted around the country from ideological roots. KDNA’s owners transplanted their experience at KPFA, flagship of the progressive (some said radical) Pacifica Network in Berkeley to St. Louis. Ordinary people (OK, so some were rather odd) got a radio voice!

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Vitamin D Deficiency Can Lead To Illness & Disease

TJ Williams, DC, PhD

By TJ Williams, DC, PhD

Did you know that the vast majority of the population—up to 90% of adults in the US—is believed to have a Vitamin D deficiency? And over 95% of the elderly population is believed to be deficient. As the population of overweight and obese adults and children has risen steadily over the past several decades, so has the incidence of Vitamin D deficiency symptoms. Sadly, a Vitamin D deficiency is correlated with increased risks of developing common cancers, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, and various infectious diseases.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver and fatty tissues. This means that increased body fat has the ability to absorb Vitamin D and keep it from being used within our body. Vitamin D is somewhat different from other vitamins because our body makes most of our Vitamin D on its own, rather than solely relying on food sources. Our body does this by converting sunshine into chemicals that are used by the body. However, our mostly indoor lifestyle, along with increased use of sunscreen, means most of us are not getting enough exposure to sunshine to make adequate amounts of Vitamin D.

The only way to know for sure if you’re Vitamin D deficient is via blood testing. However, there are some signs and symptoms to be aware of as well. If any of the following apply to you, you should get your Vitamin D levels checked sooner rather than later:

  1. You have darker skin.
  2. You feel “blue.”
  3. You’re age 50 or older.
  4. You’re overweight, obese, or have a higher muscle mass.
  5. Your bones ache.
  6. Your head is often sweaty.
  7. You have gut trouble.

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The Natural Medicine Cabinet: An Alternative to Antibiotics

Dr. Amy Davis

By Dr. Amy Davis, MD

According to the World Health Association, “antibiotics are serious medicine – not to be taken lightly. Overuse has led to increasing numbers of antibiotic resistant superbugs like – MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph aureus) and VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus).

So what options do you have when you get sick and would like to avoid unnecessary antibiotic use? The good news is that there are effective natural options that can help with viral, bacterial and fungal infections. I commonly use nutrients and herbals in my practice and have been pleasantly surprised with how effective they can be in lieu of antibiotics.

Here are some of my favorites for a Natural Medicine Cabinet:

  • Vitamin C – improves the immune system to help fight off bacterial and viral infections. Generally it’s a good idea to take a moderate dose of Vitamin C to support your immune system during cold and flu season.
  • Vitamin D – boosts the immune system and can be taken at the start of a cold which frequently shortens the duration.
  • Probiotics – Healthy bacteria that improve the gut flora which favorably impacts the immune system.
  • Olive Leaf Extract – This herb has been found helpful to improve resistance to infections. It contains phytonutrients such as oleuropein, oleuropeoside and hydroxytyrosol that have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. I have found this herb particularly helpful to shorten the course of respiratory infections to prevent the spread of infections within households.
  • Berberine – A chemical found in various herbs that is supportive for the intestinal flora and has antibacterial qualities. It can be helpful for common bacteria like Strep and Staph.
  • Oregano Oil – Proven support for healthy intestines and has antimicrobial properties.
  • Artemesia – Helpful for parasite or worm infestations, especially roundworm and pinworms.

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