#QuotableMondays: Killing Coffee… or the Planet?


The Washington Post has a WonkBlog piece up about K cups and coffee pods killing Americans’ love of coffee. From the post:

Coffee pods, however, are incredibly efficient by comparison. People tend not to make more than they will actually drink—or, at least, first intended to drink.

“People used to make a pot of coffee. Now they make a cup,” Pedro Gavina, the owner of Vernon, California-based roaster Gavina & Sons, told Reuters. “Right there we’re losing the sink as a consumer.”

They are also cutting down on the number of beans used per cup, because they tend to be less caffeinated.

There’s certainly some truth in this article, but I am (and always will be) a full-on auto-drip guy. here’s why:

  • Used coffee grounds are excellent for compost (read more)
  • Doing auto drip or French press means you can adjust the strength/amount yourself
  • Supporting local coffee artisans who aren’t in the K cup business
  • Less waste than with K cups or coffee pods

On that last bullet, The Atlantic has a post up that eviscerates K cups and our disposable lifestyle:

Last year, Keurig Green Mountain pledged to create a fully recyclable version of its blockbuster product, the K-Cup, by 2020. Last month the company’s annual sustainability report reaffirmed that vow. It’s a point that Oxender has reiterated multiple times during damage control in the wake of #KillTheKCup. But promising only five more years with this amount of waste has done little to satisfy detractors. Some say it won’t be possible, ever, to make a K-Cup that is anything short of an environmental shitstorm.

“No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable,” Sylvan said. “The plastic is a specialized plastic made of four different layers.” The cups are made from plastic #7, a mix that is recyclable in only a handful of cities in Canada. That plastic keeps the coffee inside protected like a nuclear bunker, and it also holds up during the brewing process. A paper prototype failed to accomplish as much.

There’s also a snazzy video, entitled “Kill the K Cup,” where people get beaned by marauding K creatures. The video is sprinkled with some startling statistics of our K cup usage.

You can certainly buy a refillable insert that goes inside the Keurig machine, but to me it’s just not the same. But, if you have one of those single-serving deals, then the insert is the way to go.


The moral of the story for me is I feel very good about my Morningside Blend from San Francisco Coffee House, right here in Atlanta. All of my grounds go in my compost and feed my backyard—after they’ve fed me.

#QuotableMondays: ‘We Have to Love Each Other’

from left: Will Pollock, Lucas Schneider, Rob O'Connor & Alexis Vear at the "Pizza for Good" book-release party

from left: Will Pollock, Lucas Schneider, Rob O’Connor & Alexis Vear at the “Pizza for Good” book-release party

In Episode 1 of my podcast, “The Pizza Dish,” I speak to NYC-based software developer (and longtime pal) Rob O’Connor about a number of pizza-related topics, including:

  • DNA on pizza crust implicates Daron Dylan Wint in D.C.’s “Mansion Murders“—what are the civil-liberty implications?
  • What will happen to Memories Pizza? What will the long-term impact be of the Religious Freedom Act on Indiana?

“Are they collecting DNA for people charged and not convicted?” is a topic that came up during the podcast. Actually, the answer varies by state. HNGN has a great post up about the subject, and you can read the entire thing here. Some states collect DNA in light of serious charges like murder; others only do it post-conviction. In both cases, DNA collection raises serious constitutional questions that nobody is talking about, which was brought to light by this unusual DNA discovery on a pizza crust.

‘First sign of a declining society’
I don’t usually quote myself for #QuotableMondays, but I made an exception this week. Talking about the reaction (and the reaction to the reaction) to Indiana and Mike Pence’s Religious Freedom Act:

“We have to love each other. The first knee-jerk reaction is to shut each other down and not listen to each other. and that’s the first sign of a declining society when we just preach in a silo and we don’t listen to each other. I don’t agree with their position, but I also want them to be able to express their religious beliefs without them being persecuted. We’re better as a society with a conversation.”

Related: read my post, #PizzaforAll, right here on the book blog

Listen to the full first episode of “The Pizza Dish” below, and thanks for sharing with your pals! – Will Pollock

#QuotableMondays: EVOO from Italy, Under Pressure

“One thing is clear: We can’t take olive oil for granted.”

The piece’s nut graph:

“More than any time in recent memory, olive oil is an increasingly precious commodity. Last year’s harvest was severely damaged by extreme heat, torrential rains and hailstorms, as well as a devastating fruit fly infestation. But even worse, a few regions to the south, in Puglia, olive trees have suffered a catastrophic bacterial infection that has wiped out at least one million trees. It’s been a disastrous year. Some experts predict many olive farms will go out of business; others foresee skyrocketing prices. One thing is clear: We can’t take olive oil for granted.”

Before you assume EVOO will always be at your fingertips and at the exact same price, read this piece in full on the NYT’s website.

Best ‘Pizza for Good’ Twitter Fan in the History of ‘Mankind’

Check out this tweet:

“Pizza for Good. Mozzarella for Mankind. Pepperoni for People.” so many awesome taglines—my work is done here.

Henceforth we have our #QuotableMondays early! Great thanks to my Austin gal pal Lady Theo for the tweet.

When you tweet about Pizza for Good, tag me @bywillpollock and with #GoodRising and I’ll feature it right here on the book blog!

Happy Memorial Day 2015!

#QuotableMondays: Last Week Tonight & ‘Abomination Pizza’ (NSFW)

I was catching up on Last Week Tonight over the weekend, and stumbled over a reference to the grossly mass-manufactured pies of Pizza Hut. Oliver made the quip as an aside about a piece on Dr. Oz as a snake-oil salesman. Here’s the quote, and then the clip:


“Just because some bread, tomatoes, and cheese got black-out drunk and fucked each other in an abandoned dumpster doesn’t mean that you get to call the resulting abomination ‘pizza.’”

Pajiba has a post up that encapsulates the segment well, with lots of F bombs and delicious smack-downs: “John Oliver’s Explanation of the First Amendment is a Must Read for Every Dumbass Troll on the Internet.” A-freakin-men.

Pizza Hut image credit: Kunal Janu

#QuotableMondays: Learn Your Craft ‘Until it Belongs to You’

Our Julia Child pizza, “Only Child,” is one of my favorites of the bunch.

The recipe offers a twist on an old favorite—chicken piccata—and can be put atop a pizza or served on it’s own. Healthy, flavorful and awesome.

Today I stumbled upon a quote from frequent Child collaborator and chef extraordinaire Jacques Pepin that applies to anyone who wants to hone a craft.

Pepin's appearance on Bravo's 'Top Chef'

Pepin’s appearance on Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’

Here’s his thought:

“I tell a student that the most important class you can take is technique. A great chef is first a great technician. ‘If you are a jeweler, or a surgeon or a cook, you have to know the trade in your hand. You have to learn the process. You learn it through endless repetition until it belongs to you.'”

So, own your capabilities, whatever they are. I’ve made “Only Child” so many times that I can do it in my sleep. Cheers to happy practice. – WP


> Pizza for Good: Buy it for the recipes… Use it to change the world <

#QuotableMondays: Patricia Arquette Steals the Oscar Evening

You might call it an “Actor’s Barn-burner.”

At last night’s Oscar ceremony, Patricia Arquette won for Best Supporting Actress in a film called “Boyhood.” The film is basically unprecedented in that it was shot over a period of 12 years with the same cast members. (read more)

But it was her speech that charged up the room. She said “the time is now” for wage equality for women in America. Meryl Streep, whom Arquette had just beat in the category, leapt out of her chair as she sat next to a very clap-happy JLo. Not everyone was pleased with her comments, that’s for sure.

The #QuotableMonday moment was not up at the Oscar podium, but rather, something she mentioned on the red carpet: GiveLove.org. She’s spoke passionately about it in a red carpet interview, so I decided to dig a bit deeper. Among many other mission points, the organization advocates and works in developing nations to devise better composting and eco sanitation practices.

The irony, at least to me, is our own situation in this country. We waste a tremendous amount of food, and much of it rots in landfills, which in turn releases methane. From the National Resource Defense Council:

“The average American consumer wastes 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia, up 50 percent from Americans in the 1970s. This means there was once a time when we wasted far less, and we can get back there again. Doing so will ultimately require a suite of coordinated solutions, including changes in supply-chain operation, enhanced market incentives, increased public awareness and adjustments in consumer behavior.

The U.S. government should conduct a comprehensive study for food losses in our food system and establish national goals for food waste reduction. One key action will be to standardize and clarify the meaning of date labels on food so that consumers stop throwing out items due to misinterpretation. A waste reduction organization in the United Kingdom has estimated this type of clarification could prevent about 20 percent of wasted food in households.”

Source: National Resource Defense Council

Source: National Resource Defense Council

Household and business composting would solve a lot of these issues, but we also have to change our behavior and purchase practices as well. I compost at home here in Atlanta and I wish more folks did it, because rotting food waste accounts for nearly 25% of national methane emissions.

For us in a developed nation, few people are talking about food waste and the consequences to us as a society. For developing nations, though, some of the basic things we take for granted like sewers and sanitation don’t exist.

Quoting the group’s mission direct from the GiveLove.org website:

• To introduce low-cost compost toilets in order to reduce disease and provide dignity for people living without basic sanitation
• To reduce reliance on chemical fertilizers by producing organic compost products that can improve soil and improve food security
• To teach people how to compost organic wastes and protect water resources
• To change attitudes about human waste & increase awareness about sustainable land-use practices
• To promote EcoSan and composting as viable solutions to water-based sanitation systems

Pizza for Good is based upon the notion that it’s in our nature to give back—to our communities, to charity or people less fortunate. PFG gives you a fun and effective way to do it, too. So what are you waiting for? buy now

I’m going to have a number of exciting announcements soon, so stay tuned! ❐

Pizza for Good: Buy it for recipes, use it for community