On Earth Day, Brewers pitcher Brent Suter is a role model for all of us
Lori Nickel, sports writer with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, penned this Earth Day interview with EcoAthletes advisory board member and Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brent Suter that mentioned his role in our new nonprofit.
Brent Suter has time to try more recipes now with food he bought that was never packaged.
Coronavirus and its threat to public health have put his work as a Milwaukee Brewers pitcher on hold indefinitely as Major League Baseball has been shut down for a month now. But in the last year, Suter has taken further steps to live as efficiently and environmentally conscious as possible, from pushing for a green energy bill to going paperless in his kitchen to starting his own garden.
Wednesday may be an opportunity for us to pause and acknowledge the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but this is how the fifth-year major-leaguer lives every day of his life, and we could follow his examples toimprove our own lives and the places we call home.It has taken some effort for Suter, of course, and the changes have come in stages.
But he and his wife no longer buy paper towels or napkins; they wash reusable dish rags. They don’t buy cleaning products only to dispose of the plastic containers when they’re done.
Instead they use Blueland Cleaning Essential products to clean surfaces, windows and hands, because the dissolving tablets and reusable spray bottles are eco-friendly. “It does the job. We were a little skeptical at first because it took a couple of hours to really, fully mix in,” said Suter. “But you don’t have to worry about getting cleaners, you just use this little tablet. It’s cool.”
Suter and his wife also frequent farmer’s markets – bringing their own bags – to buy food that hasn’t been packaged. Next time you go grocery shopping, look at all the single-use, landfill plastic in your cart.
Suter has created his own recipes for his Instant Pot from these ingredients (see one recipe below). When he adds turmeric, cumin and cinnamon, he’s adding natural anti-inflammatory seasonings to healthy proteins, carbohydrates and nutrient-dense vegetables.
It’s no wonder he came back in 13 months from reconstructive elbow surgery to pitch better than ever in 2019.
“I was eating well when I got hurt, but I stepped it up to the next level,” said Suter. “That helped.
“I tried to keep it going after this offseason, this year. I definitely still have the occasional cheat meals. But I don’t eat red meat. I recently gave up pork. Some of the stuff that can really clog you up I haven’t been cheating with, so that’s been good for the system.
“Coloring up the plate, eating a lot of stuff from the ground – a lot of plants, fruits – has really been effective. And it’s helped my immune system too. I’ve gotten sick a lot less, I’m recovering well. Performing well.”
Suter also started his garden in his basement. That’s food that doesn’t need to be packaged or shipped anywhere, the most eco-friendly.
“I’m trying to make this an educational experience for me, with my son and my wife,” said Suter. “That’s been cool to watch that germinate and grow.”In addition to volunteering for cleanup projects – he went to the Dominican Republic last year for a beach cleanup – Suter is working with the Nature Conservancy, Players for the Planet and the recently launched EcoAthletes as an advocate for environmental issues.
“Brent Suter was an obvious choice for the EcoAthletes advisory board,” said Lew Blaustein, the group’s president. “He is very knowledgeable about climate science and the urgency of taking serious action to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint, is an inspirational, substantive speaker on the topic, and is eager to use his platform to reach all corners of the community.”
Suter has an environmental science degree from Harvard, and eight years after he finished college he is still trying to follow the policy proposals that affect our air, soil and water.
“They’ve been really good about getting stuff in front of me that I otherwise wouldn’t have found,” said Suter.
And he follows other political lobbying for bills that benefit the air, water and soil.
“I haven’t done much lobbying so far but I’m looking to get more involved with that because that’s really where some big scale differences can be made, is policy,” said Suter.
Suter will share tips and suggestions through a question and answer session with Discovery Education at noon Wednesday, Earth Day, at @DiscoveryEd on Twitter.
I am very grateful for Suter’s efforts. Even if they’re not all as successful as we had hoped.
Suter’s reusable water bottle campaign last spring training took a lot of persistence and just the right tone of trying to raise awareness of our consumption habits without sounding preachy. Suter, with his social personality and funny impersonations, strikes a perfect balance. He got 70 members of the organization reusable glass bottles.Unfortunately, most of the players, coaches and staffers have gone back to their old ways. But manager Craig Counsell stuck with his reusable bottle with a couple other players. Now, all it will take is a gentle reminder in the minds of Suter’s teammates to look at their habits and see how small changes can make a big difference for the environment.
“There was the seed that, ‘I could do better,’” said Suter.
And that’s the point. It’s not to lecture anyone. It’s to see how we can educate ourselves on the concerns over what we are doing to the air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil where we grow our food. And to make a change, one step at a time.and the soil where we grow our food. And to make a change, one step at a time.
Brent Suter’s Brewers Stew
One starchy vegetable such as potato or carrot. Suter prefers: regular white potato.»
Chose from these: lentils, legumes or beans. Suter prefers: lentils.
One green leafy vegetable such as lettuce or cabbage. Suter prefers: collard greens.»
Water or vegetable broth.
Suter prefers turmeric, cumin, oregano, a pinch of cinnamon occasionally; or garlic, salt, onion powder, pepper, hot sauce.
Press stew button on Instant Pot. A slow cooker might work too; try 6 hours. When it’s nearly done, Suter adds bell or jalapeño peppers on top for crunch. “The carrot-lentil combo was good with collard greens,” said Suter. “I would let some onion and garlic zest at the bottom if I wanted some extra flavoring. One time I dumped way too much pepper in there accidentally. The top fell off. That was a bad batch.”
Message Lori Nickel on Twitter at @LoriNickel, Instagram at @bylorinickel or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChinUpLoriNickel