Is the water safe to drink?

That’s a question no one should have to ask. Particularly, as we Americans like to think, in our own country. But the Flint, Michigan water crises reminds us that, more than 30 years after passage of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, dirty drinking water is a reality for some Americans. As a (transplanted) West Virginian, I can’t help thinking about … Continue reading Is the water safe to drink?

The MCHM mystery

It’s hard to believe that in America today 300,000 residents in and around a state capital could find themselves without safe drinking water for days. But that’s what happened one year ago this month in Charleston, West Virginia when MCHM, a chemical used to wash coal, leaked from a storage tank adjacent to the Elk River. State officials issued “do not use” orders for tap … Continue reading The MCHM mystery

Really? Microbe-free ears?

I first wrote about antibacterial soaps and personal care products more than a year ago after I erroneously bought antibacterial Q-Tips.  Two recently released studies got me thinking about this topic again.   In one, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined illness and death linked to antibiotic resistant “superbugs” and pinned the blame on hospitals and farms for their excessive antibiotic use.   The other, … Continue reading Really? Microbe-free ears?

Am I a bad person if I don’t always buy organic?

  Yesterday, I didn’t order my Thanksgiving turkey.  The yellow sticky note had been sitting on the kitchen counter — and then hidden on my desk when I didn’t want to hear my husband ask again “have you called this guy back yet?”— for several weeks before I finally summoned the courage to call the friendly farmer in the ramshackle house surrounded by happily grazing … Continue reading Am I a bad person if I don’t always buy organic?

The price we pay

The irony was indeed cruel.  My article on Obamacare and job lock had just been published in Pacific Standard.  In it, I examined some of the economic research showing that, under the current system of health care, many Americans work in their jobs only for the health insurance.  I shared some of my own experience making the leap from full time job to freelance consultant … Continue reading The price we pay