Drinking problems: A Kansas farm town confronts a tap-water crisis

The friendly waitress at the Pretty Prairie Steak House delivers tumblers of tap water as soon as diners take their seats. Across Main Street, the Wagon Wheel Café offers the same courtesy. Customers may also order coffee or iced tea, but it all starts at the same tap, and everyone is fine with that. This… » Read More

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    Harper's Magazine

This little piggy went to market … and everything changed

Arkansas Highway 155 branches of Arkansas 7 just south of Dardanelle. The flat two-lane features a couple of curves and long, straight stretches with cattle pasture and cropland on both sides. Just a couple of miles east of the intersection sits Balloun Farms. If the wind is right and your windows are down, you’ll instantly… » Read More

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    Arkansas Life

Toxic oversight

For years, government regulators and academic researchers have been at an impasse over the safety of bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used to make some plastics. Academic researchers have repeatedly found that BPA and other hormone-disrupting chemicals, which can contaminate foods and drinks, may contribute to problems such as early puberty, obesity, diabetes, developmental… » Read More

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    HuffPost

Q&A: How Pretty Prairie, Kansas, dealt with its drinking problem

Elizabeth Royte, a contributing editor at FERN, writes about the long history of nitrate contamination in the water of Pretty Prairie, Kansas, a farming community just west of Wichita, in the latest issue of Harper’s Magazine. One of the things she explores is why residents didn’t demand that the town fix the problem, even though they’ve… » Read More

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Building a backup bee

Every February an extraordinary research project resumes in the southwestern corner of California’s Central Valley. It takes place inside a series of huge cages that span 20 acres by a vast pistachio grove. Each cage is shaped like a rectangular warehouse but is made entirely of extremely fine netting, pulled tight and straight along strong,… » Read More

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    Scientific American

Farm fumes are harming our health. Here’s what we can do about it.

In the United States alone, air pollution kills about 115,000 people a year — more than three times the number of deaths caused by motor vehicles. Worldwide, some 7 million people died in 2012 alone from exposure to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization. The U.S. and other developed nations have taken major… » Read More

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    Ensia