The Dirt 2018-2019
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“As the Salton Sea shrinks, it leaves behind a toxic reminder of the cost of making a desert bloom,” published with The Weather Channel, eporter Lindsay Fendt explains how pesticides and other toxins, lodged in the mud at the bottom of the Salton Sea by decades of agricultural runoff, are creating a public-health hazard now that the lake is shrinking and the exposed mud is drying out, turning to dust. Asthma rates, already high, are expected to rise even higher. The once-prosperous resort towns by the lake have collapsed, and the only people left are farmworkers and others who are too poor to leave.
Since mid-April, FERN reporter Leah Douglas has been counting and mapping cases of Covid-19 at meatpacking plants, food processing facilities and farms. The map includes several data analysis to let readers explore how Covid-19 has spread to nearly 1,200 food facilities across the country. The map allows users to search by company, state, sector, and when the outbreak was reported. Each of the map graphics will be updated daily.
‘The workers are being sacrificed’: As cases mounted, meatpacker JBS kept people on crowded factory floors, by Esther Honig and Ted Genoways for Mother Jones tell the stories of workers in America’s meatpacking plants who are facing high rates of Covid-19 — and of the industry’s chilling disregard for its workforce. Based on interviews with workers, they report that JBS, a meat company with $50 billion in sales, pressured workers at its beef plant to show up for work even after they were exposed to the virus, failed to provide workers with with PPE, lacked soap and water for handwashing, and stopped testing workers for Covid-19 when numbers spiked.