Prescriptions for Produce in Massachusetts

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Doctors at three Massachusetts medical centers are writing “prescriptions” for free fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets. Clinicians look for families of overweight and obese children enrolled in the centers’ exercise and nutrition program that can’t afford and lack access to fresh produce. Whole families are enrolled; the main requirement [...]

On Pesticides and Children

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Agricultural pesticides, long suspected of being especially harmful to children, are receiving additional scrutiny, thanks to three recent studies. And – no surprise here – children who live in agricultural areas turn out to be particularly vulnerable. Scientists are cautious in their conclusions, awaiting results of further testing. But two classes [...]

Fresh Produce for Food Stamps: Good News/Bad News

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Good news first: A federal program intended to boost sales of fresh fruits and vegetables will target low-income families in Hampden County, Massachusetts, in the state’s southwestern corner. Several thousand of the region’s 50,000 food stamp recipients will get a 30% discount off the price of fresh produce that they buy [...]

UPDATED Bugs and Itches – An Interactive Invitation

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Sometimes things bug me (I’m sure this doesn’t surprise you.) Sometimes something comes along that I’m itching to tell you about, but I’ve got other things to write. Mostly they get away from me, because I forget to write them down. No more. “Bugs and Itches” will be the title for [...]

UN Approves Water Rights Resolution, US Abstains

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The United Nations has declared access to clean and accessible water a fundamental human right. Apparently this is not the same as amending  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , making water the 31st on the list of fundamental human rights. The UN’s UDHR page has not yet been amended to [...]

Not Dead Yet: More Options for Cap and Trade

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Previously on “Climate Change”: When Democrats said they might try legislating to restrict greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the climate to change in a not-good way, Senate Republicans threatened to haul off and give them a dirty look. Afraid of being embarrassed by showing how the Republicans care more about [...]

E15, or How to Grow the Dead Zone

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The Environmental Protection Agency decided in December 2009 not to decide until mid-2010 whether to allow a 50% increase in ethanol in gasoline. Gas is currently required to be 10% ethanol (E10). Allowing a maximum of 15% (E15) does not mean 15% will be required, only allowed – at least for [...]

Government Failure, Grassroots Success

By Daphne Bishop This summer brought us the Senate’s egregious failure to pass a comprehensive climate change bill. But it also witnessed a burgeoning collaborative effort to ride the “wave of the future,” and get down to the nitty gritty of building an economy that is not tied to fossil fuels or fossilized ways of [...]

Lessons from the Hole in the Ozone Layer

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson  Not long ago I found myself wondering whatever became of the hole in the ozone layer. Before I found time to do my own search, a segment on the NPR program “Living on Earth” gave me the answer: It’s still there, but it’s closing. Another 60 years will pass before the [...]

Boston Gets a Marketplace, Farmers a New Market

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson  A year or so from now, Massachusetts farmers, cheese makers, bakers, and others out to please the palates of locals and tourists alike will have a new outlet for their products. After years of talks, debates, and the occasional argument, the non-profit Boston Public Market Association has nailed down a pledge [...]