Welcome to Chemophobifornia; don't drink golden water

California, chemaphobia, and the 'Erin Brockovich chemical' (Chromium-6)Chromium 6 found in elementary...

Eating Food like Great-Grandma's: the natural way to reduce life expectancy

I live north of Harbin Hot Springs, a "health resort," which catered (it burned in the 2015 Valley...

Causes and Cures for Deforestation

Cute, clever, incorrect.The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations's Forest...

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Norm BensonRSS Feed of this column.

I am a retired forester who now works in providing water to a neighborhood. I am also a home brewer of beer who lives in northern California. I write about environmental concerns; especially those... Read More »

For most of humanity's existence, our kind have worried about getting enough to eat. So we may see it as a good sign that now some of our species are worried about not getting organic milk in their lattes and frappes. "Where oh where shall I ever find a frappe made with organic milk?" one supposes they say. "If only Starbucks made their lattes and frappes with organic milk; it would be so healthy!"

Agriculture has one hell of a footprint, occupying 37.6 percent of earth’s land area, or about 0.7 hectares (1.7 acres) per person to feed our world's

One evening, during the drearily sodden summer of 1816, Lord Byron and his friends read Fantasmagoriana, a French translation of a German book of ghost stories (they were intellectuals after all) in his Villa Diodati in Switzerland (they were rich intellectuals). Afterward, Byron suggested they all write a horror story. Everyone did except Mary, the wife of his friend, Percy. She kept demurring, saying she had not yet thought of anything suitable.
It is Valentine’s Day and our thoughts naturally turn to yeasts. Okay well, love. But love can lead to sex, and that leads to reproduction. Yeasts may not know about love, but they do know about reproducing. So do we humans: our population here on planet earth has passed seven billion.
You know, medicine is not an exact science, but we are learning all the time. Why, just fifty years ago, they thought a disease like your daughter's was caused by demonic possession or witchcraft. But nowadays we know that Isabelle is suffering from an imbalance of bodily humors, perhaps caused by a toad or a small dwarf living in her stomach. - Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber (Saturday Night Live)
While we do not share our bodies with small dwarfs, toads, or (literal) demons, we are not alone.