Remember the Flint water crisis?

A decade later, does anyone still care?

Monday. When you think about plastic surgery, you probably think about women getting nose jobs, tummy tucks, facelifts, or breast augmentations. However, the landscape is shifting. That’s right—welcome to the era of the fake six-pack. A few decades ago, only 5% of plastic surgery clients were men. But today, that number is closer to 30%. Why? Dad bods aren’t as in as you may think, and going to the gym is a lot of work. So, the next best thing is to go under the knife and have a surgeon etch you some nice abs (READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE). 

What a time to be alive. 

Moving on to more pressing matters than fake, Jersey-Shore-looking abs—the Flint, Michigan, water crisis made headlines a decade ago. So, how is the city doing now? Let’s dive in.

Today’s Menu 🌿

  • 🚿 The Flint Water Crisis. Where do we stand now?

  • Sugar myths 🍭 debunked!

  • When is moldy food 🤢 ok to eat?

  • 🍰 FIVE foods to avoid if you care about blood sugar.

  • The Daily Recipe is an easy superfood shot to start your day.

  • The perfect drink for 😴 a good night’s sleep. 

Read Time: 4 minutes

Remember Flint?

In April 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan, made a decision to switch its water source to the Flint River to cut costs. This change led to a major public health crisis that exposed over 100,000 people, including up to 12,000 children, to harmful levels of lead and bacteria. 

For many residents, this change had devastating effects on their family's health, causing symptoms like rashes and severe seizures due to lead poisoning. Even though many people switched to bottled water for drinking, they still cooked and bathed using contaminated tap water, leading to all sorts of harmful consequences. 

The switch from Lake Huron to the Flint River not only increased the lead levels in children's blood but also exposed the community to bacteria causing Legionnaires’ disease, which resulted in numerous deaths. Yes—in case this is refreshing your memory, it really was THAT bad. 

The response from government officials was slow (color me surprised), taking nearly two years before any significant action was taken. Now, even a decade later, the impact of this crisis lingers, with many children experiencing health issues and the city's lead pipes yet to be fully replaced.

Mistrust in the water system remains deeply rooted within the Flint community. Although local leaders have made numerous efforts to address the crisis, such as organized protests, lawsuits, and water filter giveaways, nothing has really changed. 

In 2020, the state of Michigan settled for $600 million with Flint residents, allocating the majority to children affected by the poisoned water. However, countless families still face delays and lack of communication about the aid, complicating their struggles with ongoing health care needs (READ MORE HERE).

The story of Eileen Hayes (READ HERE STORY HERE), a long-term resident, underscores the persistence of the crisis. Despite assurances and partial replacements of lead pipes, many, including Hayes, feel that the problem remains unresolved, likened to an "open sore." The uncertainty and incomplete fixes contribute to ongoing distress and distrust among the residents.

Melissa Mays, another Flint resident (HER STORY HERE), highlights the personal toll and broader community impact. Even as official reports claim safety improvements, many like Mays continue to rely on bottled water, fearing further exposure to contaminated water. The sense of betrayal and frustration is profound, with Mays and others feeling traumatized by the misinformation and delayed responses from those supposed to protect them.

The key takeaway? It has been ten years, and nothing has gotten better for Flint's residents. This ongoing crisis is a stark reminder of the critical importance of reliable public utilities and the deep-seated issues of environmental injustice that can disproportionately affect underprivileged communities. Communities are literally being poisoned by their drinking water, and in ten years, leaders have done nothing. 

And the worst part? This stuff always makes headlines for a few weeks, and then we all forget about it. Celebrities will tweet about it, and the media will run a few stories, but once Taylor Swift drops a new album, we all shift our attention to the next thing. 

So what happens to the people of Flint, Michigan now? I don’t know, but I guess we can just file away their story right next to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, and act like it never happened.  

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"Change is the end result of all true learning."

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