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FROM THIS EPISODE

Vaccines have largely eliminated measles, whooping cough and other diseases—and a growing number of California parents believe that’s made the world safe enough that their kids don’t need to be immunized. Even advocates for choice admit it’s not good for public health. And, sure enough, measles is coming back, and there’s an epidemic of whooping cough.

Also, California supplies much of the world with almonds—and each nut requires more than a gallon of water. But almond groves are increasing despite the drought.

Banner Image: A nurse wearing blue gloves administers a vaccine into a male patient's arm; Credit: Rhoda Baer, National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Producers:
Claire Martin
Sonya Geis

Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s Depression 7 MIN, 7 SEC

Two months before the next statewide election, California’s elections officer has told the LA Times she’s away from the office a lot more than she wants to be. Depression—which she has suffered from since college—has returned with a vengeance. Debra Bowen spent 14 years in the Assembly and Senate before being elected Secretary of State 8 years ago. Kim Alexander is President of the California Voter Foundation, a nonprofit that works closely with Bowen’s office.

Guests:
Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation (@kimalex3)

Vaccine Exemptions Soar in California – Along With Debate 12 MIN, 43 SEC

State law requires that California kindergartners be vaccinated against nine diseases, but it also allows parents to get exemptions according to their personal beliefs. The rate of personal-belief exemptions has doubled in the past seven years—and public health experts believe that’s one reason measles is returning across the state and why there’s an epidemic of whooping cough.

Guests:
Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times (@palomaesquivel)
Pia Pannaraj, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Almonds Are Sucking California Dry 5 MIN, 37 SEC

California supplies 80% of the world’s almonds, now producing 2.1 billion pounds a year—three times more than it did just 14 years ago. But there’s a hidden cost. Each individual nut requires 1.1 gallons of water. New groves of almond trees are still being added—despite years of drought, which we all know is likely to continue. Tom Philpott is Food and Agriculture reporter for Mother Jones magazine.

Guests:
Tom Philpott, Mother Jones (@tomphilpott)

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