This is the Radio Boston rundown for March 17. Tiziana Dearing is our host.
- We begin our show in Mattapan – on the Neponset River. For years community activists have argued that these calm waters hide layers of toxic pollution, and demanded federal action to clean it up. The Environmental Protection Agency answered that call this week – designating the Lower Neponset a "Superfund site," a label given to the most hazardous and uncontrolled contaminated areas in the country. We discuss with Vivien Morris, chairperson of the Edgewater Neighborhood Association, a coalition of people in Mattapan and Hyde Park who advocated for the Superfund designation.
- Endometriosis affects an estimated one in ten women, according to the World Health Organization. It causes tissue similar to the uterine lining to grow outside the organ sometimes in other parts of the body. The tissues become inflamed around the time of menstruation causing a wide range of symptoms, including debilitating pain and migraines. There are treatments, but no cure. We talk with Boston University student Yaël Krinsky and her father Alvin about her experience as a woman suffering from endometriosis, and the long, painful journey to finding the right diagnosis and treatment. Then, we speak with Professor Linda Griffith, director of the Center Gynepathology Research at MIT, about the research she's doing to learn more and treat the disease. Griffith is also living with endometriosis.
- The James Beard Awards – also known as the Oscars of food – have returned after a two-year hiatus. And Wednesday, the James Beard Foundation announced five Leadership award winners. One of them was Boston's own Irene Li, chef and owner of Mei Mei Dumplings. At 31 years old, she's the youngest person to ever receive this honor. The James Beard Leadership award, which recognizes what it calls "food-industry visionaries" who have worked to create a better culinary world through focusing on sustainability, food justice and public health. Today, we revisit our conversation with Irene from one year ago, when we talked about how Mei Mei was evolving during the pandemic, and her commitment to making Boston's food scene more sustainable and equitable overall.
This program aired on March 17, 2022.