Sink your teeth into the story of fluoride and how it affects our health and the environment.

by Erica Gerald Mason

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Photo by Diana Polekhina via Unsplash

Before “fluoride” became an omnipresent dental care ingredient, the term referred to any number of minerals containing the element fluorine, which is found in soil, plants, rocks, and water. Humans can be exposed to fluoride through food or fertilizers, but the most common source of fluoride exposure is drinking water. It can get there naturally (when water flows through rocks high in fluorides), intentionally (when water utilities add fluoride solution to the water supply), or as a result of industrial pollution. …


Hi Gus fans,

It’s hard for me to believe, but Asparagus turned 3 the weekend before last. How did this happen? Our site launched on February 7, 2018, with an article about zero-waste shopping. Now here we are, three years later, with so many accomplishments under our belts:

  • more than 120 original articles and essays published online
  • a successful crowdfunding campaign to pay for the first print issue, raising C$16,678
  • a staff that has grown from a “team” of just me, to 10 phenomenal humans all making the magazine happen between their many other work, family, volunteer, and creative endeavours

Hi Gus readers,

Well 2021 sure didn’t waste time stamping itself indelibly on our memories, did it? And here I was hoping for a less memorable year than 2020…

While historic events have come fast and furious in the weeks since I last wrote, things are going more slowly at Gus HQ. After we printed Issue 4, I found myself dealing with fatigue that I first thought might be a post-issue cold, and then attributed to burnout. Turns out there was actually an underlying health issue at play, which thankfully is easily treated. …


Hi Gus fans,

Guess what happened yesterday. Did you guess? Want me to tell you? I’ll tell you! Asparagus Magazine Issue 4 came off the press!!! 2020 being what it has been, I’m incredibly proud that our little team managed to put out two jam-packed issues before the year’s close.

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Look at our adorable cover bat! I’m so excited for subscribers to welcome it into their homes. So if you’ve been getting emails from me and Natasha about your expired subscription, now is the time to renew. And if you aren’t already a subscriber, there’s never been a better time…


Hey Gus fans,

I am so excited to invite you to our first event since the start of the pandemic! We haven’t had a chance to spend time with our readers since our birthday party in February, and it has been too long. So, we’ve partnered with our friends at the Georgia Strait Alliance to co-host a virtual community screening of the documentary The Story of Plastic. And if you’re wondering what part of a virtual documentary screening involves spending time together, it’s the discussion afterward, of course. …


Hi Gus readers,

Did you know my first professional editing job was selecting and polishing letters to the editor for publication in National Geographic Traveler? I loved it. Something about readers taking time to let journalists and publishers know the impact of our work is really gratifying, even if they’re writing to say we got something wrong.

Today’s equivalents to those letters are the dreaded comments below online articles. And if you’ve read our online stories, you know we’ve opted not to allow comments, as a means of protecting our contributors and article subjects from the rampant toxicity found on…


Hey Gus readers,

What can I say? 2020 continues to be a complete dumpster fire of a year. BC — where I live — managed to make it through our traditional wildfire season without many serious blazes, but our air has nonetheless been filled with smoke from fires in western US states for over a week. And today I saw a friend in New York state post a photo of their skies clouded with smoke from the same source! I truly don’t understand how anyone can deny the climate crisis.

The smoke and ongoing pandemic have clearly got me feeling…


Hey there Gus readers,

Last month, I wrapped up the newsletter with a shout-out to my incredible team. And today I’m excited (and also a little sad), to tell you about some changes to that team. The sadness is because Issue 3 will be Erin Flegg’s final issue as our art director. Erin’s vision, talent, and hard work have made the print edition of Asparagus the thing of beauty that it is, and we will miss her skill with a layout.

Happily, she’s not leaving Team Gus entirely, just scaling back to smaller roles that feel more manageable with the…


Hi there Medium followers,

I owe you an apology. I sent a version of this newsletter out to our Mailchimp subscribers last week, and was so all-consumed with wrapping up our third print issue, I totally forgot to send it to you as well. Sorry!

We sent files to our printer yesterday, though, and I am BEYOND excited. So excited, I‘m sending you a sneak peek of the cover.

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Ta-da! Isn’t it purdy? And we’ve packed it with stories I think you’ll love, including:

  • New columns from your faves, Sara Bynoe (The Environmentalist from Hell), Brianna Sharpe (Black Sheep Parenting…

Hey Gus readers,

2020 just doesn’t let up, does it? A month ago I was writing to you about settling into pandemic-prompted habits. Ten days later, George Floyd was murdered, and life was rightly unsettled yet again. I went back to scrolling news and social media incessantly, and worrying about folks in the US, whether family, friends, or strangers standing up for racial justice in the face of violent repression.

But where Covid-19 called on us all to stay home and shrink our lives down to a “safe” size, the uprising against police brutality is reminding us that there is…

Asparagus Magazine

Telling stories of sustainability in ways that are intersectional, impactful, grounded in science, and fun. (Don’t follow this account, follow the publication!)

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