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Dr. Elizabeth D. Hilborn, Restoring Eden

Elizabeth D. Hilborn, Restoring Eden: Unearthing the Agribusiness Secret That Poisoned My Farming Community

All spring, Dr. Elizabeth Hilborn watched as her family fruit farm of many years became increasingly diminished, suffering from a lack of bees.

The plentiful wildlife, so abundant just weeks before, was gone. Everything was still, silent.

As an environmental scientist trained to investigate disease outbreaks, she rose to the challenge. Step by step, day by day, despite facing headwinds from skeptical neighbors, environmental experts, and agricultural consultants, she’d assembled information. Her observations provided a framework, a timeline to explain the evidence she’d collected.

The chemicals found in her water samples showed beyond any doubt that not only her farm, but her greater farming community, was at risk from toxic chemicals that travelled with rain water over the land, into water, and deep within the soil. Hilborn was given a front row seat to the insect apocalypse.

Even as a scientist, she’d been unaware of the risks to life from some common agricultural chemicals. Her goal was to protect her farm and the animals who lived there.

But first she had to convince her rural neighbors of the risk to their way of life, too.

A lyrical celebration of nature by a passionate citizen scientist who felt called to advocate for the land, earth, and creatures who don’t have a voice, Restoring Eden ultimately offers hope that citizens can create change, that reform is possible.

Dr. Elizabeth D. Hilborn is a veterinarian, a honeybee specialist, and a senior environmental health scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency. She worked as a disease detective with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She’s spoken to audiences worldwide and published more than sixty scientific articles about the effects of pollution on human and animal health, and her work appears in public health, medical, and environmental health journals. She lives with her family and grows fruits and vegetables on their farm in North Carolina.


Saturday, Aug 12, 2023


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