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In this eye-opening exposé, acclaimed health journalist and National Geographic contributor Maryn McKenna documents how antibiotics transformed chicken from local delicacy to industrial commodity - and human health threat - uncovering the ways we can make America's favorite meat safer again.

What you eat matters - for your health, for the environment, and for future generations. In this riveting investigative narrative, McKenna dives deep into the world of modern agriculture by way of chicken: from the farm where it's raised directly to your dinner table. Consumed more than any other meat in the United States, chicken is emblematic of today's mass food-processing practices and their profound influence on our lives and health. Tracing its meteoric rise from scarce treat to ubiquitous global commodity, McKenna reveals the astounding role of antibiotics in industrial farming, documenting how and why "wonder drugs" revolutionized the way the world eats - and not necessarily for the better. Rich with scientific, historical, and cultural insights, this spellbinding cautionary tale shines a light on one of America's favorite foods - and shows us the way to safer, healthier eating for ourselves and our children.



About the Author

Maryn McKenna

Maryn McKenna is a journalist and author who specializes in public health, global health and food policy.

She has reported from epidemics and disasters, and farms and food production sites, on most of the continents, including a field hospital in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, a Thai village erased by the Indian Ocean tsunami, a bird-testing unit on the front lines of West Nile virus, an Arctic graveyard of the victims of the 1918 flu, an AIDS treatment center in Yunnan, a polio-eradication team in India, breweries in France, a "Matrix for chickens" in the Netherlands, and the Midwestern farms devastated by the 2015 epidemic of avian flu.

She writes about science and food for National Geographic and for magazines and websites in the United States and Europe, including The New York Times Magazine, NPR, Newsweek, Vice, FiveThirtyEight, Wired, Scientific American, Slate, Modern Farmer, Nature, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. She is the author of the award-winning books SUPERBUG and BEATING BACK THE DEVIL: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service.

Her next book, BIG CHICKEN - on how we came to give antibiotics to almost every meat animal on the planet, and how we discovered that was a bad idea - will be published in the United States in September 2017 and the United Kingdom in February 2018.

Maryn is a Senior Fellow of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and a frequent radio guest. Her 2015 TED talk, "What do we do when antibiotics don't work any more? ", has been viewed almost 1.5 million times.


One of WIRED Magazine's "27 Best Feeds to Follow in the World of Science"

"Why is curbing antibiotic use so critical? Read Maryn McKenna."
- Mark Bittman, The New York Times

"Rigorously factual, wonderfully written, appropriately scary, and consistently sane."
- Kathryn Schulz, New York Magazine

"Occasionally scary but always necessary stories on how we're all going to die horribly very soon."
- Buzzfeed

"Maryn McKenna is unmatched in reporting and contextualizing infectious-disease news with stories that'll scare the antibodies out of you."
- David Dobbs, Slate



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