The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats
in conversation with NICHOLAS EVANS
This event includes a book signing
February 27, 2018
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed health and food policy journalist and Brandeis University Senior Fellow MARYN MCKENNA for a discussion of her latest book, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats. She will be joined in conversation by UMass Lowell philosophy professor NICHOLAS EVANS.
About Big Chicken
This eye-opening exposé 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.
“If you think raising farm animals on antibiotics is nothing to worry about, Big Chicken will change your mind in a hurry. McKenna, a compelling writer, tells a gripping story: how antibiotics helped transform chicken-raising from backyard to industrial. Her account of the profit-driven politics that allowed widespread antibiotic resistance should be required reading for anyone who cares about food and health, and especially for congressional representatives who have consistently failed to take action on this critical issue.” —Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, and author of Food Politics
“A modern Upton Sinclair, Maryn McKenna explains how our food is actually produced today. Big Chicken is highly readable, shocking, and opens our eyes to the risks we have been incurring. A most important book!” —Martin Blaser, MD, author of Missing Microbes, Professor of Medicine and Microbiology at New York University
“Always curious, never pedantic, Maryn McKenna shows empathy for man and sympathy for fowl, while giving voice to scientists and farmers who have concluded that antibiotic-drugged chickens imperil the American diet. Big Chicken is beautifully written, rendering her research and the agitations of reformers all that more persuasive.” —John T. Edge, author of The Potlikker Papers
“You will never look at BBQ chicken wings or buckets of nuggets the same way again after you read Maryn McKenna’s meticulously researched, riveting Big Chicken—and you shouldn’t. After all, the only reason that chicken is so darned fat is that it was fed antibiotics every day of its life. Brava, McKenna, for a tour de force of environmental, science and food writing.” —Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer and author of The Coming Plague
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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