(The new book.)
I'm writing a book for National Geographic, to be published in 2017, about the history of antibiotic use in agriculture, and how that use has affected our health and diets; land use and labor; international trade and global business, and many other intriguing issues. Simultaneously, I'm working on a project, under the auspices of the Knight Science Journalism program at MIT, that will help me tell this story through video, audio and data visualization.
It's going to be enormous fun to research, and — I hope — surprising, challenging, and thought-provoking to read and watch.
The Food and Environment Reporting Network, September 2016: UN Makes Historic Commitment to Fight Antibiotic Resistance. The biggest challenge in controlling antibiotic overuse lies on the farms of the developing world.
The New York Times Magazine, April 2016: Home to Roost: The looming threat of avian flu. Last year’s outbreak showed just how difficult it is to protect America’s agricultural system from devastating diseases. Next time it could be even worse.
MORE Magazine, March 2015: Superbugs in Your Supper: Whenever you eat chicken or beef, you’re probably also eating a side order of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Modern Farmer, June 2014: The Abstinence Method: Dutch farmers just say no to antibiotics for livestock.
Slate, April 2014: The Future of Chicken: How to mass-produce meat without breeding killer microbes.
Modern Farmer, September 2013: From Factory Farm to Organic Icon: Will Harris III grew up on conventional farming. But now his family's legacy is anything but.
Wired, September 2013: Unchecked Bugs: Censorship Doesn’t Just Stifle Speech — It Can Spread Disease.
Slate, December 2012: The Father of the Chicken Nugget: Robert C. Baker was a poultry savant. But his contribution to fast food has been erased from the history books.
The Atlantic, July 2012: How Your Chicken Dinner is Creating a Drug-Resistant Superbug: Continuing to treat urinary tract infections as a short-term, routine ailment rather than a long-term food safety issue risks turning the responsible bacteria into a major health crisis.
SELF, June 2012: The Dangerous Superbugs Hiding in Your Dinner: Farmers helped create drug-resistant bacteria. Government ignored the problem. Antibiotic-resistant foodborne illness is increasing, and deadly.
Scientific American, April 2012: Food Poisoning’s Hidden Legacy: Foodborne illness is an unpleasant few days of fever and diarrhea — and maybe lifelong consequences
The Guardian, June 2011: The reason why this deadly E. coli makes doctors shudder: It is past time for health authorities to curb the antibiotic misuse that created the resistance of this aberrant E. coli strain.
Scientific American, January 2009: New Strain of Drug-Resistant Staph Found in US Pigs: If a newly arrived European strain leads to human disease, it could complicate the struggle against MRSA.
National Geographic's Phenomena:
National Geographic's The Plate: