Is there any food more commonplace on the modern American dinner table than chicken? Consumed more than any other meat in the United States, it graces everything from the highly processed chicken nugget to the most sophisticated fine dining dishes. But how did chicken become so ubiquitous in the American diet? And how has its rise to mass consumption status changed the way it is produced and its impact on the environment, animal welfare, and your health?
How often do you really stop to think about chicken?
In this month’s Real Food Reads feature, award-winning journalist and critically-acclaimed author (Superbug; Beating Back the Devil) Maryn McKenna brings us the eye-opening story of this frequently overlooked food. In Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats, McKenna chronicles how the use of antibiotics in industrial farming turned chicken into an industrial commodity—and a threat to public health—as she shows us the way to safer, healthier eating for ourselves and our children.
Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats (National Geographic, on sale September 12, 2017, $27.00)