Efforts to raise bigger birds unwittingly spawned drug resistance in bacteria
Journalist Maryn McKenna opens Big Chicken by teasing our taste buds with a description of the succulent roasted chickens she bought at an open-air market in Paris. The birds tasted nothing like the bland, uniform chicken offered at U.S. grocery stores. This meat had an earthy, lush, animal flavor. From this tantalizing oh-so-European tableau, McKenna hits us with a sickening contrast — scientists chasing outbreaks of drug-resistant Salmonella infections in humans, and ailing chickens living in crowded conditions and never seeing the light of day.
Antibiotics are at the root of both nightmares, McKenna argues.