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On sale

1st February 2018

Price: £14.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781408707920

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‘This is an important book. You can’t understand the radical cheapening of food, with all its unpleasant effects, for farm animals and our most cherished rural landscapes, until you begin to understand the industrialisation of chicken. Industrial chicken is now displacing many more sustainable farming systems, driving them out of business. This book explains how that happened and why we should all be worried about it and demand change’ James Rebanks, author of The Shepherd’s Life

Plucked! examines everything that has gone wrong in the modern agricultural system: overuse of antibiotics, threats to the environment, violations of animal welfare, destruction of farming communities, disruption of international trade and delivery of over-processed, obesity-promoting, nutritionally hollow food.

Drawing on years of research into the ‘big chicken’ industry, acclaimed science writer Maryn McKenna uncovers the people searching for solutions and seeking to return chicken to a sustainable and honoured place on our plate and asking whether, with reform, chicken can safely feed the world. Rich with characters who together propelled the story of chicken’s unintended consequences, Plucked! will reveal how the antibiotic era created modern agriculture. It is an eye-opening exploration of how the world’s most popular meat came to define so much more than just chicken nuggets.


Cape Times
McKenna meticulously exposes everything that has gone wrong in the modern agricultural system: overuse of antibiotics, threats to the environment, violations of animal welfare, disruption of international trade and production of over-processed, obesity-promoting, nutritionally hollow food . . . an engrossing, vital read
Mark Bittman, author of How To Cook Everything
A must-read for anyone who cares about the quality of food and the welfare of animals
Martin Blaser, MD, author of Missing Microbes
A modern Upton Sinclair, Maryn McKenna explains how our food is actually produced today. Plucked! is highly readable, shocking, and opens our eyes to the risks we have been incurring. A most important book!
Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics
If you think raising farm animals on antibiotics is nothing to worry about, Plucked! will change your mind in a hurry. Maryn McKenna's account of the profit-driven politics that allowed widespread antibiotic resistance should be required reading for anyone who cares about food and health
A superb scientific exposé
Philip Lymbery, author of Farmageddon, Chief Executive, Compassion in World Farming
A real-life thriller. With vivid story-telling and forensic research, McKenna uncovers the hidden consequences of chicken becoming America's favourite meat. Plucked! charts the dramatic rise from backyard bird to every day meal with a sting-in-the-tail: cheap chicken comes at a heavy price. The same conditions that enable tiny chicks to become oven-ready in just 42 days are also helping to squander the medical miracle of antibiotics. For the sake of decent food today, and effective medicines tomorrow, if you only read one book, this should be it
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust
Drug-resistant infections are among the greatest challenges of our time. Maryn McKenna makes this challenge personal and compelling, illustrating how antibiotic resistance has been developing, why we should care, and what we should all demand to address it