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Senior Fellows reporting on Food and Health

Senior Fellow Maryn McKenna investigates exclusively on public health, global health and food policy. McKenna has reported on breaking epidemics of disease, food borne illnesses and antibiotic use and resistance in medicine and agriculture.

Senior Fellow Tracie McMillan calls herself an “Investigative Reporter for the Working Class.” McMillan reports on global stories of food, people and culture for National Geographic’s Blog “The Plate."

Senior Fellow Judy Foreman was a staff writer and medical specialist at The Boston Globe for 23 years. She has appeared regularly on WBUR, the NPR affiliate in Boston, and for several years was the host of her own weekly, call-in webcast on health issues. 

Senior Fellow Scott Carney is a journalist and anthropologist who has spent years reporting on the art and science of unlocking the human body’s endurance to weather extremes.

Senior Fellow Karen Coates covers global inequity stories across Asia and Uganda. Coates travels the world to report on food, environment, health and human rights in developing countries.

Senior Fellow Janelle Nanos reports for the Boston Globe on Boston’s local food economy, especially urban food waste, and the latest big industrial food news.

Food and Health

Food policy, food quality and access, public health, global health and infectious diseases are among the topics explored by Schuster Institute Senior Fellows.

Featured Reporting 

Big Chicken

Senior Fellow Maryn McKenna: National Geographic Books released "Big Chicken" in September 2017. McKenna's third book, "Big Chicken" "tells the story of how antibiotics created modern agriculture and changed the way the world eats." McKenna explores poultry farms, laboratories, kitchens, and sidewalk markets around the world, and reveals "how economic, political and cultural forces converged to make America's favorite meat a hidden danger—and how companies, activists, farmers and chefs are carving a path back to better, safer food."

Maryn McKenna's Ted Talk, "What Do We Do When Antibiotics Don't Work Anymore?" has garnered over 1.5 million views.

Selected articles from McKenna’s Health and Agriculture reporting:
McKenna has closely followed the increasing issue of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in agriculture and medicine and the government’s accountability in making a change. Since 1977, the FDA has tried and failed to pass policies curtailing agricultural antibiotic use. On Jan. 1, 2017, the FDA established its first legislation to cut back antibiotic use on farms, McKenna reported.

Read more of Maryn McKenna’s work on her website.

Senior Fellow Tracie McMillan: Mcmillan's 2012 New York Times bestseller, “The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table,” earned her the Sidney Hillman Prize and the Books for a Better Life award. In it, McMillan went undercover to report on the challenges American food workers face and how they struggle to fill their own dinner plates. Read the New York Times book review.

Tracie McMillan's

In 2016, Senior Fellow Tracie McMillan traveled through China to report on food and culture for National Geographic.

Read more of Tracie McMillan's work on her website.

Foreman Global Pain CrisisSenior Fellow Judy Foreman: According to Foreman's Website: "The Institute of Medicine estimates that chronic pain affects tens of millions of people worldwide and costs the U.S. alone $560 to $635 billion a year in direct medical costs and lost productivity." In 'The Global Pain Crisis: What Everyone Needs to Know,' Foreman addresses the most important questions about chronic pain: what is it, whom does it affect most, which pain relief methods in Western and alternative medicine are effective, what are the risks and benefits of opioids and marijuana, and how can the chronic pain crisis be resolved for good? 

The book follows Foreman's 2014 'A Nation in Pain,' which Booklist called: "a scientific and empathetic book that sensibly sorts out the problems and possibilities of adequately controlling pain."

Senior Fellow Scott Carney: Carney's 2017 book, "What Doesn't Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength," chronicles his investigations climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and interviewing the world’s most fit extremists.

“I’m not an athlete, I’m not exceptional. But I found a power I never knew humans had.” - Scott Carney

What Doesn't Kill Us - Scott Carney

An investigative journalist and anthropologist, Carney used himself as a test case and plunged into the story. “Take a plunge into cold water and not only will you trigger a number of processes to warm up the body, but those adjustments will help regulate blood sugar, exercise the circulatory system, and heighten mental awareness,” he writes. After training, Carney was able to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro wearing little more than shorts and hiking boots. Read an excerpt from Men's Journal.

Carney weaves in science to explain how cold water and breathing exercises can change physiology and induce better health and fitness. He also interviews people who use the training methods to abate the ravages of autoimmune diseases such as Parkinson’s and Crohn’s. 

Carney was interviewed on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday about the book on January 8, 2017. 

More from Scott Carney:

Read more of Scott Carney’s work on his website.

Senior Fellow Karen Coates:

Read more of Karen Coates’ work on our Environmental Justice page and on her website.

Senior Fellow Janelle Nanos: