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McKay Jenkins
McKay Jenkins is the author of "What’s Gotten Into Us: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World" (Random House). His other books include "Bloody Falls of the Coppermine: Madness, Murder and the Collision of Cultures in the Arctic, 1913" (Random House, 2005); "The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division and the Assault on Hitler's Europe" (Random House, 2003); "The White Death: Tragedy and Heroism in an Avalanche Zone" (Random House, 2000); and "The South in Black and White: Race, Sex, and Literature in the 1940s" (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1999). He is also the editor of "The Peter Matthiessen Reader" (Vintage, 2000). Jenkins holds degrees from Amherst, Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, and Princeton, where he received a Ph.D. in English. A former staff writer for the Atlanta Constitution, he has also written for Outside, Orion, and many other publications. A winner of the University of Delaware's Excellence in Teaching Award, Jenkins is currently Tilghman Professor of English and a member of the Program in Journalism. He lives in Baltimore with his family. To see more of his work, go to

Entries by McKay Jenkins

Coming Soon: Major GMO Study (Shhh, It Will Be Done in Secret by Russians)

(16) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 7:17 PM

So here's what happens when Americans don't spend enough time or money testing the safety of our food: Russians say they will do it for us.

A group of Russian and European donors recently announced they are raising a whopping $25 million to pay for a major study of the...

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The Orca and the Shopping Mall

(2) Comments | Posted July 25, 2012 | 10:30 AM

Our guide, Alex, heard the orcas before he saw them. To his trained ear, their surfacing blows were audible just below the frequency of the wind. Look, he whispered from the cockpit of his kayak. Over there. Off to the left.

And there they were, a couple...

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Returning Soldiers, Jobs and the Great American Landscape

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2012 | 12:38 PM

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue winding down, there has been much discussion about the world -- and the precarious economy -- that our soldiers are returning home to inhabit. Where will these men and women find work in a sour job market? Given their exquisite (and expensive)...

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A National Park in West Virginia?

(7) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 1:19 PM

Over the holidays, my wife and kids and I set out for a few days of cross-country skiing in the mountains of West Virginia. Enraptured by the landscape, we were nonetheless disappointed by the weather: the temperatures never dipped below 40, and there was no snow on the ground, or...

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Cooking With An Axe

(1) Comments | Posted December 12, 2011 | 3:48 PM

In the last couple of years, I've been doing as much cooking as I can with an axe. My family and I have a small, wood-fired, beehive oven in the backyard, and while cooking this way means more work than using a gas grill (to say nothing of a...

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Hormone Disruptors in Canned Food: New Worries

(38) Comments | Posted November 23, 2011 | 4:01 PM

One night not too long ago, as my wife Katherine and I settled into the kitchen to make some pasta sauce, I reached into the cupboard for a can of our favorite organic, fire-roasted tomatoes. These tomatoes were expensive, and, we'd always thought, entirely worth it.

Like many such products,...

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Canoes, But No Kayaks: Thoughts on Environmental Studies

(5) Comments | Posted November 18, 2011 | 5:57 PM

This fall, I took my environmental studies students out of the classroom for two field trips. For the first, we joined a pair of young environmental educators from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for a canoe trip on a lake just up the hill from the Susquehanna River, the main trunk...

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Pediatricians: Toxics Endanger Kids Health

(5) Comments | Posted May 5, 2011 | 4:24 PM

Discussions of toxic chemicals tend to feel pretty abstract. We can't really see these things, after all, and even if someone tries to point out that these chemicals go into the manufacturing of just about everything we consume -- from cosmetics to carpeting to baby bottles -- it's pretty easy...

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States Want to Join Feds in Rolling Back Environmental Regulation

(2) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 11:05 AM

With the gutting of environmental regulation in full swing in Washington, industry lobbyists and their political allies have taken their anti-regulation battle to state legislatures, and are already meeting with real success. From Maine to New Jersey to Florida, governors are rolling back environmental regulation in the service of smaller...

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The Lawn Chemical Ritual

(6) Comments | Posted April 21, 2011 | 10:53 PM

Ah, spring. The robins are back, the cherry trees are in bloom, and the armies of lawn chemical trucks are prowling the neighborhood, looking for business. It's that time of year again.

I was startled from my work this afternoon by a knock on the door: The driver of a...

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Protecting Ourselves From An Invisible Danger: Environmental Toxins

(11) Comments | Posted April 19, 2011 | 6:16 PM

A couple of years ago, I went in for a routine checkup with an orthopedist to inquire about some shooting pains in my left knee and shin. I suspected I had a running injury, and my doctor agreed. He recommended I get an MRI, to see if perhaps the pain...

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