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Chickens and Frankenfoods

(article, Culinate staff)

The September 28 issue of the New Yorker has two food-related stories: one about the travails of chicken-keeping, and the other about synthetic biology, or creating new life in the lab from scratch. 

The chicken article notes that keeping chickens is a zeitgeist activity that may have jumped the shark: "I do detect a little overripening on the edges — I've noticed some late-stage phenomena such as chicken diapers," remarks author Susan Orlean. 

Michael Specter's biology article, on the other hand, is a wide-ranging piece exploring the possible ramifications of playing God. Frankenfoods get only a brief mention, but the big question is neatly laid out: In our quest to, say, treat malaria, feed the planet, and scrub CO2 from the atmosphere with the — admittedly pretty amazing — wonders of science, which Pandora's boxes are we opening without realizing it?