Here's a sentence I never imagined I'd write: I'm working on a book!
It will explore the future of food, telling the story of how seven friends managed to amass enough influence to hatch an attack on the animal agriculture industry. Their story will be told through the lens of a Silicon Valley company—founded by one of those friends—that has promised to get lab-grown, cultured meat to market by the end of 2018. Here's a snippet of what was posted to Publishers Marketplace:
Quartz reporter Chase Purdy's [tentatively titled] THE END OF MEAT, a chronicle of the race to develop lab-grown meat and make it widely available, and its consequences for the established giants of the food industry, with a focus on billion-dollar startup Hampton Creek and its iconoclastic CEO Josh Tetrick, to Merry Sun at Portfolio, in a good deal, on exclusive submission, by Peter Steinberg at Foundry Literary + Media (NA).
After about eight years working exclusively in daily journalism, the project gives me an opportunity to try something new. I've written lengthy stories, but nothing as intensive or immersive as a book. The reporting will take me across the the United States—from Silicon Valley's tech thicket to the lush greenery of Raywick, Kentucky. I'll also be visiting the Netherlands, Israel, and possibly China. Most of the time I'll probably be chained to a desk, working to get this story onto paper and over to my editors, who'll be tasked with pruning hundreds of gratuitous em dashes.
So. Buckle up. You're going to read about vegan power-brokers, high-tech meat, fetal bovine serum, and food industry squabbling. You'll also get a peek into some of the coolest food laboratories around the world.
Huge props go to my patient editors at Quartz, for whom I'll continue to write a steady stream of stories on food technology and biotech—with a brief reprieve for book leave—as I take this plunge.
The hard work is just starting—time to do it to it.