Traditional flush toilets aren’t an option in many parts of the world, but neither is leaving people with unsafe and unhygenic choices. Now, one company is piloting a new loo that’s waterless, off-grid and able to charge your phone.
(Art by Chester Holme)
When the Earth’s population reaches 9 billion with 70 percent of people living in cities, produce will have to be grown in the very buildings people live in. That’s why New Yorkers are already growing food in their basements. (Photo by Lina Zeldovich)
The West may have rejected whale captivity, but the painful relationship between humans and orcas is far from over.
(Photo Courtesy of FEROP)
We thought that our ancestors were farmers first and bakers second. Turns out they learned to bake first—and became farmers to grow more grain.
(Photo courtesy Amaia Arranz-Otaegui)
One pioneering chocolatier is using bitter herbs and sour fruits to make his treats stand out.
Hint: it’s pronounced fee-CAL-uh-bak-TEER-ee-um
Caught between depleted stocks, collapsing prices, and commercial trawlers, small-scale fishermen join forces to create new niche markets for their sustainably harvested product. Can they succeed?
How a few seedlings in a warehouse delivered a father and son from grief by giving them hope for a sustainable future.
Thanks to an unconventional farmer in the Geneva region, North American buffalos have migrated to the Alps and became iconic Swiss animals. (Photo courtesy Juraparc)
Faced with declining returns, hardy Georgia shrimpers hold tight to their traditions of pageantry and prayer. (Photo by Sarah Beth Glicksteen.)
Savvy brewers aim for a plastic-free future for six-packs. If their concoction works, we all will just have to drink more beer!
(An ancient sculpture from the Israel Beer Breweries (IBBL) museum in Ashkelon, Israel. Rafael Ben-Ari/Alamy )
For the brave omnivores, Croquetas de Chapulin is a must. Made from yucca and grasshopper flours, they come decorated with little shiny chapulines, which stick their long legs up in the air like practicing ballerinas.
With the combined powers of nature and machines, innovators can gather secret intelligence, protect our crops, and someday even deliver the mail.
A Vermont farmer decides to reinvent how goods are shipped to market; will the shipping gods listen?
Photo by Jim Pepper
An Indiana grandma killed off a devastating superbug with a homemade fecal transplant and then embarked on a crusade to win over the FDA.
(Art by Laurel Lynn Leake)
Ilya Metchnikoff laid the foundation for modern probiotics.
(Art courtesy of Pasteur Institute)
The mother tongues of today’s readers span from Russian to Turkish and from Greek to Farsi, as they follow Verne’s characters through the inner workings of his vessel and the mysteries of the aquatic life, discovering their own passions.
I grew up in a family of Russian scientists listening to bedtime stories about black holes, volcanoes and intrepid explorers. Since then I survived a winter in Siberia, a summer in Madagascar and a year at Columbia J-School. I edited features at the ASME award-winning Nautilus magazine, won four awards for stories about poo, and have written dozens of features for major publications in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, including Newsweek, Smithsonian, AFAR, Reader’s Digest, NPR, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, Popular Mechanics, Audubon Magazine, Sierra Club, Hakai Magazine, Mosaic Science, Nature, Scientific American, Atlas Obscura, BBC and Psychology Today. I specialize in features, long-form and complex topics that reveal the intricate relationship between humans and their environment. I’m also working on a book titled “The Other Dark Matter: The Science and Business of Turning Waste into Wealth” to be published by Chicago University Press. Look for it sometime in 2020!
Do you know that special feeling when your long-time dream finally comes true? The type of dream that most people told you was completely unattainable, but you kept working on it anyway because you just couldn’t let go? For 25 years I wanted to see my name on a cover of a book, and I finally will. I am writing it right now, for Chicago University Press.
Oh, and thanks for stopping by! Please browse through my stories in the top slider or on my portfolio page, check out my latest story, Reinventing the Toilet about a lavatorial revolution bubbling up in Madagascar, and take a look at my two award-winning features, The Sailing Farmer and The Magic Poop Potion. And if you like what you see, please follow me @linazeldovich. Like every writer out there, I need readers! In the meantime, I hope you don’t mind if I share some more news.
March 2018 & November 2017: Whaddaya know, I just won my third and forth awards for stories about… poop! Or more precisely, for a story about sanitation and toilets that use no water and no flush. Reinventing the Toilet: A Lavatorial Revolution Bubbles up in Madagascar. Poop rules. Always!
March 2017: Good news come when least expected. I was stuck in a Madagascar cyclone, soaked to the bone and slipping in mud, when an email came and told me I got the 2017 Marine Biological Laboratory Fellowship! That means more muddy adventures because I’ll be puttering in the coastal marshes of New England. Mud and marshes, here I come. I’m sure I’ll dig up some great stories!
February 2017: Some hot news in winter! “Love, Sex, Hollywood, and the Making of Puerto Vallarta,” originally published in TravelWorld International Magazine, won NATJA’s Historical Travel Award.
December 2016: Thrilled to be mentioned in the New York Times for my “United We Fish!,” longform narrative feature in Hakai Magazine—in the “journalism of seeking solutions” theme by David Bornstein, who did the 2016 round-up. A nice year-end gift!
February 2016: Hooray!!! The Sailing Farmer wins Silver in NATJA’s Special Purpose Travel Category! Guess who beat me to Gold? National Geographic Adventure magazine. A good rival to lose to! And a good way to start the year.
January 2016. I am off to Washington DC for a fellowship with the National Press Foundation “What’s New in Covering Cancer.”
May 2015: The Magic Poop Potion just won its second award: The Deadline Club Award: Reporting for Independent Digital Media.
September 2014. The Magic Poop Potion just won a Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of New York!
April 2014: Great news! A story I edited at Nautilus about fire ants’ unstoppable march through the southern states was included in the Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014 anthology. Reported and written by Justin Nobel. Totally thrilled!