What goes into meat inspection? Find out on another informative episode of “What Doesn’t Kill You”, as Katy Keiffer chats with Ted Conover, the author of five books, most recently The Routes of Man, about roads, and Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, an account of his ten months spent working as a corrections officer at New York’s Sing Sing Prison. Newjack won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2001 and was finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His other books are Whiteout: Lost in Aspen, Coyotes: A Journey Across Borders With America’s Illegal Migrants, ( and Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails With America’s Hoboes. In recent years he has taught at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the University of Oregon. He contributes to publications including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, National Geographic, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. Most recently he published “The Way of All Flesh”, the cover story for this months Harpers Magazine about working as a USDA inspector in a meatpacking plant in Nebraska. This program was sponsored by Tabard Inn.


“They need inspectors at lots of small town slaughterhouses – these spots are not always easy to fill.” [03:00]

“The machinery is all about the interface between industry and life.” [15:00]


“The abscesses begin when the cattle’s diet changes from grass. The bacteria that results from that makes ulcers in the cattle’s stomachs and livers. The antibiotic is used to control those abscesses.” [16:00]


–author/journalist Ted Conover on What Doesn’t Kill You